Join WildWatch and Become a Citizen Scientist

WildWatch Citizen Science
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One way to stay connected to nature and witness the changing of the seasons is to join WildWatch, a family-friendly, citizen science initiative from our friends at Clark Green Neighbors.

“Oblivious to our current situation, the spring season marches on. The days are longer, the birds are returning and flowers are in bloom. Staying active and appreciating nature can be healing for your mind and body, but you don’t even have to venture as far as the local park to welcome spring.

One way to stay connected to nature and witness the changing of the seasons is to participate in citizen science, right in your own backyard, front lawn or even the nature strip between the sidewalk and the road. It’s as simple as jotting down your daily observations of the plants growing in your garden, noting when and where you see a flock of birds you recognize or putting out a rain gauge to measure precipitation. When you track changes in the natural world through the seasons you are practicing phenology. (Phenology means “the science of appearance.” It involves recording the timing of biological events in plants and animals and comparing the timing of those events with historical trends to draw insight about changes in the climate. Phenology is very important science and the laboratory is right outside your door!)

Get started with WildWatch by counting bees, tracking storms, measuring precipitation or keeping vigil over birds’ nests, and you’ll advance science with your observations! There are seven projects that we link to that accept data via online submissions from thousands of other nature enthusiasts who are measuring the same natural events as you in their own backyards. You can invest as much or as little time as you choose.

Current offerings on the WildWatch page range from Project Budburst, monitoring a single plant or multiple of plants over time and recording when they bud, leaf and bloom to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, host to the largest bird monitoring network in the country. This work is as important as it is fun, and is a great supplemental learning opportunity for children home from school. We hope you check it out!”

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