Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Citizen Science

Nearly everyone finds time to get outdoors in the summer. Families, friends, bicyclists, hikers, divers, photographers and more are doing activities set in nature. So what better time for scientists to recruit extra eyes, ears, and hands for reporting on mother nature's residents and mysteries. 

Discover magazine and SciStarter's new online Citizen Science Salon allows everyone to become amateur scientists and collaborate on important research projects.

Interested in marine research? MyOSD-Ocean Sampling Day is scheduled for June 21st. Seahorse lovers can help improve understanding of those ocean friends at iSeahorse. Want to help gather information about horseshoe crab hitchhikers and phytoplankton? Get started here (horseshoe crabs) and here (phytoplankton). You can also help analyze deep-sea videos (15 seconds at a time) with Digital Fishers

How about sorting out whale sounds? Each family of Killer Whales has its own dialect. Closely-related families share calls. Get the details at WhaleFM.

More interested in outer than inner space? The Moon Zoo project helps identify and map the moon using images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. 

Want to look further? The Kepler spacecraft stares at stars in the Cygnus constellation and records their brightness every thirty minutes to search for transiting planets. Help out at Planet Hunters.

Didn't see your favorite science project? The Citizen Science Alliance keeps a list of current projects. An internet search for citizen science will also turn up more projects at different universities and agencies. Go science!

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