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Watch August VMN Continuing Ed webinar: Forest Health in Virginia, 16 August

Access for streaming the 2018 Virginia Master Naturalist videos is now available. Michelle Prysby will restore access to earlier videos, starting with 2017, later this month.

To watch any of the 2018 videos now and the earlier videos later in August, see VMN’s Continuing Education web page.

The August webinar will be on Forest Health in Virginia, with Virginia Department of Forestry’s Forest Health Manager, Lori Chamberlin.  It will take place Thursday, 16 August, at noon. 

For master naturalists, watching the VMN webinars counts toward continuing ed credits.

Join Dragonfly Workshop at Clifton Institute, 11 August

On Saturday, August 11, 1:00PM-4:00PM, join Dr. Steve Roble, zoologist with the Virginia Division of Natural Heritage, for a program on dragonfly and damselfly biology and identification. Dragonflies are some of the most mysterious and beautiful animals that live at the Clifton Institute. And northern Virginia is a hotspot of dragonfly diversity, with at least 65 species present.

Steve Roble is a leading expert on the dragonflies and damselflies of Virginia. He will present on the fascinating biology of these insects and then we will explore the field station in search of dragonflies. We will visit lakes, streams, and fish-free vernal pools, each of which host distinct dragonfly communities. So far we have observed 34 species of dragonflies and 14 damselflies at Clifton.

Clifton Institute has a project on iNaturalist to host your observations.

Come help us add to the list! To RSVP please email Bert Harris at bharris@cliftoninstitute.org.

Join the North American Butterfly Association Count at the Clifton Institute, 28 July

The Clifton Institute is hosting its 23rd annual butterfly count and celebrating its 16th year in collaboration with the North American Butterfly Association July count. They need novice and experienced butterfly enthusiasts to serve as citizen scientists. As a participant, you will be assigned to small teams, led by an experienced butterfly counter. Teams will survey a variety of sites within our count circle.

What you need to know:

Saturday, July 28, 8:00AM-4:00PM (Check-in begins at 8 am with refreshments. Volunteers should be on site no later than 8:30)

$5 fee for participating adults; children 8 and older may participate (fee waived), when accompanied by a parent

Bring your lunch and spend the day. Outdoor clothing and shoes, hats, sunscreen, and water bottles are essential. Cameras and close focus binoculars are suggested. (If you are a photographer, please let us know. We would like to place one photographer on each team!)

Contact Bert Harris at bharris@cliftoninstitute.org for more information and to RSVP (required).

Present at American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting; abstracts due 1 August

Join Thriving Earth Exchange for AGU’s Fall Meeting, to be held 10-14 December in Washington, D.C. Abstract submission deadline: 1 August.

The AGU 2018 Fall Meeting provides a special opportunity to share science with world leaders in Washington, D.C. As the largest Earth and space science gathering in the world, the Fall Meeting places you in the center of a global community of scientists drawn from myriad fields of study whose work protects the health and welfare of people worldwide, spurs innovation, and informs decisions that are critical to the sustainability of the Earth.

You will connect with leading thinkers, learn about pioneering research and emerging trends, and use your voice to help drive science’s positive impact on the world.

Connect with the D.C. area’s many scientific institutions and witness the ways that your colleagues are helping to inform solutions to the challenges faced by this region. Recharge by exploring the city’s bustling restaurant and music scene and enjoy the beauty and richness of its national monuments and museums.

Celebrate Science

Launch AGU’s Centennial celebration by observing 100 years of Earth and space science accomplishments and set the stage for the next 100 years of breakthroughs. Recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals who have advanced science, served the community unselfishly and increased public understanding at the Honors Ceremony.

Advance Your Science and Your Career

Come to Fall Meeting to share your research, expand your skills and grow your career, learn from colleagues, and gain visibility and recognition for your own efforts alongside the world’s leading scientific minds. Experiment with new ways to present your research and engage with your colleagues.

Experience Science

See the latest research from every field and gain insights that will enrich your own work. Meet new collaborators as you explore more than 20,000 oral and poster presentations. Hear from renowned science lecturers and be inspired by world-class keynote speakers. Join a field trip to explore the local geology, delve into the many challenges facing the Chesapeake Bay (the largest estuary in the U.S.), or investigate the implications of climate change for the region’s mix of large coastal cities and dense agriculture.

Share Your Science

In the coming weeks and months, watch for announcements about the many ways you can share and stand up for science. By leveraging the D.C. location, the 2018 Fall Meeting offers a special opportunity for you to connect with global and national policy makers and leaders and to showcase our science worldwide.

Visit Your New Home Away from Home

Experience AGU’s newly renovated headquarters building, a model for energy-efficient urban renovation that embodies the spirit and values of scientific discovery and the tells the story of the impact of Earth and space sciences on society. Members are always welcome at the AGU Headquarters.

