Tick Tock: Is Our Planet Out of Sync? An Introduction to Citizen Science
Whether it’s strawberry season, allergy season or the rainy season, everyone can connect with nature through the seasons. The study of when recurring, seasonal life stages of plants and animals occur is called phenology. For centuries, people have tracked phenology for the most fundamental of reasons – knowing when to hunt and fish, when to plant and when to harvest crops was essential for survival.
Today, gardeners, birders, hikers, and all-around nature enthusiasts simply enjoy taking note of the recurring events they see in the lives of the plants and animals around them, such as when cherry trees blossom, when birds build their nests, or when leaves turn color in the fall.
These observations serve an entirely different purpose when they are systematically collected and reported by everyday people (called citizen scientists). This data makes it possible for researchers to better understand how species are responding to climate change and to develop more informed tools for responding to climate change. In this talk, you’ll find out how you and your family can get involved as citizen scientists!
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