Public participation in scientific research has surged in popularity and prominence in recent years through the connections of the world wide web, an explosion of smartphone pocket computing power, and a slow cultural change within professional science toward a more open and welcoming research environment. Today, the White House affirmed the potential for citizen science…

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With its striking orange and black coloring and transcontinental range, the monarch butterfly is probably the most recognizable insect in North America.  All pollinators are important to maintaining our food supply, but monarchs also have a key role in education; for decades schoolchildren across North America have been raising and releasing monarchs as part of…

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In my last blog post, I introduced Matthew Maury, an American naval officer who began a citizen science project in the mid-1800s that transformed seafaring and drew society closer to science. Now let’s meet his British counterpart, William Whewell, an elite scholar who engaged the public to understand the tides, but in so doing helped…

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  After the blockbuster movie Jaws, two silly things happened: kids started calling me Hooper (instead of Cooper) and I was afraid even in the deep end of a swimming pool. Logic can battle fear, but not necessarily win. Even though there are hundreds of species of sharks, and about 20 types that ever harm…

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How To Know When to Mow

We know that grassland habitats are important for the birds we love to watch throughout the summer. Bluebirds and swallows in particular prefer the view from their nest box or tree cavity to be an open, grassy expanse complete with wildflowers and insects. And in order to maintain this picturesque “early-successional” habitat for our avian…

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White lipped tree frog (by Felanox/Wikipedia,/CC BY-SA 3.0) This is an except of a story that ran in the February 2015 issue of Association of Zoos and Aquariums monthly magazine, Connect. Looking for amphibious citizen science projects? Look no further! SciStarter has some lined up for you right here. By Cathie Gandel At dusk, Carolyn Rinaldi…

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A desert horned lizard was one of several species of lizards found by researchers during a survey of reptiles in Joshua Tree National Park on April 1. Scientists with UC Riverside and the national park have been working with volunteers to survey plants and animals in a project that aims to track the effects of…

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