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Elms College is throwing a Bioblitz this Saturday at Chicopee Memorial State Park. Teachers, students, parents and friends of all ages are invited to team up with scientists to identify as many of the park’s living creatures as possible in a single day. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet people working in scientific fields and ask them questions about science in general or about their careers specifically. Participation can get community members interested in the biodiversity of their local lands, and as a result make them more invested in conservation efforts. Documenting of local species can give scientists clues for further research. You never know what you’re going to find until you look! Register online.

Explore Night Time Nature During National Moth Week July 18-26, 2015 Did you know that there are over 11,000 moth species in the United States alone?  More than just an evening version of butterflies, moths provide necessary biodiversity to ecosystems all over the world! National Moth Week will take place this year from July 18-26, and provides an opportunity for families to learn about and help to document the many different moths… Read More

Volunteer for river conservation by participating in the Westfield River Committee’s Watershed Blitz! River-loving, conservation-minded families can volunteer alongside experts in order to spot and identify the many plant and animal species that reside on the river’s banks – working together to gather useful information about the local environment. Held in celebration of the committee’s 20th year of preservation work, the event not only supports future preservation, but promotes community participation in the process!

What do you see when you look into the night sky above your home? Turn informal observations of celestial bodies into citizen science with Loss of the Night…

The Great Backyard Bird Count takes place this year for four days beginning on Valentine’s Day! Spread your love to our fine feather friends this year during this annual citizen scientist event. Participating in citizen science projects is a great way for kids to engage with science in a meaningful way. Not only are they helping to support research and population studies, but they’re applying basic skills of their own (data collection, species identification, map skills, and possibly data interpretation) in order to do so…

IceWatch: Citizen Scientist Project Exams Ecosystems via Ice This winter, families can contribute to climate studies by participating in IceWatch, a citizen science initiative that works to collect information about the ice-in and ice-out times of various bodies of water across the continent. By regularly observing a lake, pond, river, or bay, families can help to inform scientists about the length of the cold season which, when compared to data from past… Read More

Last week an energetic group of Hilltown Families citizen scientists and Kurt Heidinger, Executive Director of Biocitizen, conducted our fourth annual rapid biotic assessment of the Westfield River in West Chesterfield. This month in Kurt’s post, “The Ripple,” hear all about it, what we found and images from the afternoon…

Hilltown Families Participates in Smithsonian’s Neighborhood Nestwatch Citizen Scientists Program Every Autumn since 2010, Hilltown Families has participated in a yearly Citizen Scientist project with Biocitizen where families come together to conduct a Rapid Biotic Assessment of the Westfield River. This collection of data involves capturing and cataloging the bugs—benthic invertebrates —that live on the riverbed.  Certain bugs like stonefly-nymphs need lots of oxygen to survive, and when you find a bunch of… Read More

Citizen Scientists Wanted to Monitor Backyard Birds: Neighborhood Nestwatch Citizen Scientist Opportunity for Families in the Pioneer Valley Ever wonder if the robins nesting in your backyard are the same birds that nested there last year? If they were color banded then you would know. Amazingly, many birds nest in the same place year after year. By joining the Smithsonian’s Neighborhood Nestwatch Citizen Science project, you can help scientists answer important questions… Read More

Citizen Scientists are Studying All Over the World You’ve got to love technology! Never before in the history of time have people from all over the world been so easily able to learn about and participate in true science. Citizen Scientist projects are research based investigations that involve regular people in actual research experiments. By engaging the general public, professional scientists are able to amass a huge amount of data. The observers… Read More

How do spring peepers know when to start singing? How do spring peepers know when to start singing? They don’t have weather reports, or the ability to see the buds forming on trees, the snow melting, or teens walking around in shorts and T’s when it’s 40 degrees and climbing. Certainly, there are scientific reasons that explain how peepers know when to announce the return of the sun and the warmth; but… Read More

Project BudBurst Citizen Scientist Opportunity for Families & Students Students can learn so much by following the seasonal patterns of plants found here in New England. Each plant’s cycle is different, and varies depending on factors like location and weather patterns.  Tracking a plant through its seasonal changes can help us to better understand the subtle changes that take place in our environment, and says a lot about where we live. This… Read More

Christmas Bird Count: An Annual Citizen Scientist 24 Hour Hunt for Bird Species Leslie Reed-Evans writes: Imagine standing at the edge of a frosty field on a chill December morning.  Out of the corner of your eye you see an electric flash of blue- a male Eastern Bluebird flying to a wild rose bush to munch on its fruit1 – This is a scene played out all over New England, and indeed… Read More

Families Learn about the Relationship Between Benthic Invertebrates and River Ecology with Hilltown Families & Biocitizen Halloween’s upon us and the leaves are almost down—and for river lovers that means it’s time to do Rapid Biotic Assessments (RBA), which involves capturing and cataloging the bugs—benthic invertebrates —that live on the riverbed. Certain bugs like stonefly-nymphs need lots of oxygen to survive, and when you find a bunch of them, it’s a sign… Read More

Organize a Bioblitz in Your Community! Are your kids curious about all of the many different plants and animals that they find while exploring outside?  Have you ever been curious about the amount of biodiversity in your community?  Would your students benefit from a hands-on species identification project?  Do a bioblitz! A bioblitz is a community event designed to quickly compile information on biodiversity in a relatively small area.  Community members of… Read More

Thinking Like A Watershed One of the funnier thoughts I’ve heard goes like this: “I want to be one with nature.” You might have heard of this thought, or a variation of it, too. The reason I find it funny is that it’s actually impossible not to be “one with nature,” if being “one” means directly, physically and existentially connected to the vital sources of being. If, by any chance, you are… Read More

