April 13th is Citizen Science Day and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will celebrate by encouraging you to get involved! Citizen scientists provide a wealth of data and observations to help the researchers at NOAA study our ocean and atmosphere.
NOAA has plenty of programs that you can join right from home using your computer or smartphone. The programs vary greatly, so no matter your interests you’re sure to find one that interests you! Volunteers for these programs are crucial to research being done, since they are able to give ‘eyes and ears’ to more places than researchers can be themselves.
The following programs are those NOAA is specifically highlighting for Citizen Science Day 2019:
- Steller Watch
- Spend some time looking through photos of sea lions for the steller watch project! The Steller Sea Lion population has dropped significantly in recent years, so this project helps track their activity through strategically placed cameras in the Aleutian Islands
- CrowdMag App
- Turn your smartphone into a traveling observatory with the CrowdMag App! This app tracks the Earth’s magnetic field, and sends the data back to NOAA. NOAA then can use this information to model the magnetic field and improve navigational systems.
- Ocean Video Lab
- Take your observations underwater, and review deep ocean video! Simply identify interesting features in videos, so researchers can go back analyze.
- Old Weather Project
- This project is for both weather and history buffs! Transcribe logs and journals form historic vessels so that it can be logged for modern use by climatologists.
- mPING App
- Help fill in gaps of weather observations near the surface through the mPING App. Report any precipitation and other weather conditions to be used not only by NOAA scientists, but also by maintenance crews and workers of the aviation industry.
By participating in any one of these projects you’ll be making a contribution to the world of science, and actively helping the scientific community. To learn more check out NOAA’s webpage on these great opportunities: www.noaa.gov/education