One of the reasons that I think citizen science is becoming increasingly popular is because it takes advantage of people’s already established interests. Bird watching is one hobby that has been particularly successful at creating citizen scientists. These projects can be as simple (and fun!) as putting up a birdfeeder and recording the birds that visit a few times a week. However, not all project subjects are as accessible as the birds in your backyard. Take for example marine life. Most people don’t have windows that look out under the sea, and you need special skills and equipment . . . → Read More: Uniting research with recreation: marine biodiversity monitoring and scuba divers
The United Nations Convention on Migratory Species has declared 2011 as the Year of the Bat to raise awareness about bats, the services they provide to people, and their conservation needs:
Bats may be mysterious and misunderstood, but the earth’s only flying mammals are essential to our global environment. Discover how bats contribute to our rich biodiversity and well-being, through pollination, seed dispersal, insect control and other eco-services in rainforests, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, deserts and cities.
Yay for bats! However, I was sad to see that the World Association for Zoos and Aquariums will not being doing anything . . . → Read More: Year of the Bat
A few weeks ago I asked the following question:
What do you think happened to cause the changes seen between the before and after pictures below?
Hint: This is a sugar maple forest in Minnesota, but it could be almost any forest in the Great Lakes region of North America. I’ll point out that most of the understory plants and tree saplings have disappeared and the root crown of the large tree has been exposed.
I received a few excellent guesses and questions! But without further ado, the answer is: Continue reading Ecology ID: What happened here? The Answer: Invasion of the Earthworms!