Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment: Quantifying the contribution of citizen science to broad‐scale ecological databases. “Ecological research increasingly relies on broad‐scale databases containing information collected by personnel from a variety of sources, including government agencies, universities, and citizen‐science programs. However, the contribution of citizen‐science programs to these databases is not well known. We analyzed one such database to quantify the contribution of citizen science to lake water‐quality data from seven US states.”
Phys .org: New VR game to help researchers understand predator and prey movements. “Researchers have developed a free virtual reality game which allows players to experience the thrill of the hunt as a hungry predator feasting on swarming flies. The VR game, called FlyCatcher, has been created by scientists from the University of Lincoln, UK, to help enhance understanding of the erratic, evasive movement of fleeing prey.”
Phys .org: Facebook and Instagram gave away the presence of the ‘Japan pig’ seahorse in Taiwan. “While monitoring of cryptic and elusive tiny creatures, such as pygmy seahorses that measure only 13 to 27 mm, might be too costly and time-consuming for research teams and institutions, the underwater activity might be proving of particular interest to photography and diving enthusiasts. At least, this is what comes across from the recent reports of five miniature species identified from Taiwanese waters by local citizen scientists and passed along via Facebook and Instagram.”
Slashgear: Project asks public to help find light pollution in space images. “If you’re looking for a way to help experts make an impact on our planet, the ESA has pointed toward Lost at Night, a project that needs the public’s help identifying areas of light pollution captured in images taken from space. The project intends to raise light pollution awareness, and it is now asking the public to help researchers in this field by cataloging the images.”
Phys .org: Researchers suggest better communication needed to convince public of findings. “A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.S. has published a Perspective piece in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discussing the growing problem of acceptance of findings by scientists by the general public. They suggest several possible approaches that researchers could use to promote more effective signals of trustworthiness to the public.”
Newshub New Zealand: NZ’s litter problem: Citizen scientists hope rubbish data will provide wake-up call for Kiwis. “In a programme being rolled out at over 100 beaches, groups of volunteers are collecting and analysing the rubbish that washes up on New Zealand shores to build a database of evidence to inspire action.”
Natural History Museum: Where to report birds tangled in plastic rubbish. “Birds and Debris was set up by Dr Alex Bond, Senior Curator of Birds at the Museum, and collaborators at the Environmental Research Institute at the University of the Highlands and Islands. The website allows people all over the world to report birds endangered by not only plastic but any type of debris, such as glass, fabric and metal.” The image with the story is a graphic one, of a bird with a fishing hook caught in its mouth.