Phendo: Endometriosis Study Citizen Science Health SciStarter Blog Technology 

Phendo: Understanding Endometriosis

In 2016, Noémie Elhadad and her lab at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center created the Phendo, or “phenotyping endometriosis,” app, to better understand and identify symptoms of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a painful condition that causes overgrowth of the endometrium, or inner lining of the uterus, such that it grows outside the uterus and into other places in the body. Their goal is to fill in the gaps of knowledge about how individuals experience the disease on a day-to-day basis. The app invites anyone over the age of 13 who has…

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Earth's Changing Surface Biota Project Geology 

Earth’s Changing Surface: It Takes Time!

By Alyssa L. Abbeyn (@ifDiscswereRock) for The Biota Project (@thebiotaproject) It’s a pretty regular night, my partner and I are doing some extra work tonight since we are leaving early tomorrow to celebrate my birthday. I’m on my computer at the kitchen table and they’re in the other room. Quite suddenly, the house creaks and groans rocking back and forth like a rickety old table with unstable legs. My first thought, “Wow the upstairs neighbors are really stomping around up there, or maybe some furniture fell down or something…” then…

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air quality monitoring citizen science Citizen Science Environment SciStarter Blog 

Regular People Are Changing How We Monitor Air Quality

Low cost, high impact: How access to sensors is changing everything in air quality research.   Air quality: It’s about us The ways we hear about air pollution can make us think it’s not about us. Large industrial stacks, smoky skies, and cities far away — filled with people we’ve never met, in places we don’t expect to be. Articles on the front pages of major news outlets describe air pollution in India, China, and Bangladesh, and they don’t always make the connection with people like me who live in the…

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Stacks of a nuclear power plant. (Credit: Markus Distelrath/Pixabay) Anthropology Book Reviews Citizen Science Health SciStarter Blog 

Nuclear Radiation, Citizen Science, and Civic Engagement

In Japan after a nuclear radiation disaster Book Review: Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima. By Aya Hirata Kimura. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.  Nuclear Radiation and Food Safety In March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami that would result in a tragic loss of life. Water overtook the seawalls at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and damaged critical systems. These events resulted in one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. Survivors near…

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cultural heritage and citizen science Citizen Science Ecology SciStarter Blog 

Cultural Heritage and Citizen Science

Citizen science for your ears The latest episode of Citizen Science, the podcast from SciStarter, is the first of two episodes about how regular people help cultural heritage institutions like archives, libraries, and museums do scientific research, like uploading photographs to iNaturalist or eBird, or volunteering with a local water organization to monitor stream and river quality. Co-host Justin Schell shares how natural history museums and libraries encourage everyday people to take part in local, national, and global science projects.  The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County In the…

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Caterpillars Count Animals Citizen Science SciStarter Blog 

Caterpillars Count

From big to small, we all count. Even caterpillars.  Caterpillars are important Caterpillars are familiar to us. When a butterfly flutters past you, you know that it was once a caterpillar. Now it’s time to count the caterpillars and arthropods (creatures, like insects, with segmented bodies) that you see to help scientists understand how their populations are changing. You can get started today with the Caterpillars Count! project. Even though this project doesn’t just focus on caterpillars, who can resist a good alliteration?  In 2015, Dr. Allen Hurlbert of North…

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Figure Five: Forum participants choosing where to allocate resources. Image Credit: Museum of Science, Boston Citizen Science Climate Environment SciStarter Blog 

Boston is Wicked Hot: Here’s What They’re Doing About It

Want to learn more about this initiative? Check out the Wicked Hot Boston series, Parts One and Two. Want to address climate hazards in your community? Head over to SciStarter.org/NOAA to find a citizen science project. Wicked Hot Boston It’s true: the world is getting hotter, and Boston is becoming WICKED hot.  This past summer, the Museum of Science, Boston (MOS) team and local citizen scientists began to measure extreme temperatures. They used sensors provided by CAPA Strategies to make an ambient air temperature map of Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline,…

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Biota Project Opinion 

Data Literacy in South Asia: From Outsourced to a Lead in Tech

Opinion By Sabah Ul-Hasan (@sabahzero) on behalf of The Biota Project Blog (@thebiotaproject) What is outsourcing? Reverberating effects from British colonization of South Asia and the ‘modern’ world I live in the United States, and I was recently in a room full of scientists when someone made a wonderfully distasteful joke about receiving a call from customer support and that the person on the other end of the phone line had a “funny accent.”  If you’re unfamiliar with the term “outsourcing,” fear not. There’s an entire NBC television series about…

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Book Reviews SciStarter Blog 

Seeking the Sasquatch

Book Review: When the Sasquatch Legend Teaches Us About Critical Thinking By Patricia Balbon (@watscicomm) Gordon, David George. The Sasquatch Seeker’s Field Manual: Using Citizen Science to Uncover North America’s Most Elusive Creature. Mountaineers Books, 2015. 176 pages. Paperback US$12.26. It’s late, and you’re seeking shelter for the night after a long hike. Something’s lurking among the shadows; pungent wafts of musk barrage your nostrils. In the soft mud, you glimpse a fresh footprint with claw contours.  The fronds of a nearby fern are in shreds—could it be a bear?…

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Hurricane Patricia Biota Project Climate Environment 

Community Perspectives Strengthen Hurricane Preparedness

By Helen Cheng (@ms_helenc / @thebiotaproject) For those who live along the United States East Coast, October is the height of the hurricane season. According to the National Hurricane Center, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The peak of the season is mid-August to late October, as shown in the graph below, with the number of storms increasing during this time of year. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season. Understanding communities’ past experiences of hurricanes and how they perceive forecasts for…

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