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Posts Tagged "citizen science"

Anthropology in Practice

What will the future of education look like?

In the absence of a traditional classroom, learning goes on in Mexico. | Image by JIji Lee. Click for license and information.

Scientific American’s August supplement takes a look at the changing landscape of education in the face of emerging technology, and asks the question, how do we increase interest and engagement in STEM initiatives? Learning in the Digital Age tackles issues of using big data to better understand students, the validity of online courses, and the [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Ever Wanted to Observe and ID Weird Deep Sea Creatures? Here’s Your Chance

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If you’re like me, you’ve pondered from time to time the goings-on of life in the deep. What’s happening down there this very moment? What do the creatures look like when they’re just hanging out? But most of us will never be able to take a trip in a submersible. Now, though fuzzy and in [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Putting Science in Action in Swaziland

T.H. Culhane and Scientific American Science in Action winners and Google Science Fair finalists during a Hangout in Swaziland.

In 2012, the Scientific American Science in Action award became part of Google Science Fair. Last month, one of the judges for both, T.H. Culhane, traveled to Swaziland to work with our 2012 winners as well as another finalist and more; we had a Swaziland Hangout during the visit. Now I’m thrilled to bring to [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

A Hangout IN Air–Off a Cliff Face–for Science

Jason Osborne rappelling, running Hangout On Air with phone, and looking for fossils. Credit: Aaron Alford.

When I last did a Google Science Fair Hangout On Air with Jason Osborne and Aaron Alford, founders of Paleo Quest, they were diving in a swamp looking for fossils. Yesterday, they took their fossil quest to new heights, rather literally: this time, they hung on ropes off the side of a cliff for a [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Scientific American Editor Testifies at U.S. Senate

Mariette DiChristina

At a hearing on the future of federal research investment, a science magazine editor and three noted scientists asked the U.S. Senate to support basic research

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@ScientificAmerican

Kid Scientists Make Real Fossil Finds at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

Kids searching for fossils using SharkFinder kits at Scientific American's booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival.

Kids searching for fossils using SharkFinder kits at Scientific American’s booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Credit: Jason Osborne Jason Osborne was trying to grab a quick lunch away from the crowds when his wife called his cellphone. “Jason, you’ve got to come see this boy at the booth. He’s amazing!” When Osborne, [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Scientific American at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

I’ll write a fuller post about the amazing things that kids are doing at Scientific American’s booth 1311 at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, but I wanted to share the short video below. In it, you’ll meet the festival’s co-founders, Larry Bock and Ray O. Johnson of Lockheed Martin (which itself has a booth [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Astrophysics, Citizen Science and the Google Science Fair

Chris Lintott, astrophysicist of Oxford University and founder of The Zooniverse. Credit: YouTube

Find out why Oxford University astrophysicist and founder of The Zooniverse Chris Lintott believes that humanity’s ability to be “deliciously distractable” is a creative engine powering the benefits of citizen science for discovery–and how, if you are a researcher, you might like to “play with your phyiscs.” With Google Student Ambassador Hanne Paine, we had [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Google Science Fair 2013: A Hangout in a Swamp

Paleo Quest founders Jason Osborne (left), holding fossil whale vertebra, and Aaron Alford, fresh from a swamp dive. Credit: Google Science Fair

We had a fun first today for the 2013 Google Science Fair Hangouts On Air series of live chats with researchers around the world: with the aid of a smart phone propped up by two fossil bones, we streamed live from a Virginia swamp for a session called Paleo Quest: Venturing into the Unknown. I [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Kids Check Out Science at the White House

White House Easter Egg Roll

More than 30,000 people visited the White House for the 135th annual Easter Egg Roll on Monday—and I spent several happy hours there myself doing science activities with dozens of kids and their families with the Lawrence Hall of Science. If you couldn’t make it to Washington, D.C., you can find instructions to make the [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Whale.FM: Where Citizen Science, Whale Songs and Education Come Together

Above all, science is a collaborative enterprise, where researchers working together can span the continents. Increasingly, nonspecialists—citizen scientists—are pitching in as well. Whale.FM—a collaborative effort of Scientific American, Zooniverse and the research institutions WHOI, TNO, the University of Oxford and SMRU—lets citizen scientists help marine researchers who are studying what whales are saying. (You can [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Citizen Scientists Study Whale Songs: Years of Work Done in Months

In November 2011, Scientific American, Zooniverse and a team of research partners launched the Web site Whale.FM, a citizen-science project devoted to cataloging the calls made by Pilot whales and Killer whales (Orcas), both of which are actually dolphin species. Different whale families have their own dialects and closely related families share calls. Underwater microphones, [...]

