Science Experiments for the Public during the Solar Eclipse

By Guest | August 16, 2017 12:15 pm

The two towers of the Schaeberle Camera and the rock wall at Jeur (India), with overlall height lowered by use of a pit for the plate-holder. Credit: Mary Lea Shane Archives

By Dr. Liz MacDonald, founder of Aurorasaurus and scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. This blog reposted from blog.aurorasaurus.org.

Over a century ago, American astronomer W.W. Campbell set up a 40 foot ‘Schaeberle camera’ in Jeur, India to take pictures and study various properties of the sun’s outermost layer called the corona during the 1898 total solar eclipse. To make sure no people or animals would tamper with the camera before the eclipse occurred, he found volunteers to guard the delicate equipment the evening before the experiment. Today, in 2017, volunteers called citizen scientists are again helping scientists make observations and learn more about the sun and Earth interaction. This time though, citizen scientists across the United States will have more direct involvement, actually collecting data by making their own observations and operating instruments. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Space & Physics

Weeding: It’s Not Just for Gardeners

By Guest | August 10, 2017 3:00 pm

By Kayla Keyes, Mote Marine Laboratory

Recent news about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has been grim: the most recent aerial survey of the reef identified a stretch of bleached coral over 900 miles (1500 km) long, and scientists have declared the reef to be in a terminal stage. Studies have shown that losing the Great Barrier Reef would result in a globally destructive economic and environmental chain reaction, but despite all of the pressures threatening the future of our reefs a positive light shines brightly from Magnetic Island in Queensland, Australia. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Living World

Look down, look all around during the total solar eclipse

By Carolyn Graybeal | August 7, 2017 4:25 pm

Solar eclipse. Credit: Luc Viatour (CC-BY-SA)

On August 21st, millions of people across the U.S. will have the opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse. But we won’t be the only ones taking notice—there is a good chance animals, and even some plants, will be affected by the event, too.

It is not as farfetched as you might think. Many animals and plants respond to daily changes in light and temperature. Birds sing at dawn while fireflies come out at twilight.  Flowers like morning glories and poppies open in the morning and close at night; others, like the bat-pollinated night-blooming cereus, open their flowers and release their fragrance well after the sun has gone down. When sunlight dims and temperatures cool during this month’s eclipse, the change might be significant enough to affect these and other organisms. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Space & Physics

Help scientists discover what else happens during a solar eclipse!

By Carolyn Graybeal | August 4, 2017 5:09 pm
It’s a Solar Eclipse!

I, Luc Viatour

When the moon completely covers the sun on August 21, will animals behave differently? Will air and surface temperatures fluctuate? Help scientists answer these and other research questions!

Below, we highlight projects you can do in the path of the eclipse, in your own backyard, and a couple for after the eclipse. Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Space & Physics

Love Monarchs? Participate in the Monarch Monitoring Blitz This Week!

By Guest | July 31, 2017 8:16 pm

By Cora Lund Preston, Communication Specialist for Monarch Joint Venture

The Monarch Monitoring Blitz has begun! Grab your hats, sunscreen and clipboards and join fellow citizen scientists for some fresh air and an international monarch monitoring blitz from July 29-August 5th! With enough reports, your information will provide a snapshot that helps scientists understand the range and population size of late summer breeding monarchs across North America.

If you’re already familiar with the monarch monitoring blitz, help us recruit more citizen scientists by spreading the word on FacebookTwitter or by sending an email! Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment

Celebrating Shark Week with Sevengill Sharks

By acrall | July 28, 2017 1:41 pm

This week is Shark Week so we wanted to celebrate by returning to three posts written about Sevengill Sharks and ways you can support their conservation through the Sevengill Sharks Tracking Project.  The first post (seen below) was published in 2013 with others following in 2015 and 2016.  Not really into carnivorous fish? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone! Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science
MORE ABOUT: shark week

Shark Week: A feeding frenzy for citizen scientists!

By Darlene Cavalier | July 21, 2017 11:21 am
Sink your teeth into these projects!

Photo: Shark Count

The Discovery Channel kicks off Shark Week in three days, when we’ll will find out if Michael Phelps is faster than a shark! Not quite up for racing a shark yourself? You can still celebrate Shark Week by getting involved in one of the many citizen science projects that study and protect sharks. Below, we’ve highlighted five projects we think you’ll love. In some cases, you can even participate from the comfort of home. Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

eShark
eShark
Calling all divers and snorkelers! You have valuable information to share because you can census areas that fishers can’t. Help track how shark and ray populations have changed.
Location: Global

SharkBase
SharkBase
Even if you’ve never seen a shark in the wild, you can still contribute to SharkBase by submitting sightings that you see in the news or on the internet. Your observations will help track sharks’ global population changes.
Location: Global. Online.

