You know an organization is serious about science when they dedicate 15 years to a research project. Well, that’s exactly what the Seattle Aquarium is doing with their citizen science program — a fifteen year program to characterize and study the habitats of seven Seattle-area beaches.
At the heart of the program are teams of citizen science-trained high school students, who record the presence or absence of 24 marine species within selected areas across the beaches. Students receive 20 hours of training and conduct data collection for the long-term study in addition to conducting their own independent projects.
Want to know what they accomplished in 2009? Check out this comprehensive 2009 Data Report, which details observations of changes in blue mussels, snails, macroflora, anemones, crabs, barcales, and limpets.
The Aquarium intends to continue these surveys with students for another 12 years to determine trends along the beaches, which means there is plenty of time for you to get involved. But why wait? Monnitoring for this year will begin as early as this April and May.
Check out the Seattle Aquarium Citizen Science page and contact their program coordinate for more details.