Citizen scientists are filling research gaps created by the pandemic

COVID-19 kept many scientists from doing field research in 2020, which means that important records will have data gaps. But volunteers are helping to plug some of those holes.

Kathleen Prudic, Assistant Professor of Citizen and Data Science, University of Arizona • conversation
Feb. 3, 2021 ~10 min

Cities can help migrating birds on their way by planting more trees and turning lights off at night

Cities are danger zones for migrating birds, but there are ways to help feathered visitors pass through more safely

Frank La Sorte, Research Associate, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University • conversation
Jan. 15, 2021 ~9 min

How do archaeologists know where to dig?

Archaeologists used to dig primarily at sites that were easy to find thanks to obvious visual clues. But technology – and listening to local people – plays a much bigger role now.

Stacey Camp, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Michigan State University • conversation
Dec. 4, 2020 ~10 min

Want to teach kids about nature? Insects can help

Insects are plentiful and inexpensive. Even when children aren't attending school in person, they can learn from the encounters they have with insects outside.

Megan Ennes, Assistant Curator of Museum Education, University of Florida • conversation
Oct. 29, 2020 ~5 min

Four ways people stuck at home became armchair naturalists during lockdown

Citizen scientists have helped researchers track the changing environment during the pandemic.

Jordan Patrick Cuff, PhD Candidate in Biosciences, Cardiff University • conversation
June 17, 2020 ~6 min

How Jeremy the lonely snail showed that two lefts make a right

Rare left-coiled shells in garden snails turn out to be a developmental accident not an inherited trait.

Angus Davison, Associate Professor and Reader in Evolutionary Genetics, University of Nottingham • conversation
June 3, 2020 ~5 min

Balloon releases have deadly consequences – we're helping citizen scientists map them

Releasing balloons at weddings and other celebrations is festive, until they break into pieces and become plastic pollution. A citizen science project is spotlighting the problem.

Shannon Brines, Applied Geographer, Lecturer and Manager, Environmental Spatial Analysis Laboratory, University of Michigan • conversation
March 18, 2020 ~8 min

Spring is arriving earlier across the US, and that's not always good news

Climate change has advanced the arrival of spring by as much as several weeks in some parts of the US. This can mean major crop losses and disconnects between species that need each other to thrive.

Theresa Crimmins, Director, USA National Phenology Network, University of Arizona • conversation
March 4, 2020 ~7 min

It's OK to feed wild birds – here are some tips for doing it the right way

Millions of Americans feed wild birds, especially in winter and spring. Studies show that this can influence birds' health and behavior in surprising ways.

Julian Avery, Assistant Research Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Pennsylvania State University • conversation
March 2, 2020 ~8 min

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