Sunday, January 4, 2015

What is Citizen Science?

Citizen Science is scientific research conducted in whole or in part by amateur or non professional scientists.  You might think of it as public participation in scientific research.  

And Citizen Science can be a great tool for teachers!  

There are all kinds of resources and free tools and 
programs set up and available for teachers, students, parents and anyone interested.  


Let's say you have noticed that robins migrate into 
your neighborhood every spring.  You could use this site Journey North Robins to record your observations of when you hear the first robin of the spring and when you see the first robin of the spring.  Other people also enter data from their location and maps are generated on an ongoing basis.  

Beginning in January, citizen scientists across North America are invited to report their first robin of spring, waves of migrating robins, and the first robin song of spring. Share data to help scientists understand how robins respond to climate and changing seasons. Explore the robin's life cycle, ecology, habitat, and conservation needs. Please report these observations.





The site also provides research (informational text) on the particular species, checklists and observation forms.  You can be involved just briefly, with simple data entry and looking at the results, or you can be involved with complete lessons and engaging units for your students.
  

There are many other opportunities for citizen science.   Journey North has opportunities to study all kinds of wildlife migration and seasonal change.  https://www.learner.org/jnorth/ Everything from tracking the migration of grey whales or monarch butterflies to sunlight and seasons is available. 
Here are a few more resources for citizen science:


Stargazer -Record stars that you see in October http://www.windows2universe.org/citizen_science/starcount/index.html

National Audubon Society -Observe birds in your back yard http://gbbc.birdcount.org/


Museum of Science-Firefly Count..help scientist count fireflies https://legacy.mos.org/fireflywatch/

Association of Zoos -help scientists count frogs  and toads in your area.  https://www.aza.org/frogwatch/

Citizen Science is a great way to get you, your students, your children and families involved in simple scientific research.  It only takes a couple of clicks to enter simple observations and it is fun!   





If you like this blog post about Citizen Science, you will love how to make a field journal out of an envelope.  Click here for simple step by step directions Field Journal Out of an Envelope



You might also like my butterfly life cycle resources:

 Kinder Centers for Life Cycle of a Butterfly


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