Every squirrel has a science story to tell, but, sadly, squirrels vastly outnumber squirrel scientists. That’s where you, the intrepid citizen scientist, come in. Try out the squirrel projects in this newsletter, along with other squirrel-centric and squirrel-adjacent projects you’ll find with the handy SciStarter Project Finder, and help sort out the many mysteries of our favorite wild rodent.
The SciStarter Team
What sorts of squirrels live near you? Researchers at Project Squirrel want to know, with an emphasis on the three most common tree squirrels: Eastern Gray Squirrels, Fox Squirrels and Red Squirrels. Learn how to identify them, tally them up on the Project Squirrel Survey form, and share them with the scientists.
SquirrelMapper focuses on a Squirrel of Many Colors: the Eastern Gray. Despite its name, it can be gray, black or (rarely) white. Studying where and under what conditions these “color morphs” occur will help scientists understand how the process of evolution can happen rapidly when there are substantial changes to a habitat.
Celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day by checking out SciStarter’s social media squirrel campaign! You’ll go on a SquirrelMapper hunt with Emma Giles and her squirrel-seeking dog, Rosie, learn amazing squirrel facts., and generally bask in the glow of our nature-loving online community. And don’t forget to comment and share!
Squirrels that share habitat with rattlesnakes will seek out the snakes’ discarded skins and rub them all over their fur– presumably to make them smell like a snake rather than a tasty squirrel. Learn more amazing squirrel facts in our new TikTok video!
Join Emma Giles and the SciStarter team Tuesdays from 2-3PM ET to hear from project leaders, get tips on participating and learn about the impact of contributing to volunteer-powered science. Join in from anywhere via Zoom or watch the live stream on SciStarter’s Facebook page.
In case you missed it! Last week, SciStarter LIVE explored Planning for Citizen Science Month 2024. Watch the recording on youtube.
January 23: How to engage your students in #OneMillionActsofScience this April: Tune into this one-hour, virtual event to discover how to inspire your students to be part of One Million Acts of Science this April (Citizen Science Month).
January 30: Leveraging #OneMillionActsofScience to catalyze participation in your project this April. Tune into this one-hour, virtual event to discover how to re-inspire your participants (and find new ones) to engage in your project this April when we are aiming for a collective One Million Acts of Science during Citizen Science Month. This event is cohosted by SciStarter and the Association for Advancing Participatory Sciences.
SciStarter Podcast: All New! Squirrel Science
Learn about SquirrelMapper and Project Squirrel from the scientists who created them! Also, Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Best Bird Photos of 2023, ham radio operators helping NASA study space weather, and students monitoring air quality in their schools and neighborhoods.
The Latest Blog Posts:
Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!