Excerpt: Sleepy sea otters piling onto pads of pickleweed in Elkhorn Slough are causing quite a stir. A partnership between local researchers and dedicated citizen scientists is researching Elkhorn Slough’s rebounding sea otter populations and the strange behavior that might have brought them there. The results of this years-long study, published in the journal Ecology,…

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Excerpt: FIU deployed more than 100 citizen scientists to investigate whether flooding from the most recent King Tide in October was bringing saltwater or freshwater inland to urban areas. The findings could provide critical clues as to why such unusual flooding is occurring in South Florida, what areas are most at-risk and whether the frequency…

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Abstract: Cities are under pressure to operate their services effectively and project costs of operations across various timeframes. In high-latitude and high-altitude urban centers, snow management is one of the larger unknowns and has both operational and budgetary limitations. Snowfall and snow depth observations within urban environments are important to plan snow clearing and prepare…

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Excerpt: Along the jagged coast of Maine, prehistoric shell middens mark spots where Maine Indians feasted on clams, shells and other seafood, then tossed aside the remains. “Midden,” to archaeologists, means the waste left behind by long-gone humans. In practice, though, these ancient garbage heaps contain a treasure trove of data that can shed light…

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Abstract: A survey of 345 volunteer water monitoring programs in the United States was conducted to document their characteristics, and perceived level of support for data to inform natural resource management or policy decisions. The response rate of 86% provided information from 46 states. Programs represented a range of ages, budgets, objectives, scopes, and level…

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Editor’s Choice: And accompanying the more disheartening article about scientists’ attitudes towards citizen science, here is a small ray of hope where we hear about one scientist’s journey of accepting citizen science as a legitimate methodology through actual participation in a citizen science project. — LFF — Excerpt: For years I scoffed at the very…

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Editor’s Choice: Getting meta with the data. This study examines learning as well as pre- and post- attitudes of college biology students who participate in, what I’d term “deep” inquiry-based learning. The college students were not only assigned to analyze a species’ potential response to climate change using citizen science phenology data, but also to…

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Abstract: This paper aims to explore the apparently rising trend of unaffiliated researchers. It does so by analyzing a set of scholarly publications where the authors state “independent researcher” in place of their affiliation. Some of the characteristics of this set are explained along with directions on how to expand research on this topic. Source:…

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Abstract: Mobile apps and web-based platforms are increasingly used in citizen science projects. While extensive research has been done in multiple areas of studies, from Human-Computer Interaction to public engagement in science, we are not aware of a collection of recommendations specific for citizen science that provides support and advice for planning, design and data…

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Editor’s Choice: This article shows how much work remains to be done to convince our scientific colleagues that, appropriately applied, citizen science is a unique tool that can produce excellent science. — LFF — Abstract: Increased interest in public engagement with science worldwide has resulted in the growth of funding opportunities for scientists in the…

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