Spot a Squirrel and Help Science

By Eva Lewandowski | January 19, 2017 1:55 pm
January 21st is Squirrel Appreciation Day! Celebrate by participating in one of these squirrel-centric projects. It sounds a little nutty, but researchers unnamed (2)rely on your squirrel observations to advance research about these furry friends.  Find more projects on SciStarter to do now, or bookmark your favorites for later!
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Photo: USFWS
Project Squirrel
Squirrels are some of the most common forms of backyard wildlife. Wherever you are, you can join the study of wildlife by counting squirrels in your neighborhood and reporting your findings online.

Photo: USFWS
Southern California Squirrel Survey
Squirrels are abundant in Southern California, but some native species are in decline and other introduced species are spreading a little too quickly. Learn what’s happening in your neck of the woods by by posting a photo and location information on this website.

Photo: WA State DFWC
Western Gray Squirrel Project
The western gray squirrel is threatened in Washington state, and biologists need to know more about them to understand what’s happening. Residents in the Methow Valley can conduct squirrel surveys to estimate the size and distribution of the population.

White Squirrel Mapping
Have you ever seen a white squirrel? Throughout the world, squirrels of species that are normally grey or red are sometimes white. Report sightings of white squirrels and add to a global map of their distribution.

Photo: USFWS
SquirrelMapper
In some locations, gray squirrels have evolved to be black! By mapping the locations of black squirrels, you can help biologists understand more about this change and how it benefits the squirrels.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is launching a wildlife camera trap study called North Carolina’s Candid Critters. Find out more here.  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

Turtle Crossing in Wisconsin

By Guest | January 12, 2017 2:16 pm

By: Russ Campbell

Why did the turtle cross the road? Change the “why” to a “where,” and conservation biologist Andrew Badje just might be able to tell you. Through his work with the Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program, Badje collects turtle road crossing data to help map populations, especially at precarious road and rail crossings. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment

Environmental Protection Belongs to the Public: A #CitSciChat about the report for EPA on the role of citizen science

By Darlene Cavalier | January 10, 2017 1:07 pm

Oneida citizen scientists are ready to plant wild rice to help restore wetlands in the Coyote Run Natural Area, Oneida, Wisconsin. Credit: Oneida Environmental Health and Safety Division.

Last month, the National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), an EPA advisory council, transmitted a report to EPA titled Environmental Protection Belongs to the Public: A Vision for Citizen Science at EPA outlining thirteen specific recommendations for EPA. (Learn more about the report, its genesis, and NACEPT, in this post, coauthored byShannon Dosemagen, Public Lab and Alison Parker, ORISE Fellow hosted by EPA.)

Tomorrow, January 11, 3-4pm ET, join some of the co-authors of the NACEPT report for a #CitSciChat, presented by Caren Cooper @CoopSciScoop and sponsored by @SciStarter.

Panelists include: 

Darlene Cavalier @scicheer and @SciStarter

Bridgett Luther @BridgettCLuther

Alison Parker @athousandflies

Post questions and/or weigh in on questions including:

In NACPET @EPA report, what are key take-home messages abt #CitizenScience?

How can @EPA best support #CitizenScience (big data) & #CommunityScience (small data)?

How can #CitizenScience support @EPA_research? How can #CitSci support regulatory role of @EPA?

What sort of #CitizenScience might @EPA @EPA_research hope to fund in future?

How much do #sensor innovations matter to future of @EPA #CitizenScience?

and more!

Join this critical conversation on Twitter by following #CitSciChat tomorrow between 3pm and 4pm ET.

NACEPT report image

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science
MORE ABOUT: citizen science, EPA, NACEPT

Top 10 Citizen Science Projects of 2016: From Microbes to Meteors

By Jenny Cutraro | January 5, 2017 10:19 pm
calendar
Top 10 Projects of 2016
Happy New Year!
Looking for opportunities to make the world a better place this year? Start with these popular projects, which had the most traffic on SciStarter in 2016.
Find more on SciStarter then simply bookmark your favorites to receive seasonal reminders!
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Read More

Help Shape New Directions in Open Science: Vote for your favorite Innovation!

