I report daily rainfall to CoCoRaHS and do the Great Backyard Bird Count. I almost pushed the “buy” button for a PurpleAir monitor tonight, but thought I’d check in here first to see if anyone had recommendations for home environmental monitoring stations. My theory is that tracking rainfall, pollution levels, and more will make my iNat observations more useful. Do you think they would? Do you recommend any home monitoring stations?
I forgot about CBC basically being a Citizen Science project. I have been doing CBC for past 8 or 9 years.
The Michigan Vernal Pool Patrol, and eBird :-D
I agree that SciStarter is great! They’ve got so many things and a lot aren’t region-specific. Which reminds me, I haven’t visited in a while…
When I lived in California, I contributed to Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper. As the name suggests, they compile observations of monarch butterflies and milkweed plants.
I know scientists who say you cannot have too much data so I think adding the environmental conditions as fields in your observations could be useful to someone somewhere at some point.
Purely an anecdotal example but our science center recently tried to install a bee colony in an exhibit hive in mid May of this year. The bees arrived before the exhibit hive was ready so a staff member brought the colony home to care for. The consulting beekeeper told her that she could let them out of their temporary hive and they would return.
Well. One morning, the staff member lets them out and as it happens, that was the morning of heavy smoke from a Canadian wildfire. The bees never returned. The state apiarist thinks they got disoriented in the smoke and could not find their way back. All that to say, this is one example of how organism behavior might be affected by air quality, specifically particulate matter.
You never know when your observations might be useful in the future and the more meta-data you add the more likely it is they will be useful to answer questions.
The CBC is the oldest ongoing citizen science project. There could be one older but I don’t think there is one that old that has the same scope and reach.
I know I consider myself a citizen scientist who thinks this!
Will the bees have been able to set up a fresh wild hive?
Kicked of citizen science with ProjectNOAH. Found it while trying to ID some butterfly about a decade ago. Got hooked and shared my photos.
Along the line, I found iNaturalist.org. Had a difficult time familiarising with the UI at first. But I loved the interaction. There seemed to be more experts. And I migrated fully here.
Ebird later. Log in observations mostly for my birdclub. We participate in Global Birding/World Migratory Bird day.
Do you still use ProjectNOAH? I’ve come across it before, and I’m curious about how it compares to iNaturalist and whether there would be any reason to post observations to both places. It sounds like it’s got some neat features!
I don’t know enough about bees to say. My understanding is that without a queen to “serve” they will die, which, honestly, they would have regardless.
I recently started contributing to several Zooniverse projects!
I contribute to BugGuide. I was either the first or the second contributing editor. Also post occasionally to eBird, and have done one CBC (plus spring count) for 25 years.
we need this for Michigan, lol
My other half, the Doctor (Ph. D, Biostatistics) would agree with you.
I was very active on Odonata Central for several years as contributor and reviewer, but have backed off from using it much. I feel that iNat covers the Odonata pretty well and everything else, so it’s one-stop posting for me these days. Also, OC started importing edited versions of iNat records of odonates so I feel I’m still contributing to it.
I have kind of a parasitic relationship — or maybe commensal is more accurate — with eBird. I use it to see what interesting birds are being reported in my area but have contributed little to it. If I happen to find something rare that no else has reported, I’ll post it. But I never got into the listing habit for every bird I see at a location.
I contribute to Ebird, BugGuide, iNat, JungleDragon