An Introduction to the Teaching and The Citizen Science Website Journey North
Journey North is a Citizen Science Website That Tracks Phenology (life cycle changes in plants and animals) and Seasonal Changes
Spring weather has briefly visited us this week, though the cold is coming back soon. But invariably we're seeing the first signs of Spring everywhere. This weekend the first osprey was spotted locally, geese are migrating, red-winged blackbirds are singing out their territories, and I heard a lone spring peeper. With thoughts of spring it's a good time to make you aware of a wonderful resource for citizen science. The website Journey North is designed as a tool for individuals and classrooms, as well as informal educators, to use for tracking seasonal changes and migrations. The term for tracking the seasonal life cycle changes of plants and animals is called phenology. This website provides the tools to track the phenology of robins, humming birds, whales, barn swallows, worms, first leaf-out, eagles, flowers blooming, caribou, whooping cranes, and so much more. They also specialize in providing tracking maps and information for recording seasonal changes in sunlight and weather.
Each year brave and intrepid birders go out into the cold and snow to count birds for the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) with the National Audubon Society. Starting December 14th and going through December 1st people choose to join local birders from their region to help on one day during this rage. Participation is free and you can search for local clubs doing the count on this web page: http://netapp.audubon.org/CBC/public/default.aspx.
Review of SciStarter, Citizen Science Project Searchable Website
It's not often that I come across well organized and useful sites that pulls together science resources globally and locally, but SciStarter (http://scistarter.com/) is one. For me, this is a five star website. Scistarter has been featured in Discover Magazine, NPR, WIRED, and BBC. On it's face it looks very simple, a searchable site for citizen science projects to get involved with.