By Guest | December 27, 2016 10:17 am

By: Elizabeth Kittrie, Senior Advisor for Data Science, National Institutes of Health

In the spirit of open science – a movement to make data and other information from scientific research available to everyone — the National Institutes of Health invites you to cast your vote and help us decide which of the projects competing for the Open Science Prize are the most innovative and most likely to have the greatest impact. Your vote plays a critical role in determining the three finalists for the ultimate selection of a grand prize winner of $230,000.00

In this competition, six finalist teams, composed of at least one U.S.-based and one international researcher, are using open data to improve human health. Open data refers to publicly-accessible data that is available for re-use by anyone.  The US Department of Health and Human Services, the parent agency to NIH, is one of many government agencies around the world that has made health care data publicly available.  You can find over three thousand health data sets publicly available via the healthdata.gov portal. Read More

12 Days of Christmas with Citizen Science (seriously!)

By Eva Lewandowski | December 22, 2016 1:10 pm
Photo: John Ohab

Photo: John Ohab

The holiday season is upon us! In the spirit of the season, we’ve put together another edition of our annual 12 Days of Christmas Newsletter. ANNNNNNNND…as our gift to you, we’ve made it possible for you to track your citizen science contributions and interests in one place! Check out the beta version of SciStarter 2.0. Sign up, complete your profile, and earn credit for your awesome contributions to research!

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science

Quality and quantity with citizen science

By Caren Cooper | December 21, 2016 4:32 pm

Citizen science is a range of activities and projects through which people from all walks of life help advance scientific discovery. Citizen scientists bring science into the mainstream and make science relevant to their lives. As a scientist, I rely on citizen scientists as research collaborators. As a blogger, I’ve become a citizen science advocate giving three cheers to discoveries and projects. Every time I share stories about citizen science, the most frequent response I receive is skepticism about data quality. How could people – veritable strangers – without formal training in the sciences be of any authentic use to professional scientific research projects? How can people without scientific credential do work of sufficient quality to result in products of genuine scientific value? Is it really possible for science-society collaborations involving individuals with highly variable levels of expertise to produce reliable and trustworthy knowledge? Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science

The Lure of the Redwood Forest

By Sharman Apt Russell | December 15, 2016 2:01 pm

Walking through Purisima Creek Redwoods Reserve in northern California, I am the paparazzi of Western sword ferns (Polystichum munitum). When I find one, I stop and click, click, click my smartphone photos and then approach boldly for a closer look. Are new leaves emerging as curled fronds or fiddleheads? Are there round spots called sori—reproductive structures that produce spores—on the underside of the fronds? Are these spots brown or green? And how many centimeters are the four longest uncurled fronds? I am really getting intimate here, probing for the most personal of details, and ready—yes—to post it all online on the Fern Watch website. Researchers there won’t handle this information discreetly. Instead they share among themselves and all their citizen scientists, using our data to learn more about how redwood forests are responding to climate change.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment

Eat, Sleep, Repeat: Crowdsourcing The Data Of A Baby’s Typical Day

By Guest | December 14, 2016 3:32 pm

babysleepstudy_logo_1By Kaitlin Vortherms

For many new parents, trying to figure out what a baby needs can feel like taking care of a tiny alien. It doesn’t speak your language and yet you have to figure out what it needs to stay alive. And while there is no shortage of advice about how to manage your child’s eating and sleeping patterns, there hasn’t been much new research in this area to inform parents and pediatricians. So how do you know if you’re getting it right?

This is the gap researchers at New York University are bridging in the Baby Sleep Study, which aims to create a large database of eating and sleeping patterns in babies from across the world.  In particular, the researchers note that developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, are often associated with disrupted sleep or digestion. By tracking these behaviors starting in infancy, the researchers hope to pinpoint just how early these patterns begin to emerge. Read More

Winter Birding- Seasonal Citizen Science for Everyone!

By Eva Lewandowski | December 8, 2016 3:39 pm
Photo: USFWS

Photo: USFWS

Citizen scientists have been studying birds for over 100 years, and some of the most popular projects involve observing birds throughout the winter.  Below, we highlight five projects that study birds during the winter.  Whether you want to watch birds while outdoors or from the comfort of your home, we have a project for you!  Find more with the SciStarter Project Finder.

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Photo: USFWS
Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey
In the United States, volunteers are needed in the first half of January to look for eagles along standard survey routes. It’s always a treat to count these majestic birds!

Photo: USFWS
Puget Sound Seabird Survey 
From October to April, volunteers in Washington state walk the coastline counting overwintering water birds. Data are collected on over 50 species!

Photo: USFWS
South Texas Wintering Birds
Many birds spend the winter in South Texas. If you go birding anywhere in the region, either in an urban or rural area, report your bird sightings to this project.

Photo: Jean Pennycock
Study Adelie Penguin Breeding
This is a great project for classrooms in November through January. Using online photos and data from Antarctica, students can study Adelie Penguin behavior. The project offers many online resources for educators.

Photo: USFWS
Project FeederWatch
If you enjoy watching birds from your window, this is the perfect project for you! In North America, citizen scientists can observe and report on the birds visiting their feeders during the winter months.

Help SciStarter help you! Take this 10 minute survey on what information you find most important about projects. Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment
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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.
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