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But Seriously...

Interview with a Cicada (Expert)

Cicada-Alex Wild

In North Carolina, this was a big year for cicadas. Our 17-year cicadas, after biding their time underground for so very long, finally emerged in the spring. This event, in turn, stimulated the emergence of a species that is extraordinarily rare: the cicada specialist. Chris Simon is an excellent specimen of the latter. A cicada [...]

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Compound Eye

Thrifty Thursday: School of Ants

alex_wild1f

Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500. [Apple iPhone 4s - $300] Working at the microscope yesterday I suddenly remembered Thrifty Thursday. I needed a photo! So I stuck my iPhone behind the carpenter ant I was examining and took this self-portrait. The insect arrived at my desk via the citizen-science [...]

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Critical Opalescence

As Ice Forms, It Can Create Amazing Spirals

In our February issue, Scientific American had an article on the phenomenon of liquid-rope coiling—the way that viscous fluids curl as they fall onto a surface, forming what looks like a miniature basket. Dribbling honey onto toast is a classic example (not to mention a great way to liven up your breakfast with physics experiments). [...]

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Culturing Science

The Best Way to Procrastinate in the Zooniverse

cheetah-zooniverse-200px

Get off of Facebook. Next time you feel the urge to procrastinate, help scientists identify animals instead.

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Dog Spies

What’s a Dog For?

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A few years back, John Homans, former executive editor of New York magazine, published What’s a Dog For? — an intimate reflection on his beloved family dog, Stella, as well as a snapshot into the flourishing field of canine science. Looking down at the wagging tail by your side, you could easily answer the above [...]

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Dog Spies

Don’t Let These Dog Projects Pass You By

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Over the last few years, there has been a surge in public-participation science projects, and I don’t mean watching dog videos on YouTube. These science projects reach around the world; sometimes they are entirely online, and other times they ask participants to go out into the world, do something and report back. I keep up [...]

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Dog Spies

A New Flock of Researchers: Citizen Scientists in Animal Behavior

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Wow! You study animal behavior. So cool! People must have a field day with you at parties. When they first meet you, they probably think you just look at animals all day and travel to exotic locations. La di da, oh look there’s a tiger. But we know the truth. Studying animal behavior is a [...]

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Doing Good Science

How to be ethical while getting the public involved in your science

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At ScienceOnline Together later this week, Holly Menninger will be moderating a session on “Ethics, Genomics, and Public Involvement in Science”. Because the ethical (and epistemic) dimensions of “citizen science” have been on my mind for a while now, in this post I share some very broad, pre-conference thoughts on the subject. Ethics is a [...]

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Doing Good Science

Ethical and practical issues for uBiome to keep working on.

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Earlier this week, the Scientific American Guest Blog hosted a post by Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte, two members of the team at uBiome, a crowdfunded citizen science start-up. Back in February, as uBiome was in the middle of its crowdfunding drive, a number of bloggers (including me) voiced worries that some of the ethical [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sea Lion Whisker Patterns Could Be Key to Conservation

sea lion whiskers

This month marks the beginning of the breeding season for endangered Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) as well as a great opportunity for citizen scientists to help conserve this rare species. A new project called the Whisker Patrol is asking for help with a possible new method for tracking and identifying individual sea lions. As [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Diseased Tigers, Wounded Rhinos and Other Links from the Brink

sumatran tiger

Diseases, poachers, smartphones, sewage and animal psychology are in the news this weekend. Temper Tantrum: Evidence of canine distemper has been found in Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) in Indonesia, according to a recent report from BBC News. Distemper has previously been found in Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) in Russia, where it proved to [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Whale Sharks in the News: Citizen Science, Migration Revelations and High Fashion

whale shark

What do the world’s biggest fish and the Big Dipper have in common? Believe it or not, the answer is math. One of the same algorithms developed to help astronomers study the stars in the sky is being used to conserve and understand whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) under the sea. It turns out that each [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Citizen Scientists, Funding Needed to Help Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Project

hawaiian monk seal

Endangered Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) have a bad reputation among some local fishermen, who accuse the 200-kilogram mammals of eating the fish that the humans catch for their livelihoods. A new project aims to find out if that notoriety is deserved and the public—in particular, teens—has a chance to participate. The National Marine Fisheries [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Want to Conserve Bats? There’s an App for That

ibats logo

Many smartphone applications are designed more for fun than substance (Angry Birds, anyone?), but a new app from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Bat Conservation Trust offers individuals and communities a chance to get involved in citizen science in a very real way and to help conserve bat populations in the process. [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Citizen Scientists and Social Media Aim to Help Prevent Frog Extinctions