Check out new tools, partners, and opportunities for meaningful work

During the AAAS Community-Driven Citizen Science for Health and the Environment symposium on 14 June, the speakers roamed across themes addressing how to engage in citizen science, the importance of understanding the reasons and potential outcomes of the work (so that the outcomes are really, really valuable), and which tools are available to make the work easier to do and easier to share.

The potential for meaningful work and friendships is quite high.

Would you consider trying out these resources for yourself and your projects? and then reviewing them for Curated Resources? (Did we mention that service hour credit is available for FMN members?)

Water Reporter, platform and social network for monitoring water quality

Thriving Earth Exchange, community-centered consortium sponsored by AGU100 Advancing Earth and Space Science and source of projects for service hours

Anecdata.org, New Gen Citizen Science Platform so that we can diversify how we work and with whom

Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON), platform from US Geological Survey, allows you to download species occurrence and maps

ISeeChange, community climate and weather journal

Community Science Connect, community science consortium

ESRI ArcGIS, cloud-based mapping platform

Air Sensor Toolbox for Citizen Scientists, from EPA

Want to review a resource? We’d love to hear from you. Instructions for submission await your click and commitment.

Become part of Nature’s Notebook, a platform from the National Phenology Network

Are you looking for a meaningful project? Does becoming a citizen scientist intrigue you? Want to learn a 21st-century tool that connects naturalists?

Nature’s Notebook is the National Phenology Network’s (USA NPN) online program and platform through which amateur and professional naturalists regularly record observations of plants and animals to generate long-term data sets used for scientific discovery and decision-making. As a citizen scientist, you can become a part of the community of observers by downloading the app (IOS or Android) and signing up for a campaign, such as Flowers for Bats, Shady Invaders, and others relevant to naturalist work in Virginia.

You can also start your own project and become certified!

If you just want to get your feet wet, or find materials for your classroom, NPN offers free, sharable resources.

Take a systems view and broaden your understanding of the network effect

As naturalists, we know that phenology (the study of periodic plant and animal lifecycle events and how they are influenced by seasonal variations in climate and habitat factors) is nature’s calendar—when dogwood trees bloom, when an eagle builds its nest, and when leaves turn color in the fall.

Phenologists take a systems view of the natural world. According to the National Phenology Network (USA NPN): “Many birds time their nesting so that eggs hatch when insects are available to feed nestlings. Likewise, insect emergence is often synchronized with leaf out in host plants. For people, earlier flowering means earlier allergies. Farmers and gardeners need to know the schedule of plant and insect development to decide when to apply fertilizers and pesticides and when to plant to avoid frosts. Phenology influences the abundance and distribution of organisms, ecosystem services, food webs, and global cycles of water and carbon. In turn, phenology may be altered by changes in temperature and precipitation.”

Learn more

Caterpillars Count! Join new citizen science project

Caterpillars Count! is a citizen science project sponsored by the National Science Foundation for measuring the seasonal variation and abundance of arthropods like caterpillars, beetles, and spiders found on the foliage of trees and shrubs. Arthropods are an important food source for birds and other wildlife.

Climate change is affecting the timing of spring leaf out, insect activity, and bird migration and breeding. But are the plants, insects and birds all responding to the same degree? If either insects or birds are not keeping up with the shifts of the other organisms that they depend on, then further climate change may have negative consequences for their populations.

Caterpillars Count is part of a multi-university study of phenological mismatch across three trophic levels in eastern North America. The lead universities are University of North Carolina, Georgetown University, and University of Connecticut, with co-investigators from University of Florida, Institute for Bird Populations, Penn State, Evergreen State College, and Ontario Forest Research Institute.

Participants will monitor a site at the Walker Nature Center in Reston for Georgetown University. We will examine 50 leaves on each of 10 trees weeklyor bi-weekly thoughout the spring and summer.  We will count and classify the arthropods we observe. Each monitoring session will take about one hour. There will be approximately 16 monitoring sessions. Volunteeers are not required to participate in every session and the timing is up to the volunteers who are participating. Volunteers must sign-up in advance for training and schedule coordination.

This project is eligible for credit for master naturalists under code C-254.

Learn more

Attend Community-driven Citizen Science for Health and the Environment symposium, 14 June

The AAAS Fellows Crowdsourcing & Citizen Science Affinity Group and the South Big Data Innovation Hub proudly present a free symposium: Community-driven Citizen Science for Health and the Environment

The democratization of science and technology represents a tremendous opportunity to empower communities to address issues of local concern and to expand scientific knowledge used in policymaking in both the environment and the health sectors. Citizen science presents a tangible opportunity for the general public to connect with research and science policy by creating opportunities for real, needs-based engagement. However, without intentional processes and design, it is possible to exacerbate existing inequalities. This symposium will address the intersection of two complementary approaches: community-driven research and citizen science.

