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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Take a few minutes to find a citizen-science project that will allow you to query the database. Answer the three questions in the discussion below.
      • Which citizen-science project did your research? Provide a brief background.
      • Is the database accessible to anyone? Could someone who has not participated in the project use the data? Can students access the information?
      • How might your students use this citizen-science project data to conduct an investigation?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Bill
      Chirps: 12
      I researched the GLOBE at Night citizen science campaign which is a project intended to raise awareness on light pollution. To do this, the site guides you through simple steps on how to make observations of the night sky and report it. These observations involves determining you exact location using latitude and longitude, identifying a constellation (the site does a great job showing how to do this), selecting visibility using one of 7 magnitude charts and selecting cloud cover. It also allows you to put in comments about your location. The observation and reporting is very simple but it does take some practice to get it right. The database is searchable by anyone, including people who have not contributed to the project, and the past 14 years of observations can be searched. You can limit data sets to  specific geographical areas, specific years, or download entire datasets to analyze. The project discusses the impacts of light pollution on health, ecosystems, energy waste and multiple other factors. The use of these datasets is very broad and a multitude of investigations could be done using this data. Two of them that interest me would be the differences in the amount of light pollution in rural vs urban areas, or the change of light pollution over time in a given region and what effect that has on human health.
    • Christine
      Chirps: 14
      I have been on budburst too. It is a data base of plant life cycles, where you can either make one observation or follow a plant through its complete life cycle.  I was disappointed in how little life cycle data is out there for plants in my area, though there are some life cycle data sets for plants we could look at locally and compare. The data base is available to all, and easy to access. I'm thinking we might be able to identify some trees or other species from "The woodsy walk" a small area of woodland on the school property. This would be a nice on going project where we could potentially follow trees year to year, it would fit in well with teaching about weather, climate and I think woudl spark a lot of questions from the students.
    • kristin
      Chirps: 11
      I looked at the citizen science project called Planet Hunters.  This project asked people to look for new exoplanets around stars.  They would do this by studying the amount of light detected by a telescope for a particular star.  If there was a decrease in the amount of light, followed by a return to the normal amount of light it is highly probable that a planet is orbiting that star (the planet orbits between the star and the telescope and blocks some of the light) The database is not fully open; however, since this project is closed the data have been analyzed and many graphs are available in the results section. I would have my students use this data as we learn about eclipses and transits during our unit on space science.
    • Adam
      Chirps: 12
      The Citizen-Science Project I chose was Stellar Classification Online Public Exploration (SCOPE).  In this project individuals help Scientist classify hundreds of thousands of stars never before classified.  Unpon signing up, individuals will compare the light stemming from pictures taken from the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA) at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI).  These images are then compared to spectra charts which allow individuals to classify these stars. The database of stars is available for free to the public, but individuals need to sign up to gain access to the data.  In my class, we identify light spectrum to drawn conclusions about the atomic matter that is generating the light.  In my classroom we do this using gas filled bulbs.  As a follow up to that effort, students could identify unclassified stars using the same spectral analysis.
    • Aaron
      Chirps: 15
      I researched Project Budburst. Budburst is a citizen science project where people are encouraged to make observations of, and record data about plant life cycles.  People record data such as when a plant begins to bloom, flower, and loose leaves.  This information is very important in studying the influence of climate on the life cycle of plants.  I downloaded some data on life cycle information and observations of the Black Cherry.  I found information on when the plant buds burst, when its first leaves emerge, when it flowers, and when it looses its leaves.  I was able to download this information with no problem.  Students could use this data in many ways.  For example, students could compare the time a plants buds burst in one location to another.  Students could look at how latitude or longitude influence bud burst.  Students could look at data over time to see if plants bud burst times are changing.  I have not participated in the citizen science project, and was still able to download information about the black cherry tree.  Students could conduct many investigations with this data.  For example, students could investigate how bud burst varies as latitude changes. Students could download data, and look at the time a specific tree buds burst, and see if a correlation between this time and latitude exists.
    • Anna
      Chirps: 14
      I chose to explore project bud burst and e bird.  Project budburst is a project that records the life cycle phases of various plants in different areas.  E bird records the appearance or different birds in different times and locations.  For both of these, it seems like you would need to create an account and login (at least that is how I was looking at the data) but you do not have to collect data to look at their data.   So, students could access it.  The problem with project budburst was when I tried different plants for the publicly available data, it would often say "no data available".  For e bird, there was much more available to the public.  The nice thing about e bird is that there are a lot of interesting ways/graphs that the data are presented.  It really is a nice example of mathematical modeling for my students.   As I complete this course, I am in the midst of Co-vid 19 teaching.  Some of my students are not allowed outside.  So requiring outside investigations is impossible.  But, these students could be involved in data analysis for project budburst.  Although the publicly available data was not the great.  There is an opportunity for students to look at data that their classmates have collected.    For project e bird, I think the bar graphs would be very motivating to the students and a good way to practice initial graph reading.  I could create a "mathematical modeling" scavenger hunt through e bird so students could see the different ways that data are presented.   The question did ask about students conducting their own investigation.  Although, I thought all the models on the e bird site were cool, I found it difficult to access data and I think my students would too.  Project budburst has data dating back to 2000.  The trick would be locating the species that they have records for.  This could be a task for some students.  The question could have something to do with climate change since 2000 and how it has affected plant life cycles.
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