Berkshire Bioblitz Burbank Park in Pittsfield Sept 22-23, 2012 When learning about biodiversity, students are often shown far away landscapes – such as jungles and deserts – as examples of places with unique sets of plants, animals, and interesting terrain.  The fields, forests, lakes, and streams of Western Massachusetts, however, are bursting with a wide variety of trees, grasses, flowers, insects, birds, fish, and mammals of all sizes! The annual Berkshire Bioblitz,… Read More

Adopt Your Local Stream or River Rivers and streams are beautiful. That’s why we are drawn to them, deeply and elementally. The first colonists in Western Massachusetts hugged close to the rivers because of the abundance of life that issued from and through them, and our (or at least my) favorite town of all—Northampton—still retains much of the vibrancy of its original biocultural character: an idealistic, community-oriented and caring character generated by… Read More

What Are We Going to Do Now Aldo Leopold was one of the shining lights of our long-awakening ecological movement; and he said that one of the drawbacks of seeing the world from the ecological perspective is that, at the same time you see the incredible beauty of the kinship of all living creatures, you also see the damage being done to our great shared life. He implored educational leaders to not… Read More

Cloud Rover Observers Wanted As Citizen Scientists What shapes do you see in the clouds?  There may be rabbits, eggs, vines, airplanes, and shoes… and no matter what you see in the sky, NASA wants to hear about it!  The organization’s S’COOL program uses data provided by Citizen Scientists, as well as official weather reports, to track cloud cover across the country. By collecting data on the type of clouds, the height… Read More

Families as Citizen Scientists this Saturday BioBlitz at Northfield Town Forest Help to identify plant and animal species and to provide a foundation for future stewardship at the Northfield Town Forest.  The Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust and the town of Northfield are hosting a BioBlitz on this Saturday, June 9th at the forest.  A BioBlitz is an event where community members volunteer  as citizen scientists (alongside experts in wildlife biology, forestry,… Read More

3 Apps to Explore & Engage with Your Environment While adventuring outdoors to enjoy local landscapes this summer, families can integrate their mobile devices into their trek to create environmental learning opportunities! Three applications – CreekWatch, Leafsnap, and the WildLab – are all designed to teach users about their environment and to help monitor and conserve natural resources.  All three applications provide ways for families to integrate technology into their outdoor adventures… Read More

Western MA Youth  Can Help Deerfield River Watershed Association Protect Vernal Pools as Citizen Scientists During springtime, our surroundings burst with new life!  One of the most interesting and least known about natural environments is the vernal pool- pools develop in the early spring while snow melts and the ground becomes softer, and pools of water gather becoming home to a laying ground for frogs and salamanders. BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST Vernal… Read More

Great Backyard Bird Count Perfect for Families Get out your bird books- this year’s 2012 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) takes place from February 17th-20th!   The GBBC helps researchers gather an accurate count of bird populations, as well as determine the location of bird species.  Sponsored by Audubon and Cornell University, the event requires citizen scientists to watch and count birds in their backyard for at least 15 minutes on at… Read More

Bird Count at Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield There have been lots of opportunities lately to become a Citizen Scientist and assist with bird population counts!  Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count and Bald Eagle Count both took place recently, but there’s another bird count that you can do any time of year!  Mass Audubon offers a checklist of birds that visitors to Canoe Meadows (located in Pittsfield) can print and take along on their… Read More

2nd  Annual BioBlitz in Berkshire County: Scientists and Neighbors Working Together to Survey Local Biodiversity In celebration of local biodiversity, Berkshire Museum is holding Berkshire County’s second annual BioBlitz at Mt. Greylock Reservation in Lanesborough, MA on Friday, June 10 to noon on Saturday, June 11. It is co-sponsored by, Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Dr. Augie’s Science Education Programs, MCLA STEM Pipeline and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation (DCR) and Recreation. The… Read More

Western MA Families Can Participate as Citizen Scientists During the 14th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count This Weekend The 14th annual Great Backyard Bird Count began today Friday, February 18th, and extends through the holiday weekend until February 21st. Parents and kids of all ages and skill levels are needed to count birds in their yards, neighborhoods, or other places they may be traveling to during school vacation. Simply tally birds for… Read More

Citizen Scientists Wanted to Participate in Mass Audubon’s Focus on Feeders Weekend February 5th & 6th, 2011 Families in western MA are invited to take part in the Mass Audubon’s free annual Focus on Feeders Weekend. During the first weekend of February, take note of the diversity of bird species visiting your bird feeders. Kids will have fun identifying cardinals and blue jays as their bright colors enliven your backyard, and bird… Read More

Bioblitz in the Berkshires Friday & Saturday, June 4th-5th in Pittsfield, MA Celebrating the United Nation’s “Year of Biodiversity,” the Berkshire Museum is holding Berkshire County’s first BioBlitz in Pittsfield State Forest from noon on Friday, June 4th to noon on Saturday, June 5th, 2010. The weekend event will allow scientists and local residents to document the extensive variety of life in their immediate area and see first-hand the diversity and importance… Read More

Bioblitz in the Pioneer Valley Saturday, June 5th in Springfield, MA What is a Bioblitz? A bioblitz is a 24 hour event to find, identify, and record as many species as possible, from microbe to mammal, at a given location. Bioblitzes provide valuable information to park managers and get kids excited about science and the natural world. During the weekend students will head out on various themed nature walks to explore, investigate,… Read More

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