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Citizen Science Over the Summer

posted Jul 11, 2013, 12:50 PM by Mary Bozenmayer   [ updated Jul 11, 2013, 1:00 PM ]
I've gathered some resources that you may find interesting or helpful over the summer!

*What is "citizen science"?*   (Find the answer at the bottom of this post!)

1. Project Noah                     
"Have you ever been walking outside and seen an animal, like a bird, and couldn’t identify it? When this happened, did you think, “Gee, it sure would be helpful to have an easy way to take a picture of the animal and be able to identify it.” Well, the Project Noah app can help you do just that! You can grab a photo of a plant or animal that you need help identifying, submit it to the project and community members can help identify the living organism."\

2. mPING                          
Help NOAA track the weather!      
"Meteorological Phenomena Identification Near the Ground (mPING) is a project to collect weather information from the public through their smart phone or mobile device. The free mPING mobile app was developed through a partnership between NSSL, the University of Oklahoma and the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies.

Users with the mPING app can select what type of weather is occurring and submit a report. The user’s location and the time of the observation are automatically included, and they can send reports every minute if they choose."

3. Did You See It?                  

"Did You See It? (DYSI?) is a new website developed by the USGS Landslide Hazards Program that asks anyone who saw a landslide anywhere in the country to report their observations. These observations will build a much larger and more complete database that will help scientists gain a clearer picture of how landslides affect the entire United States."

4. FrogWatch USA                            

"FrogWatch USA is AZA’s flagship citizen science program that allows individuals and families to learn about the wetlands in their communities and help conserve amphibians by reporting the calls of local frogs and toads."

5. Journey North                                 

Help scientists track the migration of Monarch butterflies.

What is Citizen Science?

While an exact definition of citizen science remains elusive, it generally refers to research collaborations between scientists and volunteers that expand opportunities for scientific data collection while also providing access to scientific information for community members. Citizen science programs may be appropriate for supporting research questions that are long-term and/or large-scale in nature, requiring significantly more data than a single researcher or small research team could compile. To date, long-term data collected by citizen scientists has provided evidence about species distribution as well as identified some impacts climate disruption has had on wildlife. Moving forward, as the pace of large-scale ecosystem change increases, data collected by citizen scientists will continue to grow in importance.    (