Thursday, May 14, 2009

So, you want to be a citizen scientist?

Photo: Christmas Bird Count (Pool) Flickr group

I am slowly trying to get myself back into the blogging swing of things. Here is a CNN article from a couple of weeks ago that caught my eye. I love the idea of citizen scientists:

(CNN) -- As a hobby, Suzie Jirachareonkul, a teacher and mother of two, spends many of her nights searching for endangered toads on the country roads near her home outside Cape Town, South Africa.

She often finds them flattened on the street.

"They're so beautiful and it's just really hard to live with, especially when you're living on the road right here," the 33-year-old said of the toad deaths. "So we started doing something about it. We started saving them off the road in the middle of the rain."

When a scientist caught onto her efforts, Jirachareonkul and a friend assembled about 20 volunteers -- a group she calls the "Toad NUTS" -- to collect data on the endangered Western Leopard Toad.

The information they collect is being used in scientific research.

Read more here

Some other interesting sites about citizen science: