Spotting Fireflies for Science

Ever seen little points of light buzzing around outside on summer nights? Those lights - fireflies – are beetles that create light through a chemical reaction. By controlling the reaction, fireflies can turn on and off their lights. They flash light to communicate and find a mate. Fireflies may be disappearing from some areas where they have been found in the past, so researchers are looking to citizen scientists for help understanding more about what is affecting fireflies. Changes in the way we use land might be taking a toll on fireflies. For example, as natural landscapes are turned into lawns, fertilizers, pesticides and mowers may jeopardize fireflies, which spend daytime hours on the ground. Fireflies might also be affected by outdoor lights such as streetlights and the amount of water in the environment. The Firefly Watch project gets the public involved collecting data about where fireflies are found. If you live east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and have ten minutes a week to look for fireflies in the evening, consider signing up as a volunteer. … Read more

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Insects, Nature & Outdoors

Celebrate Father’s Day at the Pollinator-Palooza

Next week is National Pollinator Week! Pollinators, like bees, birds, and butterflies, play an important role in all of our lives. They aid in flowering plant reproduction, help ensure the health of national forests and grasslands, and work together with famers and ranchers in the production of fruits and vegetables. National Pollinator Week is a yearly … Read more “Celebrate Father’s Day at the Pollinator-Palooza”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Ecology & Environment, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, Science Education Standards

May is the month to monitor Monarchs

As a child growing up in New Hampshire, I remember going with my mother to collect Monarch chrysalises for my science classes. We’d park off a nearby roadway, spy a patch of milkweed, and poke around until we found a chrysalis or two. During the next week or so, my classmates and I watched spellbound … Read more “May is the month to monitor Monarchs”

Categories: Animals, Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, Science Education Standards

It’s Earth Day! Five ways to help the planet

Today is Earth Day, a perfect excuse to get out and help the planet! Researchers need YOUR help tracking the presence of American robins, so they can compare your observations with other environmental data, including climate and weather changes.  American robins are arriving in the Colorado Rockies 14 days earlier than they did 30 years ago … Read more “It’s Earth Day! Five ways to help the planet”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Birds, Citizen Science, Climate & Weather, Ecology & Environment, Geology & Earth Sciences, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, Science Education Standards

Get involved in National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2011

This is National Invasive Species Awareness Week! Invasive species represent a significant threat to native plants, animals, and humans. They cause enormous disruptions in the natural ecological balance, inducing erosion, crowding out food sources, and reducing biodiversity. Invasive species are also a significant drain on the national economy. If you’re in the Washington, D.C. area today … Read more “Get involved in National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2011”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Ecology & Environment, Geology & Earth Sciences, In the News, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, Science Policy

Tuesday Trio: Roadkill, Spiders, and Water Monitoring

The Science for Citizens Project Finder is filled with hundreds of citizen science projects, and it’s growing larger every day thanks to submissions by project coordinators, volunteers, and other members of the Science for Citizens community. I’m highlighting a trio of recently added citizen science projects  to introduce you to a few new ways to … Read more “Tuesday Trio: Roadkill, Spiders, and Water Monitoring”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Insects, Nature & Outdoors

Top Member Blog Posts of 2010

Below, I’ve listed the top 5 Science For Citizens member blog posts according to the number of visits received. It’s easy to start your very own Sci4Ctis member blog. Start sharing your adventures with other citizen scientists! 5. Rent a Remote-Controlled Telescope! From Michael It’s pretty hard to be an amateur astronomer without your own … Read more “Top Member Blog Posts of 2010”

Categories: Animals, Astronomy & Space, Biology, Birds, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, In the News, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water, Science Education Standards

Meet Our Festival Collaborators: Lindsay from Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

The USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo is just two days away, and Science for Citizens is excited to be partnering with several fantastic citizen science organizations for our exhibit. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Lindsay from Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, an estuarine site in the state of Maryland about 20 miles east of … Read more “Meet Our Festival Collaborators: Lindsay from Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary”

Categories: Animals, Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Insects, Nature & Outdoors, Ocean & Water, Science Education Standards, USA Science and Engineering Festival

After a clue on colony collapse, what’s status of honey bees?

The mysterious widespread deaths of honey bees over the last four years has been a great worry, both to backyard gardeners and large agricultural companies. That’s why it was such welcome news last week when Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana reported they had discovered a likely cause: a fatal combination of … Read more “After a clue on colony collapse, what’s status of honey bees?”

Categories: Biology, Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Insects, Nature & Outdoors

Here be dragonflies

While dragonflies and damselflies might belong to the same scientific class as the common housefly, the gossamer-winged zoomers seem a world apart from their less-enchanting six-legged cousins. Sitting outdoors in the San Juan Islands last weekend, I had a chance to observe a few blue dragonflies up close as they swooped in to check out … Read more “Here be dragonflies”

Categories: Citizen Science, Insects, Nature & Outdoors