Abstract: Citizen science has a long history in the ecological sciences and has made substantial contributions to science, education, and society. Developments in information technology during the last few decades have created new opportunities for citizen science to engage ever larger audiences of volunteers to help address some of ecology’s most pressing issues, such as…

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This is what I love about citizen science. Because of its distributed nature, the sorts of questions that can be tackled are as varied as the multitude of ways in which humans commonly interact with the world around them. So it shouldn’t be surprising that we can use citizen science to gather data on the behavior…

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The Practical Farmers of Iowa have released their latest study on the effects of apple cider vinegar supplementation in feeder pigs. Apple cider vinegar is held to being a health tonic that promotes beneficial gut bacteria, improves digestion of feedstuffs, enhances performance, and helps decrease parasite load. PFI cooperator, Tom Frantzen, supplemented three groups of…

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Abstract: The prospect of newly-emerging, technology-enabled, unregulated citizen science health research poses a substantial challenge for traditional research ethics. Unquestionably, a significant amount of research ethics study is needed to prepare for the inevitable, widespread introduction of citizen science health research. Using the case study of mobile health research, this article provides an ethical, legal,…

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In 2011, the New York Public Library (NYPL) released 9,000 digitized restaurant menus with “delicious data” that had been “frozen as pixels,” making the menus difficult to search, index, and discover online. Along with the menus, the NYPL launched an interface that asked the public to help transcribe the thousands of menus and the hundreds…

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I was on a call with Teresa Murphy-Skorzova, Community Growth Manager for OpenSignal, an app that uses crowd-sourcing to aggregate cell phone signals and WiFi strength data throughout the world. Teresa began to explain how OpenSignal maps signal strength and how this process contrasts the way cell phone networks map it. “We aren’t following a…

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In honor of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference; the critical role that citizen science can play in understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change. – LFF    Climate change is a very real problem facing our planet. The term “climate change” can cover a great many things, some natural and some man…

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New research led by ecologists at the University of York shows that certain species of moths and butterflies are becoming more common, and others rarer, as species differ in how they respond to climate change. Collaborating with the Natural Environment Research Council’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the charity Butterfly Conservation, the University of Reading…

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Forgotten trees from long lost orchards and 20th-century city landscaping are being rediscovered in urban areas, and their fruits are proving not only largely free of urban pollutants, but more nutritious than their retail counterparts. Scientists at Wellesley College have joined forces with the League of Urban Canners (LUrC), based in Cambridge/Somerville and greater Boston…

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