Bridging the gap: Earthworms bring scientists and farmers together to improve soil health

Scientists and farmers have more in common than many people realize, including a desire to improve the health of our soils. By partnering together to study earthworms in farm fields, scientists and farmers are discovering how different agricultural practices impact soil health. Read on to learn more about how earthworms help bridge the gap between scientific research, farm management, and soil health!

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How Citizen Science Led to The Discovery of Tree-Dwelling Toads

Two groups of citizen scientists in the UK discovered something previously unknown to science– toads living in trees. Read on to learn about how citizen science and collaborations with scientists can lead to more interesting questions and discoveries.

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Freshwater ecosystems need our help, and citizen science could be part of the solution

Freshwater resources around the globe are becoming increasingly degraded. Although humans are a major cause of this problem, they can also be part of the solution, especially when we all work together to tackle environmental issues. One way we can do this is through citizen science, where scientists and members of the public work together to perform research and advance scientific knowledge. Read on to learn more about freshwater citizen science, its benefits and challenges, and how you can get involved!

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Crowdsourcing Sharks: a citizen science success story

Conserving the environment and its organisms works most effectively when managers and scientists have a lot of environmental information. However, some of the world’s most vulnerable animals, like the sand tiger shark, are also the most secretive. Luckily for these scary looking predators, amateur scientists can be an agent of change.

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Can you figure out what species this is? Computers can

Protecting wild animals requires far more data than scientists could collect alone, so researchers often enlist the help of amateur “citizen scientists” to help identify animals in photos. However, with more and more large scale projects that need help from citizen scientists, it is taking an increasingly long time to process all of the photos from any individual study. Marco Willi from the University of Minnesota and his colleagues thought there might be a way to speed things up: by getting computers to identify most of the easy animals, and leaving humans to figure out the extra hard ones. 

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For urban snails, yellow is the new pink

Pavement, smog, and lack of shade can increase temperatures in cities by up to 6ºF above the surrounding rural and suburban areas. We know the higher temperatures directly impact many species of animals, but is it possible that they could also affect the course of evolution and change the physiology of future generations? To answer this question, researchers from the Netherlands used a popular citizen science platform to gather data about the appearance of snails throughout a wide range of habitats.

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