We are big fans of citizen science. A few years ago, we volunteered with Your Wild Life to collect Ants on Broadway. WSP Eco Projects was fortunate to work with SciStarter on a prototype wildlife observation tool called WSP Nature Finds. The launch of the prototype coincided with the last day of the World Science Festival 2015. To see data collected on May 31, go to www.wspecoprojects.org > Options > Explore > deselect Park Trees if necessary > Additional layers > sci starter > click on each tree (green dot) to see the wildlife observations. We hope to "mark" the six observation points (trees) in the park so visitors can log their wildlife sightings and we can identify patterns over time.
In addition to being a generator of and collaborator on citizen science projects, SciStarter is also a project database, and projects are located throughout the USA and worldwide. You can search for projects by activity, topic, or location. I was curious about other citizen science projects based in New York so used the location search. New Yorkers, here are your choices:
Gotham Whale: Gotham Whale monitors marine mammals in the waters around New York City. We work primarily on board the whale watching vessel, The American Princess. We enlist other on-the-water observers to report sightings of whales, dolphins, and seals in the area.
NYC cyclists: what are you breathing?: The goal is to understand how much air pollution you are exposed to as you ride your bike in NYC, and to measure how this exposure affects your heart. We are particularly interested in measuring your "inhaled dose" of air pollution - how much pollution you actually draw into your lungs - and how it varies as you exercise.
Who's Whoo-ing: We know that owls live in nature preserves, but do they live in residential areas (like your backyard) in-between? Join researchers from the Mianus River Gorge Preserve (Bedford, N.Y.), in a study to map owl habitat in our suburban environment.
Scenic Hudson Volunteer Herring and Eel Monitoring: The Hudson River Estuary Program and Scenic Hudson are working with citizen scientists to monitor herring and American eel in Ulster County's Black Creek Preserve.
New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network: The New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network encourage participants to get involved with the annual horseshoe crab monitoring program on various reference beaches throughout New York’s Marine District. Participants assist with the collection of scientific data that is used to assess the status of horseshoe crabs in NY State, and will help determine the management and conservation of this important species throughout the region.
CrowdHydrology: The CrowdHydrology mission is to create freely available data on stream stage in a simple and inexpensive way. We do this through the use of “crowd sourcing”, which means we gather information on stream stage (water levels) from anyone willing to send us a text message of the water levels at their local stream. These data are then available for anyone to then use from Universities to Elementary schools.
Did we leave out your NY-based SciStarter project? Tell us about it in the comments.