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Daniel Kern
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I know of a few places such as butterflies and moths, the bloom clock project for citizen scientists to get involved. Then there are other places for sharing knowledge such as permies, appropedia wikispecies, and the permaculture design wikibook.

So my question is, what are some other projects that people can get involved in as citizen scientists? This idea of a citizen scientists just is really cool to me.

Not sure if this is the right place for this but it is about communication if you ask me.

 
John Elliott
pollinator
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You can start your own projects, and then spend the rest of your time explaining to people why you aren't a nut case.

I have wood chip piles which I inoculate with fungi to create mycelial mulches; I have to explain to the neighbors why I have "unsightly piles".

I inoculate them with fungi I collect at the local mall; I have to explain to mall security why I traipse around the parking lot picking mushrooms.

I am developing methods to harvest kudzu and turn it into animal feed; I get looks from people when I stop at a vacant lot to chop some sacks of kudzu.

I wanted to start a tree planting program, so I collect bald cypress cones in the winter; any time you pay extra attention to a landscape tree, say pick cones or take a cutting, people look around to see if you are going to put it into the shopping cart with all your other belongings that you are pushing.

I cook some of my wood chips into biochar and use it in the garden; fortunately having a burn barrel is normal for this neighborhood.

Scientists are supposed to wear white coats and hide out in their labs. If you dress as a regular citizen and go about your scientific activities in public, you're likely to arouse the wrath of people who think you are up to no good, or in the language of today, "you might be a terrorist".
 
Daniel Kern
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Hahaha. Good stuff. I understand what your saying. Thanks for the ideas.
 
wayne stephen
steward
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Citizen Scientists such as Paul Wheaton and Thunderfoot create their own youtube channels . Don't forget to post your results here on permies first for peer review .
 
Dave Burton
pollinator
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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Two great resources that I must point out for Citizen Scientists is that if you need a lab or equipment to work with: Genspace and the DIY-Bio community ( diybio.org ) are always helpful.

Another project I have heard of is Project Noah. Also, I know that many local and state conservation organizations will allow people to adopt plants that need help increasing their population. Then, when the plants are ready, they can be returned to their environment.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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I love citizen scientist work. There's a ton of projects here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/citizen-science/ and many other places.

You can also search the type of project you are interested in - i.e "watershed protection" or state to see what comes up.
 
Dave Burton
pollinator
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BUMP! I came across another cool citizen science website: SciStarter
Another specific project that I recently learned about is the LifeScanner which works alongside the International Barcode of Life project to catalog and identify biodiversity throughout the world.
 
Ian Mitchell
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Location: West New York
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You might want to check out the foldscope website. I don't think they are avaible for sale yet, but they are very cheap microscopes which can used in a variety of settings.
 
Aaron Festa
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Location: Connecticut
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John I'm a newbie I wonder if you can explain the process of inoculating your woodchip pile. I have about 10 yards of chips right now and a bunch of birch boletes in the front yard. What should I do?
 
R Thomason
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Here are a few thoughts and suggestions.

First, many River or Stream Watcher organizations have good citizen scientist programs with trainings and mentors to help folks monitor waterway quality. Checking the Web sites of the ones in your region will let you know what they offer.

Second, the USA National Phenology Network is set up to help citizen scientists (or at least nature lovers who want to take their love of nature to the next level in a systematic way). In a nutshell, phenology is the process of watching and recording how species change over a period of time in relation to climatic conditions. The Web site https://www.usanpn.org can explain in more detail.

Finally, the Weather Underground has a network of folks who have set up personal weather stations and feed the info to the wunderground.com Web site; http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/about.asp

Hope this helps
Rob
 
Nick Heyming
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Location: Vista, CA
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This is an idea whose time has come! I'm working with a benefit corp, Grow Games Interactive, that is going to be launching one of the world's largest citizen science initiatives using social media and video games to propagate the ideas and technology.

It's called SEEDS: The Game, and its all about implementing permaculture and then documenting the results with relevant climate, microclimate, soil, and technical information. We're looking for partners and team members as we build our first prototype, and we've already got Elaine Ingham on board as an advisor. Hopefully we can get someone like Paul to advise as well, wink wink...
 
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