Panamanian golden frog

Around the world, frogs and other amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution and the deadly chytrid fungus, which has already driven a few dozen species into extinction. But with critical information on many species still lacking, scientists can only go so far when trying to help save those in crisis. To [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Only you can help prevent firefly extinction

Are fireflies disappearing? No one knows for sure, but based on anecdotal evidence firefly (aka lightning bug) populations appear to be fading, with fewer seen every summer. Unfortunately, the bioluminescent insects had always been so ubiquitous to backyards and campgrounds for so long that almost no one bothered to study them. Now the Museum of [...]

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Guest Blog

How Do You Play with Your Dog?

Millions of people around the world come home to four legs and a wagging tail, and many spend some of their time together playing. While dog-dog play has been studied extensively, dog-person play, which takes on a different form and appears to have different rules, has not attracted nearly as much scholarly attention. At the [...]

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Guest Blog

Museum brings citizens and scientists together through a blogging project: Experimonth

This Friday, April 1, begins a month-long participatory blogging project at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, N.C., called Experimonth: Mood. The culmination of many ideas and personal experiments by museum staff members, their families and friends, Experimonth has morphed from a personal project centered around New Year’s resolutions into an effort to [...]

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Guest Blog

Don’t leave it to the experts: Why scientists have a few people to thank!

Hanny Van Arkel is a 25-year-old school teacher who lives in Holland with her German Shepherd, Janey. She enjoys playing the guitar and loves Brian May. She also found the first-ever voorwerp. Hanny is a citizen scientist. Hanny’s voorwerp (meaning object in Dutch), is a weird green blob spotted by Hanny in 2008. It is [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

uBiome: Ethical Lapse or Not?

uBiome’s CEO, Jessica Richman, seems to me to be a great saleswoman who also excels at sounding innocent and playing the misunderstood victim in the ethical controversy surrounding her company. I think this was well illustrated in her recent guest blog in Scientific American with Dr. Zachary Apte, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of uBiome. [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Of Citizen Science, Ethics, and IRBs – the view from Science Online

I had the wonderful opportunity to co-moderate two sessions at this past week’s Science Online “unconference” in Raleigh, affectionately known as #scio13. Sessions are proposed and moderated by volunteers, and there is a broad range of attendees, leading to rich discussion…and lots of fun.   There were three sessions devoted to different aspects of Citizen [...]

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Observations

Citizen Scientists Track Light Pollution as Humanity Loses Touch with the Night Sky

Light pollution and starlight

Step out into the darkness a few hours after sunset. What do you see overhead? If you live in a relatively unpopulated part of the world, you might see the broad stripe of the Milky Way splashed against a backdrop of black sky punctuated by countless stars. If, on the other hand, you live in [...]

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Observations

Science and the Public Parlay: Come a Little Bit Closer

BOSTON—Rarer than hen’s teeth is a bill in Congress that has bipartisan support. But such legislation exists, and if passed would open up a semi-secret world. The law—the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act—would ensure that research articles based on taxpayer-supported projects are freely available online for the public to read. FASTR [...]

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Observations

California Meteor Broke Speed Record for Atmospheric Entry

Peter Jenniskens at Sutter

Meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens must move quickly to trap evidence of a fresh meteorite fall. In 2008, a small asteroid roughly three meters across struck Earth’s atmosphere over northern Sudan, producing a brilliant fireball in the sky. The asteroid’s orbit had been tracked before striking Earth, upping the chances that searchers would be able to [...]

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Observations

Zombies Invade Google Campus

She looked perfectly normal. But what was she doing roaming around at night on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif? She’d been drawn out of her home, following the light, and now was taking mincing steps across a white bed sheet. Had she just taken “the flight of the living dead”? Was she actually [...]