New England Basking Shark and Ocean Sunfish Project
 Help monitor basking shark and ocean sunfish in New England waters by sending in your photos from the seas!
Location: New England, USA

Credit_ Kelli Shaw
Sevengill Shark Identification
Scuba divers are needed to help monitor sevengill sharks as they return each year to San Diego, CA and South Africa. Share your photos which will be analyzed online, using a pattern recognition system.
Location: San Diego, CA; South Africa 

ELMO South African Elasmobranch Monitoring
Collect data on South African sharks, skates, rays and chimaera sightings as well as their eggcases along the South African coastline. Whether you are a snorkeler, diver, swimmer, skipper, angler or a beachwalker, you can assist by reporting your sighting or reports you’ve seen in the news.
 Location: Mozambique Republic, South Africa

Discover more summertime citizen on the SciStarter Calendar. Needed: 1,000 skilled photographers to help create the Eclipse MegaMovie on August 21! Want more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Living World

Finding the Common Culture: Uniting Science and the Humanities in Citizen Science

By Guest | July 18, 2017 4:43 pm

By Brad Mehlenbacher (North Carolina State University) and Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher (University of Waterloo)

Through citizen science projects, the Bodleian Library is improving access to their music collections, the Smithsonian is transcribing important documents, and researchers at the University of Oxford are transcribing Ancient Greek text from Greco-Roman Egypt. Although these projects represent promising examples of the humanities and social sciences, citizen science projects in these fields still aren’t all that common.

Humanities and social sciences (HSS) include disciplines such as language studies, classics, comparative literature, history, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, economics, education, political science, and so on. These disciplines vary considerably in their intellectual traditions, methods, and disciplinary norms, but there are also common issues, questions, and challenges each discipline shares with the others. In fact, HSS and STEM disciplines also share common issues, questions, and challenges. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science

How SciStarter connects people to citizen science projects, events and tools.

By Carolyn Graybeal | July 14, 2017 5:20 pm

At SciStarter, we aim to reach people where they are and connect them to opportunities to do and shape science through citizen science projects in need of their help.

If someone wants to promote or recruit participants for their project, event, or tool, they register it on SciStarter. Our editors review each record before publishing it. Once it’s published, it can be shared with our partners (including CitSci.org, the Atlas of Living Australia,  the U.S. Federal inventory of projects, and others listed below) who export or import records with our database. We do this through APIs we’ve developed to make it easier for project owners to add, update, and share their projects across websites. (If you have a database of citizen science projects, events, or tools you’d like to link into this system, please access the API documentation here.)

We also bring citizen science to the public through strategic editorial and marketing partnerships with organizations, aligned with our mission, already reaching millions of people.

Here’s how:

Our syndicated blog network enables us to share news about projects, people, and perspectives on a weekly basis, far beyond the reach of our website, newsletter, events and social media outreach:

 

Citizen Science Salon, the blog you are reading right now, is a joint project of SciStarter and Discover Magazine!  As you well know,  this is where we feature weekly collaborative, crowdsourced, and DIY research projects that relate to what millions of you are reading about in Discover, so you can take action and take science into you own hands! Community: general science enthusiasts.

CitizenSci blog on Public Library of Science  examines the emerging phenomena of public participation in science from diverse disciplinary perspectives. CitizenSci bloggers, coordinated by SciStarter, bring stories about innovative projects, methodologies, and histories to help chart the changing landscape of public participation in scientific research. Community: researchers, practitioners, scientists, educators.

“Philadelphia Media Network is pleased to partner with SciStarter,” said Eric Ulken, vice president of digital content for Philly.com, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. “Our daily mission is to inform the residents of the Philadelphia area with the most useful and relevant news in the region. Leveraging SciStarter’s extensive coverage on science innovations and citizen participation in those innovations will help us further engage our millions of users and large contingent of local science leaders.” Each month, SciStarter’s editorial team posts a new opportunity for millions of Philadelphians to take part in. Audience: PA, NJ, DE residents.

