A once-in-a-lifetime bird

Read the full story at The Verge.

Birding saved one man’s life. Maybe it can save the rest of us from climate change?

Monumental Trees

At Monumentaltrees.com, thousands of photosmeasurements, and location details of often unknown monumental trees can be found of many species, like giant sequoiaoak treessweet chestnut trees, and many others. You can upload your own photos or add new trees.

Community-led science uncovers high air pollution from fracking in Ohio county

Read the full story from the Columbia Climate School.

Some residents of Belmont County in eastern Ohio have long suffered from headaches, fatigue, nausea and burning sensations in their throats and noses. They suspected these symptoms were the result of air pollution from fracking facilities that dominate the area, but regulators dismissed and downplayed their concerns.

With the technical assistance of volunteer scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, MIT and the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange, local advocacy groups set up their own network of low-cost sensors. They found that the region’s three EPA sensors were not providing an accurate picture: The sensors revealed concerning levels of air pollution, and correlations between local spikes and health impacts.

The results are published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

‘Moth highways’ could help resist climate change impact

Read the full story from the University of Reading.

Real data gathered by volunteers was combined with new computer models for the first time to reveal which UK moth species are struggling to expand into new regions and the landscape barriers restricting their movement. Farmland and suburban moths were found to be struggling most, with hills or regions with variable temperatures acting as barriers. This has implications for British wildlife being forced to move to adapt to climate change, and habitat restoration in challenging areas could help wildlife movement.

Poll the audience: Using data from citizen science to keep wild birds in flight

Read the full story from Utah State University.

Using the eyes and ears of public volunteers can stretch the reach of science, according to a new analysis from Erica Stuber from the Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center. Stuber and a team of researchers examined the accuracy of information produced by citizen science apps for monitoring bird populations. They compared publicly-produced data with officially tracked numbers from monitoring programs and found that, with some refinement, data from citizen scientists could offer a lot of utility for researchers.

SIU researcher enlists citizen scientists to help track sounds of biodiversity

Read the full story at the Southern Illinoisan.

A Southern Illinois University Carbondale scientist is asking the public to keep its ears open in the name of monitoring biodiversity.

Starting May 1, Brent Pease, an assistant professor in the forestry program, will kick off Sounds of Nature, a community research project aimed at understanding changes in biodiversity over time by recording and monitoring so-called “soundscapes,” the collective sounds emanating from a given area. The effort runs through July 15 and plans call for it to continue annually.

In the first year of the project, Pease is focusing efforts in Southern Illinois and specifically its southern-most 16 counties. Pease, along with forestry graduate student Elaine Metz and Shasta Corvus, of the School of Forestry & Horticulture, plan to monitor some predetermined areas. But they hope to fill in the gaps with help from citizen scientists.

Poll the audience: Using data from citizen science to keep wild birds in flight

Read the full story from Utah State University.

New research examines the accuracy of information produced by citizen science apps for monitoring bird populations and found that it could actually offer a lot of utility for researchers, with some caveats.

Sharing what you see outside could help research. Here’s how to do that in 3 steps

Read the full story from NPR.

If you’ve been forced to stay close to home and spend more time outside like millions of Americans in the past couple of years, you might have noticed a lot more of what happens – naturally – in your neighborhood. From the songs of sparrows outside your apartment window to the purple crocuses bursting into bloom in a nearby park – all that nature you’re observing could actually be helpful to scientists.

Regular people like you and me can share what we see with scientists through apps and websites. That’s called “citizen” or “community” science. With our observations, we can help professional scientists study everything from the migratory patterns of birds to neighborhood air quality.

Why would scientists want to crowdsource? “A single scientist can work for years trying to collect as many observations as a crowdsourced project could collect in a month,” explains Maiz Connolly, the community science coordinator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

There are thousands of community science projects out there, and if you’ve got a smartphone or computer, you can participate in them. Here’s how to get started:

To know if citizen science is successful, measure it

Read the full story in Horizon.

It’s never been easy to accurately measure the impact of any scientific research, but it’s even harder for citizen science projects, which don’t follow traditional methods. Public involvement places citizen science in a new era of data collection, one that requires a new measurement plan.

A very British climate project unites soggy weather and a Victorian work ethic

Read the full story in the New York Times.

As Britain went into its first Covid lockdown, a scientist asked for help transcribing rainfall records spanning three centuries. Thousands of people online answered the call.