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Observations

Strength in Numbers: Citizen Scientists Lending More Helping Hands (and Handhelds) to Help the Pros

citizen science,budburst

With a little instruction and education, hundreds if not thousands of volunteers armed with smart phones, computers and Internet access can act as the eyes, ears and hands of scientists worldwide. That idea is the hallmark of the growing citizen-science movement, which is already recruiting Facebook users to virtually “infect” their friends with a simulated [...]

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Observations

Artist Paints Lichens on NYC Buildings

lichen on a tree

New York, New York. A metropolis of gleaming skyscrapers, majestic brownstones and concrete as far as the eye can see. But on the northern border of Greenwich Village, a strange, little biological experiment is taking place. An artist is bringing new life to a handful of businesses. Not a remake of the bathroom. No, actually, [...]

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Observations

Welcome to Scientific American ‘s Citizen Science initiative!

scientific american, citizen science

You don’t need an advanced degree in physics or biology to participate in scientific research, just a curiosity about the world around you and an interest in observing, measuring and reporting what you hear and see. The Internet makes it easy these days to take part as an amateur in sophisticated science projects around the [...]

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Observations

Citizen scientists join the exoplanet hunt

Artist

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009, is one of the finest and most prolific machines ever built for seeking out worlds orbiting distant stars. And at an estimated cost of $600 million, it had better be. Now anyone can sift through a bit of Kepler’s voluminous data, obtained as the space telescope gazes at some [...]

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The Ocelloid

A Fork in the Red, 2013 (Medium: algae on glass)

A fork in the red

Isn’t it great when your art subjects cooperate and model themselves? Algae are inherently photogenic — especially if they look like fuzz or goo to the naked eye! While many macroalgae (this big seaweeds you find on the beach) require considerable skill and equipment to show off at their best, filamentous algae are usually thin [...]

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Symbiartic

One Man’s Poo is Another Man’s PhD

Scientists collect crazy things. I’m not talking thimble-crazy or frog-themed-crazy. That kind of tchotchke barely ranks on the crazy scale. The collections I’m talking about are things like bellybutton lint, whale vomit, and human poo. You mean raw sewage?! Yes, sort of… but straight from the source. Fresh, unadulterated. Yup. And to supersize the irony, [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Urban Science Adventure: Catching and Watching Fireflies

firefly lightening bug

What do you see when you go into your backyard in the evening time?  Most people don’t even think about being outside at that time until the warm rays of summer touch their skins.  Summer nights mean warm nights where you can be outside until dusk and beyond and see the wonders that Mother Nature [...]

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The Urban Scientist

What’s this in my backyard? A Camel Cricket

camel cricket

Mid-day yesterday I got a text message from a friend’s daughter — off at school, living in an off-campus house — asking me about a little invader. Her: Do you know what this is? Me: Yes. A camel cricket. Her: it’s terrifying Me: Drama Her: There where a ton of them. Lol I voted to [...]

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The Urban Scientist

#sci4all: Making Science Allies essential to promoting #STEM

More and more I realize that having a scientifically literate public is imperative. As much as we hear news stories about new jobs and economic relief that STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) will have on our nation and our lives, the truth is, if individuals aren’t ready for these great new, high-paying opportunities then that [...]

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The Urban Scientist

What’s this in my Backyard? A skink

skink found in Missouri home

I get this question a lot? Whenever friends some across a plant, animal, a footprint, or even a pile a poop, it’s not uncommon for me to get a text message, a phone call or even a tag on Facebook asking me to identity (or come get) this thing.  I even joked about it in [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Urban Science Adventure: Summer Fun and Summer Science

SDC18372 b

The warmer weather calls us outside to run, jump and play. That goes for the kids and adults, too.  And while you’re out having fun with friends and family, be sure to keep your eyes and ears open. For what, you may ask.  For all of the nature that is beginning to emerge, sprout and bloom [...]

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The Urban Scientist

Profiles of Native Science – Dennis Taylor: Science Enthusiast, Citizen Scientist, & Journalist

This entry is a guest post from Dr. Daniela Hernandez.  She is a science writer, presently at the Salinas Californian and a AAAS Mass Media Fellow. She will soon be writing for Wired, so you can follow her now on Twitter @danielaphd. Here she interviews her mentor and friend, Mr. Dennis Taylor, an editor at The Salinas Californian and Aududon Society [...]

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