Citizen Science on the Radio: IceWatch USA on WHYY’s the Pulse

IceWatch USA volunteer Bob Berke prepares to measure ice in Delaware County. (Kimberly Haas/for The Pulse)

This week on The Pulse and SciStarter’s segment about citizen science, producer Kimberly Haas talks to IceWatch USA and Nature’s Notebook (a project of the National Phenology Network) to explore what local bodies of water can tell us about climate change.

Listen here! Here’s an excerpt from WHYY’s related blog post:

“Concerns about climate change often focus on melting ice: glaciers are receding, polar bears are losing their frosty habitats, and our winters seem to be getting warmer, the recent cold snaps notwithstanding. IceWatch USA, a national project enlisting citizen science volunteers to measure ice over the course of the winter, is collecting data to quantify those changes.

Volunteer ice watchers first select a body of water that’s accessible to them during the winter. It could be a lake, a pond, or a stream. They collect data at that site, which is then crunched and analyzed by scientists who study climate change and other environmental issues.”

Learn more about how this is done and how this all contributes to a larger picture!

The Pulse is WHYY’s weekly one-hour radio program focused on health, science and innovation in the Philadelphia region. The show will explore the personal stories of illness and recovery, discovery, health and science trends and much more. Working with SciStarter’s founder, Darlene Cavalier, the show will also take a close look at citizen science initiatives in the PA, NJ, DE region and report out on which projects are gaining the most traction and yielding effective results. WHYY’s Behavioral Health Reporter, Maiken Scott, will host the program every Friday at 9 a.m. with a rebroadcast on Sunday mornings. Here’s where to listen:

Here’s where you can help. If you’re a citizen science researcher, project manager, or participant in the PA, NJ, or DE areas, we want to hear from you! If you have an interesting story to share about a citizen science project or experience, let us know. Send your stories for consideration to


WHYY (90.9FM in Philadelphia) Friday on-air schedule:

6-9 a.m. – Morning Edition
9-10 a.m. – The Pulse
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Radio Times
10 a.m. following Sunday  — The Pulse rebroadcast

Categories: Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, In the News, Nature & Outdoors

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About the Author


Lily Bui

Although she holds dual non-science bachelors’ degrees in International Studies and Spanish from the University of California Irvine, Lily has long harbored a proclivity for the sciences. A daughter of an engineer and an accountant who also happen to be a photographer and musician, respectively, Lily grew up on the nexus between science and art. Lily has worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; served a year in AmeriCorps in Montgomery County, Maryland; worked for a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter in California; and performed across the U.S. as a touring musician. She currently works with WGBH-TV Boston and Public Radio Exchange (PRX) in Cambridge. In her spare time, she thinks of cheesy science puns (mostly to entertain herself). // Tweets @dangerbui