Those are examples of the blogs we publish. (Note: There’s no shortage of projects and outcomes to write about! Contact Jenny@SciStarter.com or Alycia@SciStarter.com if you’re interested in submitting a guest post or joining our editorial team!)

Another way we help share projects, events, and tools with people is through the free and open SciStarter Project Finder. In fact, it’s at the center of this work.

With support from the Simons Foundation, SciStarter is making our  ‘project finder’ feature and database of citizen science projects available for communities, media partners and websites to duplicate on their own pages. SciStarter aggregates more than 1,500 citizen science projects and events and this Simons Foundation grant enabled us to create open, customizable, plug-and-play software tools that anyone can use. In addition, now everyone who adds a project to the SciStarter database will benefit from unlimited distribution outlets, reaching millions of potential participants. Learn about additional benefits for project owners.

The APIs and codes for the widgets can be found here.  Feel free to use them. You can create customized versions of your own project finder which will pull up-to-date records from our database and you can even filter for the types or locations of projects your community cares about. Through these open, easy-to-use APIs and web snippets,  SciStarter shares its database of projects with:

PBS series The Crowd and The Cloud turns “viewers into doers” through the SciStarter Project Finder.

 

PBS Kids SciGirls enables kids to find projects filtered by age-level and location.

 

 

Cornerstones of Science uses the SciStarter API and widgets to help librarians introduce their communities to citizen science.

 

TerraMar Project embeds a customized Project Finder and filters for Ocean projects for its ocean-advocacy community.

 

AstronomyMagazine.com uses our Widget to feature an astronomy project of the week.

 

NSTA uses our widget to serve up grade-specific projects to thousands of STEM educators each week.

All For Good and Serve.gov use our API to import and share citizen science projects with eager volunteers.

Many other sites use the tools and several projects have been instrumental in codesigning the APIs and snippets. This has truly been a team effort. As we continue to build the forthcoming tools (or “instruments”) database, we’d appreciate input from people who use or make tools that citizen scientists can use. Kindly consider adding a tool and testing the **alpha** “add a tool” feature here.   We imagine the Tools database operating in a similar manner as the Projects and Events database including a public interface to search for and access the tools. We aim to make this database open, flexible, accessible, shareable, and customizable.

Please, by all means, feel free to embed the database or project widget on your site (remember that you can filter for the type or location of projects suitable for your community), contribute to the syndicated blog network as a guest/regular author or editor so we can share your news, and/or add your projects, events, or tools to the shared database.

Most of the work we do here, in partnership with Arizona State University and in collaboration with NC State University, advances the field of citizen science research.  You’re welcome to use any of our research outcomes found here: https://scistarter.com/research. If you’re interested in learning about the National Science Foundation-supported SciStarter 2.0 features we’ve developed to help participants find, join and even track their contributions across projects and platforms, we’ve posted a video and slides from a recent presentation here.

Did we mention that all of this is free?

We also offer premium services to recruit, train, equip and retain participants. This has proven valuable for programs in need of targeted recruitment (based on location where there may be gaps in data or to reach underrepresented communities, for example). Sometimes we do this through our sister organization, Science Cheerleaders, Inc., a 501 c3 organization comprised of 300 current and former NFL, NBA and college cheerleaders –who are pursuing STEM careers– who activate citizen science projects at speaking engagements and other live events. (You didn’t see that one coming, did you? :) .) Some of our favorite examples of this collaborative work are: Space Microbes and GLOBE.gov’s El Nino campaign. While we polish up our Premium Services webpage, if you’re interested in learning more, please email info@SciStarter.com.

Cheers!

The SciStarter team

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Uncategorized

Network of Bees

By Guest | July 14, 2017 10:55 am

By: Russ Campbell

There is a lot to learn from bees. The survival of the hive depends on the combined efforts of the entire colony. In Conetoe (pronounced KUH-nee-tah), North Carolina Reverend Richard Joyner and his family of youth beekeepers are tending to bees and building community, one hive at a time.

Reverend Joyner is the force behind the Conetoe Family Life Center, created to address the fact that in one year, he conducted more than 30 funerals for people under 50 who had died from chronic disease. 30 funerals. For a community of 300. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Citizen Science Salon

Scistarter logo

Citizen Science Salon, brought to you by SciStarter, is where science enthusiasts can join forces with top researchers. We'll feature weekly collaborative, crowdsourced, and DIY research projects that relate to what you're reading about in Discover, so you can take science into your own hands. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar
+