Stall Catchers citizen science game to host its first international “Catchathon”

By Guest | July 10, 2017 5:27 pm

If you’re familiar with “hackathons” – intense hacking marathons, or “mapathons” – mapping parties commonly held by mappers worldwide, the term “catchathon” might be starting to make some sense by now. If not – read on. There’s a marathon of Alzheimer’s citizen science coming on July 22nd, and you can be part of it! Read More

Citizen Scientists Diving to Study The Mystery of Manta Rays

By Kristin Butler | July 8, 2017 10:17 am

This post is part of our Divers’ series. We encourage readers to continue the conversation by adding their own comments, question or concerns on our Facebook page. You’ll find links to other posts at the end of this story. 

Two years ago I rang in the New Year by scuba diving with giant manta rays off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. It was a bucket list experience I will never forget and one that introduced me to a new form of citizen science.

That evening, after enjoying a late afternoon dive among sea turtles and tropical fish, my fellow divers and I returned to the boat for snacks and some instruction. Our dive leader went over the protocols for a night dive and reminded us that rays are a vulnerable species that we must not touch. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Living World

Citizen Science with your sun, sand, and surf?

By Darlene Cavalier | July 6, 2017 12:46 pm
Citizen Science at the Beach
While you’re strolling along the beach this summer, consider sharing some of your keen observations with marine ecologists. Below, we’ve highlighted six beach-related citizen science projects to monitor the health of marine habitats. There is even one you can do while couch-surfing (see what we did there?). Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

JellyWatch
JellyWatch
Have you seen a jellyfish at your favorite beach yet? Jellywatch is a global public database documenting jellyfish but also red tides, squid and mammal strandings, and other indicators of ocean health. It’s simple to share your beach observations with this open database.
Location: Any coastal beach

E. Demers
British Columbia Beached Bird Survey
Surveying bird mortality is a helpful measure of marine ecology health. If you spot a dead bird along the beach, send in your observation to these researchers.
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Maui Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring
Maui Coastal Marine Debris Monitoring  
Help quantify and remove debris from Maui’s coastline. Contact project organizer Pacific Whale Foundation to get supplies before heading out. This project also works with schools to support conservation education.
Location: Maui, HI 

Big Seaweed Search
Monitor environmental changes along the coastlines of the United Kingdom. These observations help track the distribution of native plants and the occurrence of invasive species.
Location: United Kingdom

Beam Reach, CC-NC-SA
Orcasound
Help protect the habitat of the endangered Pacific Northwest orca. Listen in real time to underwater sounds and record when you hear orca sounds or threatening man-made sounds.
Location: Online

Susan Hicks
Grunion Greeters
This project reports on the behavior of grunions, silvery fish that come ashore to spawn. Grunion runs occur about this time each year. If you missed the run, you can use SciStarter’s Bookmark feature to be reminded of this project next season.
Location: California, USA 

Want more citizen science?  Discover more citizen science for this summer on the SciStarter Calendar.  Also, 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

Could you be a plant whisperer?

By Catherine Hoffman | June 27, 2017 2:39 pm
What are plants trying to tell us?
Take a moment to look at and listen to the plants around you. Are they blooming earlier than usual? Are they playing host to pollinators? Do you know their names? Summer is finally here and the plants in our yards, parks, and schools are probably in full bloom. Below we’ve highlighted four citizen science projects that help you help plants tell their stories. Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Living World

Why “SciStarter is excellent for citizen science.”

By Darlene Cavalier | June 24, 2017 11:31 am

Well thank you for the kind words, Pietro Michelucci (founder of EyesOnALZ, a crowdsourcing platform designed to accelerate Alzheimer’s research). Pietro is one of 15 project and platform partners we’ve been working with to test and deploy a suite of new citizen science tools.

For the past two years, thanks to support from the National Science Foundation, the SciStarter team has been hard at work building tools, partnerships, and methodologies to help connect millions of citizen scientists to thousands of projects in need of their help and, at the same time, break down barriers currently preventing participants from reaching their full potential.

SciStarter is a National Science Foundation-supported, project agnostic platform supporting recruitment and retention of volunteers into over 1,500 citizen science initiatives from hundreds of organizations. The platform also facilitates studies to improve our understanding of citizen science in partnership with Arizona State University, North Carolina State University, Colorado State University, Cornell and dozens of other collaborators, including the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science.

Last week, Dr. Caren Cooper and I had the pleasure of unveiling “SciStarter 2.0” at an event in Washington, D.C.  Attendees were from the National Science Foundation, USGS, Department of Energy, Institute for Museum and Library Services, EPA, NPR, National Parks Service, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, and other organizations.