At its core, community-driven research involves the impacted community into research question and hypothesis generation. Once identified, the research questions may combine traditional and citizen science approaches in data collection and analysis. In contrast,  many citizen science projects are conceived and initiated by scientists to answer research questions and leverage non-professionals as a means to crowdsource data collection and/or analysis. This symposium seeks to focus on questions and techniques developed outside of the traditional scientific community to engage communities in both participation and co-creation.

This symposium will begin with a keynote address presenting a common understanding of community-driven research and citizen science. Related policies, projects, issues, and strategies will then be addressed in a series of three panels that focus on different aspects of community-driven citizen science.

Panels will cover these three themes:

  1. Community-Driven Water Quality Projects Focused on Aquatic Systems
  2. Addressing Equity in Environmental Health Using Community-Driven Citizen Science
  3. The Role of Large Citizen Science Platforms in Supporting Community-Driven Projects

Panelists will reflect viewpoints across the citizen science spectrum: from funders, to researchers, to members of impacted communities. The panelists will address policy considerations and contributions, broadening participation of underrepresented groups, project design and implementation, and outcomes.

Additionally, an expo for local community-driven citizen science projects will highlight local projects and organizations. Lightning talks by the exhibiting groups, sharing their interests in and/or experience with community-driven projects, will provide conversation-starters to facilitate networking.

At the end of the day, the goal is for attendees to gain a better understanding of the potential research, public engagement, and policy applications of community-driven citizen science and to advance their involvement with a broader network of interested communities.

* Co-sponsored by the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub*

Follow the discussion on Twitter with #AAASCitSci and #BDHubs!

Symposium Panelists and Moderators:

Karen Andersen, Friends of the Shenandoah River
Jay Benforado, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Gari Clifford, Emory University
Jennifer Couch, National Institutes of Health
John Dawes, Chesapeake Commons
Julia Drapkin, ISeeChange
Maura Duffy, National Aquarium
Scott Loarie, iNaturalist
Liam O’Fallon, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Raj Pandya, American Geophysical Union
Amanda Rockler, University of Maryland
Rodney Sampson, Opportunity Hub, Brookings
Lea Shanley, South Big Data Innovation Hub
Trey Sherard, Anacostia Riverkeeper
Stinger Guala, U.S. Geological Survey
Sacoby Wilson, University of Maryland

Organizations participating in the Expo:

Reston Association
OpenAQ (as DataKind DC volunteer)
GLOBE Observer/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
ISeeChange
Audubon Naturalist Society
American Geophysical Union/ Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX)
U.S. Geological Survey
Washington Square Park Eco Projects
The New York Botanical Garden
AAAS
SciStarter

Agenda:

8:00 AM Arrival, check in, coffee

8:45 Welcome remarks by Carrie Seltzer and Stella Tarnay

9:00 Keynote address by Raj Pandya, Thriving Earth Exchange

9:30 Break

9:45 Panel 1: Community-Driven Projects Focused on Aquatic Systems

11:15 AM Lunch: Citizen science project lightning talks and expo

12:45 PM Panel 2: Addressing Equity in Environmental Health Using Community-Driven Citizen Science

2:15 Break

2:30 Panel 3: The Role of Large Citizen Science Platforms in Supporting Community-Driven Projects

4:00 Reception & citizen science project expo (continued)

5:30 End

 

American Association for the Advancement of Science
Auditorium
1200 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

Thursday, 14 June 2018
8:00 am-5:30 pm EDT

Register here: https://www.aaaspolicyfellowships.org/events/symposium-community-driven-ctizen-science-health-and-environment

 

Get involved in Audubon’s Climate Watch citizen science work

Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report predicts that over half of North American bird species will lose more than 50 percent of their current climatic range by 2080.

To test these predictions, Audubon has been running a new community science project, Climate Watch, since January. Climate Watch aims to document species’ responses to climate change by having volunteer community scientists in the field look for birds where Audubon’s climate models project they should be in the 2020’s, giving us an understanding on how birds respond to a changing climate.

There’s still time to get involved. If you would like to find out more about being a volunteer or how to coordinate in 

your area, please contact the Audubon Climate Watch Team at climatewatch@audubon.org

Participate in Reston Bioblitz, 2 June

A bioblitz is a quick but intense biotic survey completed within a 24 hour period. It provides a snapshot in time of what plants and wildlife are found in a certain place.

Reston’s 2018 bioblitz is looking for volunteers, scientists, and naturalists to participate, whether you’re a Reston residents or not. Please contact Patricia Greenberg for more information: pgreenberg@reston.org, 703-435-6552.

Saturday, 2 June 2018