What will you do to celebrate the planet this Earth Day?
Tuesday, April 22, is the 45th annual Earth Day, and we have some ideas for how you can get involved, ranging from educational to just-plain-fun.
Science with Eric: All about Water
For starters, how about learning more about water? Water is an essential component of life on Earth, and fresh water is especially important. We humans depend on fresh water for survival and for use in our cities and homes.
However, fresh water is a limited resource that is being impacted by increases in population and changes in our global climate. This results in conflict over this limited resource.
Join us for an online discussion exploring a series of issues surrounding fresh water, including:
- What choices do we have in how we allocate water resources in our communities and globally?
- What choices are being made for us, either through climate change, political or business interests, or other means?
- How do we influence the above interests (if possible) to best allocate water resources in the future?
Join Dr. Eric Lagally (General Education, Natural Science) and Dr. Suzanne Metlay (Secondary Education, Science) for this engaging discussion on Earth Day, April 22, at noon MDT. To tune in, visit wgu.adobeconnect.com/sciencewitheric and call 1-855-810-8948, participant code 194013, for the audio.
Join NASA’s #GlobalSelfie Campaign
For Earth Day 2014, NASA decided to mix their talents for taking pictures of the Earth with your talents for taking selfies. On Earth Day, add to the #GlobalSelfie campaign by taking your selfie somewhere outside. Post the image to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, or Flickr with the hashtag label #GlobalSelfie indicating where on Earth you took the photo.
NASA will be gathering the pictures to make one large mosaic image of the earth.
Be a citizen scientist!
If you've been working in a WGU science course, you know that science isn't just something that lives in a book. Science is a way of learning about the world—and it’s not just for scientists! Citizen science programs offer you a way to do real science research, partnered with professional scientists.
There’s a huge range of different types of citizen science opportunities. You can find projects to work on by yourself, with friends or family, even with kids. Some projects can be completed entirely online, and others involve work in the great outdoors. Whatever your interests, chances are good you can find a citizen science project that’s a perfect fit!
Check out the sites below and get started!
Projects that are largely or entirely computer-based:
- CosmoQuest: Map other worlds, explore the universe. http://cosmoquest.org/
- NOVA Labs from PBS: Real data, real science. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/labs
- Zooniverse: More than a dozen different projects in astronomy, climate studies, even humanities. https://www.zooniverse.org/
- NASA Citizen Science: Help answer the questions of the universe. http://science.nasa.gov/citizen-scientists/
Projects that involve primarily “real-life” or field work:
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s list of projects: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citsci/projects
- SharkFinder: Identify fossils in ocean sediment. http://sharkfinder.org/index.html
- Journey North: Help track wildlife migrations. http://www.learner.org/jnorth/
- Audubon Citizen Science: Backyard Bird Count, Hummingbirds Home, and Christmas Bird Count. http://www.audubon.org/citizenscience
- Project Noah: Discover organisms, document nature, and help with research. http://www.projectnoah.org/
- iNaturalist: Share your observations of the natural world. http://www.inaturalist.org/
- National Wildlife Foundation Citizen Science page: http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Conservation/Citizen-Science.aspx
- National Geographic BioBlitz: A 24-hour citizen science event. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/projects/bioblitz/
- If you live in New Jersey, here’s an opportunity with New Jersey Audubon: http://www.njaudubon.org/sectioncitizenscience/whatiscitizenscience.aspx
- And here’s an option if you’re in upstate New York: http://natureupnorth.org/justmynature/jacob-malcomb/spring-citizen-science
Sites that include links and search forms for a variety of projects:
- Citizen Science Central from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citscitoolkit
- USGS Citizen Science search page: http://txpub.usgs.gov/myscience/
- National Geographic Citizen Science search page: http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/citizen-science/?ar_a=1
- Scientific American Citizen Science search page: http://www.scientificamerican.com/citizen-science/
- Citizen Science Center: http://www.citizensciencecenter.com/
- SciStarter search page: http://scistarter.com/