Teach your children well
Jan20

Teach your children well

In another great guest post, landscape ecologist Lisa Schulte Moore shares stories of infusing everyday kid activities with a connection to science and nature—and, most importantly, having fun doing it. “Yes, fun. But I’m also trying to say it’s cheap and easy, and super rewarding,” she commented, during editing. “I think there are a bunch of deterrents to getting more people doing this kind of stuff: they think of...

Read More
In phenology, timing is everything
Jul02

In phenology, timing is everything

— a brief overview of how to study climate change through plant sex, and what to do if your greatest scientific mentor and collaborator dies half a century before you are born. Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie, a PhD candidate in ecology at Boston University, is the runner-up for this year’s Science Cafe Prize. She took a technical topic, made it personal, and bridged history in words and pictures. We liked her image so much that we...

Read More
A unified field theory for public participation in scientific research
Jul26

A unified field theory for public participation in scientific research

Disparate citizen science disciplines come together at the Public Participation in Scientific Research conference by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer The idea of a big, cross-disciplinary meeting had been floating around citizen science circles for a while. Though public participation in scientific research has deep roots in the history of science, in the last few years it has taken off spectacularly from launch pads across the...

Read More
Loveliest of Trees
Mar22

Loveliest of Trees

Project Budburst: Cherry Blossom Blitz kicks off in the midst of an unusually early bloom. by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer IT’S the first week of spring, and Washington DC’s Tidal Basin is rimmed with snowy petals. Thousands of cherry trees bloom along the water – a week ahead of schedule. Hurried along by a streak of 80 degree (F) days and warm nights, the trees are in full bloom, the earliest since 2000, and petals will...

Read More

Great Lakes Worm Watch

By Liza Lester, ESA communications officer. RYAN Hueffmeier wants to talk to you about the humble earthworm. Trusty fish bait, friend to schoolchildren, gardeners and composters, the earthworm is no friend to the hardwood forests of the Great Lakes. It is a European invader, and its decomposition services, well known to gardeners, are not helpful to the forest ecosystems that have evolved without them. Hueffmeier is program...

Read More

The Great Backyard Bird Count

By Liza Lester, ESA communications officer A brown pelican, photographed during the 2010 Great Backyard Bird Count by Bob Howdeshell, of Tennessee. Used by permission. ______________________ THIS WEEKEND, as the US celebrated President Washington’s birthday, the National Audubon Society, Bird Studies Canada, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology were celebrating birds, with the fifteenth annual Great Backyard Bird Count. As the name...

Read More

Launching Citizen Science Tuesdays

The gathering momentum of *citizen science*. Google searches for the phrase spiked in 2011 (scaled to the average worldwide traffic for the phrase). Credit, Google Trends.   CITIZEN science is not an entirely new concept. The Audubon Society’s popular Christmas Bird Count has run continuously for over a hundred years. When the society founded the program in 1900, the concept of the professional scientist may still have been less...

Read More

The rising of the sun and the running of the deer

This post contributed by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer In November, Norwegians Arnoldus Schytte Blix, Lars Walløe and Lars Folkow brought us the news that running reindeer cool themselves through open-mouthed panting, as Sara Reardon explains at ScienceNOW. Their heavy winter coats are so effective at insulating the animals from arctic temperatures that they have trouble dumping excess heat through their skin. Deep cooling...

Read More