There’s only one more day until this weekend’s USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo in Washington, DC!
The Science for Citizens team has been hard at work putting together an engaging, interesting, and fun exhibit featuring some terrific citizen science projects. Remember, we’ll be at Section PA-13, Booth Numbers 1229 and 1231, on Pennsylvania Ave NW from 10 am-5:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Stop by to meet the entire Science for Citizens team and our collaborating partners.
All this week, we’ve been featuring short Q&As with our collaborators to give you an idea of what you can do at the Science for Citizens exhibit. So far, we’ve covered coyote tracking with Anne from Earthwatch, bird research with Mary from Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, and macroinvertebrate sampling with Lindsay from Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Steve from JellyWatch. That’s right–jellyfish! And, to top it all off, we’ll even have real jellyfish at the exhibit.
Take it away, Steve!
Steve, tell us about yourself.
I’m Steve Haddock. I’m a marine biologist and researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Monterey, California. I study the diversity and bioluminescence of different kinds of jellyfish. The JellyWatch project was created along with Katherine Elliott.
What is your citizen science project?
Our project is jellywatch.org –a website that gathers and shares reports of observations of marine animals and especially jellyfish. We are trying to establish a baseline for what are high- and low-jellyfish years, in waters around the world. This will help us determine whether and in what ways the ocean might be changing. The data can also be downloaded by anyone for their own curiosity or research project.
What can people do at your demonstration?
We will be showing our site, along with some of the great photos and sightings that people have submitted. When people stop by, if they recall a jellyfish sighting they encountered, they can add it to our database on-site. We’ll also have some JellyWatch magnets to help spread the word.
What is your favorite part about working in citizen science?
Interacting with the global community is extremely rewarding. On any given day we can have sightings from three or four different continents, and it really is a great feeling. It is also interesting seeing the photos of jellies from all over. Interacting one-to-one with people at facebook.com/jellywatch is also a fun way to engage curious nature-lovers.