Citizen Science Ecology 

Monitoring Soil Health through Citizen Science

By Sandra Arango-Caro and Terry Woodford-Thomas MO DIRT, Missourians Doing Impact Research Together, is a program that educates individuals on soil science and engages them as citizen scientists. These volunteers contribute baseline information that helps our understanding of the current health status of Missouri soils. Soil health is the ability of the soil to function as a vital ecosystem that sustains living organisms, their processes, and environmental quality. Human existence is determined in part by soil health because of its critical role in food security and climate security.  Citizen science…

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Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog Environment Health 

You Can Help Beat Extreme Heat in Cities

Imagine a smoldering hot day in downtown Boston: temperatures have reached over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sidewalks and streets are absorbing the strong heat from the sun and radiating it back into the air.  Days like this are becoming hotter and more frequent. This “silent storm” causes more deaths in the US than all other weather hazards combined. Heat impacts human health, infrastructure, and the environment. The Urban Heat Island (UHI) Effect Urban areas trap heat inside of them, experiencing hotter temperatures than in surrounding suburban areas. Cities are…

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Citizen Science Environment Health Science Policy 

Environmental Health Is a Social Justice Issue

By Shayna Keyles (@shaynakeyles) When we talk about recycling, mitigating climate change, protecting habitats, and more, it’s not only for some abstract mission of “saving the earth,” though that would be good, too. These are environmental justice issues; they are part of the struggle for basic human rights. Environmental justice in the US In the United States, the environmental justice movement grew out of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Communities of Black, Latinx, Native American, low-income, and immigrant groups found that they were disproportionately affected by…

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Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Help Audubon Protect Threatened Birds

Audubon’s Climate Watch Program needs volunteers to help it spot 12 birds threatened by climate change. Are you in? “Hope is the thing with feathers/ That perches in the soul,” Emily Dickinson wrote. Is there hope for our feathered friends in the era of climate change? Yes, but they need our help. More than 300 North American birds will likely lose over 50 percent of their current geographical range by 2080, according to Audubon’s 2014 Birds and Climate Change Report. This means that the areas with the climate conditions these…

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Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog Environment Health 

Empowering Communities to Examine Lead Exposure with Crowd the Tap

By Bradley Allf Lead pipes for transporting water have been a fixture of modern civilization for more than two thousand years.  Ancient Romans channeled water into homes and bathhouses through lead piping. In fact, the Latin word for lead, plumbum, is where we get the English word “plumbing.” Yet we have also long recognized that lead can have a serious impact on our health. Vitrivius, who lived during the first century BCE, wrote at length about the physical harm caused by lead exposure, concluding that “water should therefore on no…

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Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Sound Around Town Uses Data to Combat Noise Pollution

By Bradley Allf At the start of World War I, thousands of soldiers were coming down with a baffling condition: they became blind, deaf, lost their memory, or developed uncontrollable shaking despite no obvious physical injury. Even stranger, this malady could be triggered by memories of the war even after the fighting had ended. At the time, doctors called what they were seeing “shell-shock,” though today we would call it by a different name: post-traumatic stress disorder. Anything that brought back memories of the trenches could precipitate this condition, but…

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Animals Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog Ecology 

Citizen Science in Nebraska is Bigger Than You Think

by Megan Ray Nichols (@nicholsrmegan) In Nebraska, scientists working for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are increasingly relying on casual researchers and citizen scientists to better understand three creatures in particular: spotted skunks, salamanders, and regal fritillary butterflies. Why? The populations of these species have either declined or are in jeopardy, and scientists want to get a current population count. Let’s take a closer look at these three Nebraskan citizen science projects and what researchers hope to learn from data collected by citizen scientists. Nebraska is a big state.…

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Astronomy Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Slavery from Space: Citizen Science in the Antislavery Movement

By Dr. Jessica Wardlaw Slavery from Space is a citizen science project that allows users to further the antislavery movement by mapping the locations of activities in which people are frequently found to be enslaved. How many slaves do you think there are in the world? You might be surprised. In 2016, the International Labour Organization estimated that 40.3 million people were enslaved globally, of which 28.7 million are women and girls and 24.9 million are in forced labor. To put those numbers into perspective, those sums are roughly equivalent…

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Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Neighborhood Science with GLOBE Mission Mosquito

Spring is a great time to start using the GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper.   Have you noticed any mosquitoes yet? Spring is upon us in the United States, and mosquitoes are already buzzing in many parts of the country. Below is a map that shows the approximate onset of the mosquito session throughout the contiguous U.S. You can observe how the mosquito season works its way northward as conditions become suitable for them to hatch and breed. If you don’t see mosquitoes already, take a look to this map…

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Blogs Book Reviews Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Book Review: Building a Foundation in Environmental Science

Dickinson, Janis L. & Bonney, Rick. (eds). Citizen Science: Public Participation in Environmental Research. Cornell University Press, 2012. 279 pages. Paperback $US 29.95. Though it was published in 2012, Citizen Science: Public Participation in Environmental Research is relevant to our present moment. As discussions of environmental research increase in frequency and urgency, institutions at all levels will continue to raise questions about the public’s scientific literacy and the best methods of mobilizing scientific knowledge. This text works through these questions, asserting that “citizen science has a crucial role to play”…

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