“It’s like CSI for animals!”

Yet another reason to visit to Seattle (one of these days!).

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

The Seward Park Environmental and Audubon Center,  a partnership between the National Audubon Society and the City of Seattle, Department of Parks and Recreation, invites citizen scientists to help track the DNA–and thereby the mating habits–of Bald Eagles.

Putting it bluntly, the scientists want to know: Are Bald Eagles sexual monogamists?

Help the researchers at Seward Park learn:

“Who is sleeping with who, who is loyal to a genetic fault, and who might be raising eaglets from another eagle’s genetic line? To determine the answers to these questions, we’re on a mission to create a library of the DNA fingerprints of all the eagles who live in or visit Seward Park! It’s like CSI for animals!”

Here’s how Seattle dwellers can help: First, collect eagle feathers you find in the park and give them to the park researchers. Then, if you’re interested in taking part in the lab work which includes “spooling” the DNA (or separating DNA fragments according to their size) send a message here!

For more information, check out the Raptor DNA project description in the Sci4Cits Project Finder. And, as always, be sure to share your experiences with others on your own Sci4Cits member blog!

Categories: Biology, Birds, Citizen Science

About the Author

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a Professor at Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter. She is also the founder of Science Cheerleader, an organization of more than 300 current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers, and a cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a network of universities, science centers, and think tanks that produces public deliberations to enhance science policymaking. She is a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences "Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning" committee. She is the author of The Science of Cheerleading and co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by Arizona State University. Darlene holds degrees from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a high school, college and NBA cheerleader. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.