We described some trends, opportunities, and challenges in citizen science (particularly related to recruiting, training, equipping and retaining participants) from the eye-of-the-storm perspective of SciStarter.

This event included:

– a brief overview of citizen science;

– a presentation and soft-launch of SciStarter 2.0, a smart collection of web components, including a dashboard and integrated login, designed to extend, enhance, and enrich participant experiences while at the same time supporting STEM research and enabling research on motivations and learning outcomes of participants;

– and a discussion on future directions for SciStarter 3.0, given the opportunities and challenges facing participants, project organizers/researchers, and supporting agencies and foundations.

You can watch a recording of the presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3or9U629wwE ) and view our slides by clicking on the image below. The slides provide details about the new tools we’ve deployed through a growing network of projects and platforms, as well as personal perspectives from the project owners using these tools (including quotes that made us blush, like the one from Pietro Michelucci).

We sincerely hope you enjoy the new SciStarter and we’d love to hear your ideas on how we can continue to empower people by providing better access to protocols, instruments, communities and ongoing support.  If you’re interested in working with SciStarter to advance your own research, we’d love to hear from you, too!  Please don’t hesitate to reach us at info@SciStarter.com .

Cheers!
Cooper Cavalier SciStarter 2.0

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Uncategorized

Capturing the Total Solar Eclipse, One Photo at a Time

By Guest | June 21, 2017 9:00 am

By: Alexei V. Filippenko and Hugh Hudson

Diagram of a solar eclipse. Credit: Google

Diagram of a solar eclipse. Credit: Google

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will trace a shadow over a narrow band of the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.  And if you own a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera*, you can become a part of scientific history by joining hundreds of other photographers to make the first crowdsourced image archive of a total solar eclipse from coast to coast.

The “Eclipse Megamovie” project aims to capture many types of solar phenomena with images taken along the path of totality of the August 21 eclipse by over 1,000 trained volunteers, as well as photos from many more members of the general public through the use of smartphones and simple cameras. This first-of-its-kind citizen science project is a partnership between Google, UC Berkeley, and many others. Our primary goal is to collect as much imagery as possible and to hold it in a vast public-domain archive for future study.  Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Space & Physics

Science Heroes at Work

By Guest | June 20, 2017 12:21 pm

By Amy Sterling

Four years ago a citizen science game called Eyewire hatched from Seung Lab, then at MIT and now at Princeton. Its goal was to pair up gamers with a challenge that has been bottlenecking neuroscience for decades: mapping the brain. Over the years the project grew. Hundreds of thousands of people helped, enabling new discoveries and stunning visualizations of neuronsRead More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Mind & Brain

Describe Your Desk Doohickey for Fidget Widget!

By Guest | June 16, 2017 11:50 am

By: Nina Friedman

When I hit a mental roadblock while I’m working, moving always helps. I can’t keep my brain moving unless my body is moving. I might get up from my desk and take a little walk but if I’m in a time crunch I’ll just fidget around in my chair or tap out a fun rhythm. As a growing body of research shows, cognitive functioning increases when we move. In other words, moving helps us think.

While Dr. Michael Karlesky was studying for his PhD at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, he teamed up with his advisor Dr. Katherine Isbister at UC Santa Cruz’s Baskin School of Engineering to pioneer research about fidgeting. They are asking groundbreaking questions about the movements we make while we are sedentary.
Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Mind & Brain

Celebrate Pollinator Week with buzzing science just for you

By Catherine Hoffman | June 13, 2017 9:20 am
Pollinator Week is on its way!
Celebrate the bees, bugs, bats, birds, and more that help pollinate our plants. National Pollinator Week is June 19-25. Explore the buzzing science below to find a way to contribute to pollinator science this month.  Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science

Participate in Citizen Science to Celebrate World Oceans Day

By Guest | June 8, 2017 4:28 pm

This article was originally posted on August 21, 2013 but we thought this project provided a great way to celebrate World Oceans Day even if you can’t make it to the beach!

Screen-shot-2013-08-19-at-12.17.34-PM-250x180Calling all citizen scientists! It doesn’t matter where you are. You can still be an ‘honorary’ diver to help with this project. The idea is simply to look at seafloor photos on your computer and catalogue what you find.

Explore the Sea Floor is part of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) using their state-of-the-art Automated Underwater Vehicle (AUV), which has several incorporated cameras. “The goal is to produce seafloor images of Australia’s coastal shelf so that we can quantify biodiversity at a continental scale and determine the effects of climate change,” says Dr. Ezequiel Marzinelli, from the Centre of Marine Bio-innovation at University of New South Wales and one of the several scientists involved in the project. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment
MORE ABOUT: World Oceans Day
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