Blogs Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Rhetoric and Citizen Science in the Digital Age

Wynn, James. Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science, and Public Engagement. The University of Alabama Press, 2017. 224 pages. Paperback US$24.95. Citizen scientists have repeatedly faced resistance from skeptics questioning their experience, training, and ability, but recent technological advances have brought citizen science into the digital age, transforming many aspects of the process. This ranges from the experience of being involved in a project as a citizen scientist to implementing project design and communicating results as a practitioner.  James Wynn, in his 2017 book, Citizen Science in the…

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Biota Project Environment Health 

Air Pollution: Breathing in Biofuels

By Jessica Monterrosa Think of the last time you were at a bonfire. Maybe you were at the beach, or a camping site. At sunset, everyone huddles around a fire pit. You lean toward the fire to get cozy and cook your hot dogs and s’mores. You wait in anticipation for your perfectly roasted marshmallow, enduring itchy eyes and a sore throat while breathing in the thick smoke. Even though you only spend a few hours next to the fire, you know that your car, your room, and even your…

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Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog Ecology 

STEM Career Q and A with Joe Siegrist

This STEM Career Q and A is part two of three in a collaboration between SciStarter and Career in STEM, in which writers will spotlight different citizen science projects, interview project leaders about their careers, and create educational content for teachers and students. This series is available from Science Connected, Career in STEM, SciStarter, and Discover Magazine.  In this STEM Career Q and A, we talk with the lead of Project MartinRoost. Learn about his STEM career and how you can participate in the project. Q: What citizen science project do you represent? Three projects:…

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Environment Science Debate Science Policy 

Plastic Waste Necessitates Policies for Producers

By Neha Jain (@lifesciexplore) This article is part of a series about key science policy issues. Please use these articles to become an informed voter, ask political candidates about the issues, and put every candidate on record about science. Countries around the world, both developed and developing, have been grappling with growing piles of plastic waste from overuse of packaging materials, such as those for food and beverages, and single-use plastic tableware. In 2015, 42 percent of all plastic produced was used for packaging, much of which is used only…

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Environment 

Microplastics Contaminate Snow from Alps to Arctic

By Jacqueline Mattos (@mattosjacq) Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that pollute the environment and can range from 0.05 to 5 millimeters in length. Bigger plastic items can be fragmented by the action of light, temperature fluctuations, ocean waves, or mechanical abrasion into smaller pieces that are widely dispersed, persistent in the environment, and sometimes accompanied by microorganisms. A recent article by Bergmann et al., published in the periodical Science Advances, assessed quantities of microplastics in the snow from the Alps and other northern European sites to the Arctic and…

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Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog Ecology 

Project Martin Roost: A Scavenger Hunt in Your Backyard

This is part one of three in a collaboration between SciStarter and Career in STEM, in which writers will spotlight different citizen science projects, interview project leaders about their careers, and create educational content for teachers and students. This series is available from Science Connected, Career in STEM, SciStarter, and Discover Magazine.  As the sun sinks low below the horizon and the crisp night air begins to descend, a miraculous sight can be seen in many areas across the continental United States. Hundreds of thousands of birds will suddenly appear…

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Education Engineering Physics 

The Simple Machines in Your Life

Simple machines allow us to do more work with less effort. In this episode, Sophie explains what simple machines are and how we use them to make our lives easier every day. Get to know your friendly neighborhood inclined plane, lever, wedge, and a head of lettuce and join Sophie in a fun science experiment. Fun with simple machines With a few items from around the house, you can join Sophie in a fun science experiment. Here at Science Connected, we love inexpensive kitchen science experiments! To do Sophie’s experiment…

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Chemistry Health 

How Nonsugar Sweeteners Affect Gut Health

By Brittany Trinh (@brttnytrnh) Do you take your coffee with a spoonful of sugar or use a nonsugar sweetener such as Sweet’N Low or Equal? These nonsugar sweeteners are called nonnutritive sweeteners because they contain little to no calories per gram, compared with nutritive sweeteners such as sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup. Common nonnutritive sweeteners are saccharin and aspartame. Nonsugar sweeteners are often hundreds of times sweeter than sucrose—125 mg of aspartame can replace 25 g of sugar. They have been recommended by medical professionals as sugar substitutes in food…

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Environment 

Mapping the Urban Heat Island Effect with Wicked Hot Boston

by Emily Hostetler, Sara Benson, and Roxanne Lee It’s not just in your head; Boston really is hotter in the summer. When urban areas are warmer than surrounding non-urban environments, we experience a phenomenon called the urban heat island (UHI) effect.  Cities are filled with large amounts of artificial materials, such as concrete and asphalt, that absorb heat throughout the day and release heat at night. Living materials like trees, flowers, and grass tend to make areas feel cooler due to the shade they create and the water they release…

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Ecology Opinion Science Policy 

Decolonizing Ecology for Socially Just Science

Opinion By Suzanne Xianran Ou (@suzanneou) and Adriana L. Romero-Olivares (@fungi_lover) Science attempts to describe nature at all scales, including globally. But scientists and the institutional structures and gatekeepers, such as governments, universities, and science journal editors, who determine what is considered “good science” in our modern world, represent countries with great economic power, collectively known as the Global North. To move forward with a broad perspective and as a globally connected scientific community, we must be inclusive of all scientists around the world, including those from countries with less…

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