Measure and record earliest signs of hurricane Irene

Scientists want you to record and share rain measurements and other on-the-ground observations in part to help pinpoint hurricane Irene’s actions, determine her next steps, and better predict and react to future storms. In addition to your help recording on-the-ground rain precipitation, scientists rely on watershed volunteers to provide important clues about the effects of … Read more “Measure and record earliest signs of hurricane Irene”

Categories: Climate & Weather, Geology & Earth Sciences, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water

Did you feel the earthquake? Three ways to report it

Here are three ways you can report earthquake-related information and contribute to a global map of critical earthquake data. Did you feel it? Help researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey learn more about the recent earthquake that shook parts of the east coast. Did you feel it? Share information and contribute to a map of … Read more “Did you feel the earthquake? Three ways to report it”

Categories: Citizen Science, Geology & Earth Sciences

Tracking the Wild Horseshoe Crabs of New York

On June 1, 2011 at 11:51 PM, a group of people assembled on the beach in Northpoint, New York. There was no moon shining that night, not even a sliver. The people carried flashlights or wore headlamps. They held clipboards and paper. Their mission: to report where horseshoe crabs were spotted along the beach. This was just one of several places along New York’s shoreline where people collect data about horseshoe crabs. Volunteers also amassed on dark beaches in Stony Brook, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Westhampton. In all, volunteers monitored the comings and goings of horseshoe crabs at ten New York beaches that night. They are a part of the New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network, a group of citizen scientists who are documenting where horseshoe crabs emerge from the water to lay eggs along beaches in New York State. On specific dates through the spring and early summer, participants collect data about the number of horseshoe crabs and identify their size and sex. They attach tags to the horseshoe crabs bulky exoskeleton and look for tags from prior years. … Read more

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Ocean & Water Don’t just sit there–do some science!

Amy Mayer at wrote a nice story about citizen science, featuring a few insights from Science for Citizens contributors Drs. Lisa Gardiner and John Ohab. Here’s a quick excerpt: Aspiring research scientists, environmentalists, mobile technology aficionados and video game buffs all can contribute to myriad citizen science projects, along the way joining a global … Read more “ Don’t just sit there–do some science!”

Categories: Citizen Science, In the News

Whales and Glaciers: A Citizen Science Adventure

Guest post by Kate Atkins If your first thoughts when you hear the word “cruise” are fruity drinks with paper umbrellas, jet skis, and late nights in the hot tub: think again. Replace the hot tub with Mendenhall Glacier, the fruity drink with test tubes of fresh stream water, and the jet ski with a … Read more “Whales and Glaciers: A Citizen Science Adventure”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Birds, Chemistry, Citizen Science, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water

What’s in your water heater? NASA wants to know!

Researchers at Penn State University need your help to study the distribution of microorganisms in household hot water heaters. Turns out your everyday hot water heater can double as a model hot spring, one of Earth’s extreme environments where important clues about microbial life in the Solar System might be found. First, researchers want to … Read more “What’s in your water heater? NASA wants to know!”

Categories: Astronomy & Space, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Health, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water

Divers Help Quell the Roar of Invasive Lionfish

It seems strange to mark the location of a fish, doesn’t it? They can swim and move away from the marker, right? I wonder while standing on a dock waiting for the boat that will take about ten of us out to a reef. There, we will scuba dive for fun and also mark the locations of lionfish, an invasive species in the Caribbean. Volunteer divers on the Dutch island of Bonaire are helping Bonaire National Marine Park eliminate invasive lionfish from its coral reefs by marking the locations where the fish are found. A diver who spots a lionfish is instructed to attach a small flag, provided by the park, to a rock near the fish. The answers to my questions about marking fish locations become clear once I splash into the water and see the fish and flag markers for myself. Swimming along sections of reef, I saw dozens of flags that had been placed there by divers and each had one or more lionfish hovering nearby. It turns out that lionfish don’t stray far from their particular nook of reef. They stay near the markers. It’s illegal to hunt or in any way harm marine life in the waters surrounding Bonaire. Except, that is, for lionfish. They are beautiful fish, placidly fluttering their glitzy ruffle of fins, and hovering next to their flags. Yet, a voracious appetite for reef fish combined with a high rate of reproduction and no known predators in the Caribbean make lionfish a threat to biodiversity. Native to the Pacific, the lionfish is an invasive species in the Caribbean. … Read more

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Ocean & Water

Meet us at the World Maker Faire in NYC!

Science For Citizens is teaming up with Discover Magazine to help inspire more people to get involved in citizen science activities! Come get your hands dirty with science at the World Maker Faire in NYC, September 17-18 at the NY Hall of Science. Organized by the staff of MAKE magazine, and, Maker Faire … Read more “Meet us at the World Maker Faire in NYC!”

Categories: Citizen Science, Science Cheerleaders