Excerpt: Thin, blade-like walls, some as tall as a 16-story building, dominate a previously undocumented network of intersecting ridges on Mars, found in images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The simplest explanation for these impressive ridges is that lava flowed into pre-existing fractures in the ground and later resisted erosion better than material around them….

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Excerpt: Nairobi, 18 January 2016: Kenya faces diverse sustainability challenges such as climate change, degraded ecosystems, poor health, waterborne diseases, and poor waste management. Unsuitable consumption patterns and limited environmental awareness are compounding the problem. There is, therefore, an increased need for capacity development, environmental awareness, and information exchange to foster a generation of environmentally…

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This story has all the elements: a citizen scientist, a mobile phone, and the frankly astonishing complexity of Earth’s ecosystems. Our citizen scientist protagonist, C R Naik, sets a model for how to infuse biodiversity monitoring with vigilant attention. This kind of attention blends multiple senses and sets aside assumptions, letting us dig deeper into…

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Excerpt: Back in 2002, in his first year as a graduate student at Ohio State University, Joshua Pepper was sitting in his office one day when a professor walked by and asked what he was doing. Nothing much, Pepper said. Good, the professor replied. Then you’ll have time to work on my project. Pepper, an…

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Abstract: Citizen-science programs have the potential to contribute to the management of invasive species, including Python molurus bivittatus (Burmese Python) in Florida. We characterized citizen-science—generated Burmese Python information from Everglades National Park (ENP) to explore how citizen science may be useful in this effort. As an initial step, we compiled and summarized records of Burmese…

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Excerpt: Myriad Sensors launched a first of its kind Citizen Science experiment to test what happens to packages as they are shipped through the mail. The experiment will involve hundreds of packages and millions of data points as sensors travel to people around the globe. Data will include the temperature, humidity, pressure, and orientation of…

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Input from about 10,000 volunteers viewing images from Martian south polar regions has identified targets for closer inspection, yielding new insights about seasonal slabs of frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) and erosional features called “spiders.” The volunteers from around the world have been exploring the surface of Mars by examining images from the Context Camera…

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Editor’s Choice: This article is an excellent example of crowd-based monitoring for public health purposes using the ubiquity of smartphones in urban environments. — LFF — Abstract: In this study, we attempted to assess the feasibility of collecting population health data via mobile devices. Specifically, we constructed noise maps based on sound information monitored by individuals’ smartphones….

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This introduction points to the second issue of the Journal of Science Communication’s special series on citizen science. The first had much of interest, and this looks like an interesting one too. — CJL — Abstract: This issue forms Part II of JCOM’s collection of articles and essays exploring the field of citizen science. Here…

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Abstract: Urbanization is widespread throughout the United States and Canada. Studies at different scales have shown mixed consequences of urban areas for ecological communities and biodiversity. Here, we use geographic data on urban extent and survey data from the Christmas Bird Count to investigate the influence of urbanization on winter bird diversity over a continental…

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