Citizen Science Day
April 13 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
April 13 is Citizen Science Day! Join us in learning about the world through meaningful participation in science while advancing research and monitoring of Acadia’s ecosystems. Schoodic Institute works with the National Park Service and other partners to provide citizen science opportunities in Acadia National Park, other public lands, backyards, and also regionally, nationally, and internationally. This year, we are celebrating citizen science with three separate training opportunities for studying birds, seasonal change, and biodiversity. The trainings are free, with an option to purchase lunch.
Please register for one of three programs (Maine Bird Atlas, Signs of the Seasons, or iNaturalist Biodiversity Documentation); all feature indoor classroom and outdoor field sessions. View a draft schedule for the day.
Maine Bird Atlas
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife launched the Maine Bird Atlas in 2018 to document the birds that call Maine home during the summer and winter months. Participants in this in-depth training will learn how to contribute observations to the Atlas in preparation for the upcoming breeding season. It will involve an overview of the project, including background and objectives, explain various ways to participate, and take a hands-on look at how to use eBird (the database for collecting Maine Bird Atlas sightings). After spending time indoors reviewing materials and procedures, participants will go outside to practice atlasing and then reconvene inside. Dress in layers, as the temperature will vary throughout the day. Boots or waterproof footwear is recommended for the outside portion of the day.
Signs of the Seasons
Using their backyards as laboratories, participants in the Signs of the Seasons program help scientists document the local effects of global climate change. Participants are trained to observe and record the phenology (seasonal changes) of common plants and animals living in their own communities — a citizen science project that fills a gap in regional climate research. Volunteers across New England record the growth of milkweed, the nesting of robins, and more. The goal is to build a rich, detailed record of the region’s seasonal turns, a resource too costly to build without a network of citizen volunteers. The collected data are made available (via Nature’s Notebook) to our collaborating scientists and resource managers. “Smart” phone or other device required.
Documenting Biodiversity with iNaturalist
iNaturalist is a mobile application and social network created by National Geographic and the California Academy of Sciences to catalog and track the biodiversity of the world. Participants take photos of plants, animals, fungi, etc., or signs of organisms (scat, bones, feathers, beaver lodges, etc.), and upload the image along with date and location, providing a record of a species in a place and time. iNaturalist is also a tool for identifying unknown species, using ”crowdsourcing” from other users. With 16,135,181 observations made to date, iNaturalist is helping researchers study biodiversity over time across the globe. “Smart” phone or other device required.