Celebrating Citizen Scientists
Spring is finally here and with it comes Citizen Science Day on April 14th! Join us in celebrating the amazing work of citizen scientists like yourselves from around the world! In this second installment of our Volunteer Spotlight series, you’ll meet a few more of the people behind the projects and hear about their passions. Everyone has a passion and everyone can make a difference. Our platform is designed to facilitate the collection of rigorous data and help projects and their volunteers remain objective while doing great research, regardless of their passions.
We continue to be inspired by the work volunteers do for their projects! We’d like to take this opportunity to share a few more inspirational stories from people (like you!) who demonstrate passion for what they do on a regular basis. Congratulations to John H., Lynne, John G., and Thomas, four volunteers whose stories struck us and who we’ve chosen to spotlight in this blog.
John Hammon – Stream Tracker
John is a Snow Hydrology PhD student at Colorado State University, where he is studying threshold hydrologic change across the intermittent-persistent snow transition of the western U.S. He has been working with the Stream Tracker project visiting sites wherever he goes. “[By] adding these sites, I hope that others may be able to go to these same spots to report current conditions when I am not able to [and help us] gain a [bigger] network of observations than could be measured by a single person.” To John, citizen science means “engagement with the places we live and visit. Taking a measurement while in your backyard, at a local green area, or on a hike can encourage you to slow down, think more about what’s going on around you, and serve as an entry point to broader dialogue about a specific issue or place.”
Lynne Euse- Trout Unlimited
Lynne works with Trout Unlimited to monitor potential impacts related to construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), should that happen, on local waters including Black Creek and the South River. Lynne got involved in citizen science when in the summer of 2016 Wild Virginia was looking for water monitoring volunteers. She says, “I’m a retired widow, have a computer, and am detail-oriented lover of the outdoors, so being the person on our team to compile and submit data to CitSci.org came naturally. As a local hiker and former Appalachian Trail section hiker/backpacker, I know first hand the importance of good water resources, both along a trail and in our communities. The ACP may threaten these resources and I need to be involved to monitor trends and help assess any changes that may occur. She says “being a part of CitSci.org is giving me a way to help protect our environment and work with others who love and want to protect our water, air and land”
John Giordanengo and the Southern Rockies Seed Network Volunteers
John and his staff and volunteers at the Southern Rockies Seed Network are involved in documenting remnant populations of native ecotypic plants. John got involved in citizen science through the creator of CitSci.org, Greg Newman, who John went to graduate school with. John says CitSci.org was the “obvious great choice for tracking the data we need” and that he chose CitSci.org because it “seems to be the best online resource out there for allowing multiple people to track our data on ecotypic plant materials”. He and his staff and volunteers are motivated to do citizen science because they see the impact they can have collectively to gain a better understanding of our planet. The Southern Rockies Seed Network interprets citizen science as “public participation in gathering and tracking data on those elements that are most important to us, and by extension we collectively contribute to a better understanding of the world in which we live.”
Thomas Epling- Trout Unlimited and West Virginia Rivers Coalition
Thomas is a stream monitoring volunteer for Trout Unlimited and for the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. He is currently monitoring six West Virginia trout streams. Thomas says he is involved in stream monitoring because “my community is being impacted by the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). This 44 inch diameter pipeline, with 1,440 pounds of pressure per square inch, will pass within 1.4 miles of my residence. It may cause permanent changes to the landscape and to the wildlife habitat in this area. I hope to be part of an effort that helps ensure that this project minimizes its impact on the environment”. He says, “citizen science, and the CitSci.org website have provided my sponsoring organizations with a tool for analyzing stream data, so that any abrupt changes in stream conditions might help identify potential environmental impacts from pipeline construction and shale gas development in West Virginia”.
To all who volunteer like John H., Lynne, John G., and Thomas – Keep up the excellent work and thank you for your dedication to grassroots science!