This spring, I’m getting involved with a few citizen science projects and I thought I’d share them with you. For those of you that don’t know, citizen science is the practice of gathering data and observations as a concerned individual, and sharing those collections with scientists throughout the world, allowing them to do larger and better research.
I happen to be a hobbyist photographer, with strong leanings towards wildlife. So it makes sense for me to get involved with citizen science projects that can make use of those skills. So here’s what I’m going to be working on.
Organized by Cornell University, the YardMap Project allows anyone to map their property, or any property really, and note bird habitat, care taking steps, and other key pieces of information that help study birds and their environments.
My hope is not only to contribute to Cornell’s project, but to learn more about setting up bird habitat here in Western New York that I can use to photograph more species of birds.
SciStarter is a broader concept. It allows “real scientists” to connect easily with people in order to launch citizen science projects. On the website, you can browse for projects that are of interest to you, and learn more about how to get involved. Right now, two of the projects I’m interested in are NestWatch and Project BudBurst. Primarily because I like to photograph both birds and plants. Also, I’m really sick of snow, especially since we got 7 more inches yesterday. Green things and feathery things would be a welcome change of pace.
Notes From Nature
This one is a bit more “mundane” so to speak, but hey, it’s important work, and we can’t go outside everyday. See: Seven inches of snow. Notes from Nature connects citizen scientists with museums, and allows them to transcribe notes into a more digestible format for further study. This can save a museum a lot of time, and allows them to focus on research rather than “house keeping”. It’s a great citizen science project to get involved with for those rainy days this summer when bird spotting isn’t the most comfortable option.
Citizen Science Projects and Sensorcon
So that’s what I’ll be doing with my spare time this summer. I’m out in my kayak quite a bit, so I plan on mapping some small specific areas where I see a lot of birds.
As for Sensorcon, we love to support these projects in part because we’re concerned citizens like you, and in part because we think our Sensordrone lends itself nicely to this kind of activity. With its weather sensors, air quality sensors, and the water quality extensions, we hope you find a way to use it to contribute to other Citizen Science Projects that interest you.
We may even launch some of our own in the future.
Do you have a favorite project you want to talk about? Feel free to mention it in the comments section below, or tweet it at me (@SensorconKevin). I’d love to feature more in future blog posts.