Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Creating Community Through Science

Hello everyone! Meghan Slocombe here, the new Community/Citizen Science Educator. 

I have been blown away by the science community we have built at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. In my first month, I have worked with our volunteers to find safe ways for them to continue collecting and processing water samples for our SoundToxins program. I’ve seen vets and community members assess stranded marine mammals, and joined individuals in the aquarium to monitor the growth rates of our pinto abalone. Yet, as winter closes in on us and COVID-19 continues to make it difficult to meet in person, I know many are having trouble finding ways to continue to connect with our science community.

Well lucky for you, I’ve found some great online opportunities for contributing to science. (These online programs have clear instructions on how to help, so don’t worry if you do not have experience with the program beforehand.) Now just because you’re conducting science online, does not mean you’re in it alone! We want to hear from you about what projects you’re contributing to.

Zooniverse is an online citizen science platform with projects in all sorts of topics!

Tell us about the fish you’ve recently identified in the waters off of the Hawaiian islands through the OceanEYEs project.

Or send us pictures of the invertebrates you’ve catalogued for the California Academy of Sciences Invertebrate Zoology Collections.

Better yet, report back on the history of Daytona Beach’s fisheries operations after identifying fish from old photographs.

Fish aren’t your cup of tea? How about you help identify plankton off the California coast. Who knows, it might give you something to talk to our SoundToxins volunteers about!

For those still looking to brave the winter weather, check out the King Tides from November to January. Visit a site before and after the highest tides of the year. Just make sure to be careful!

The point is, while winter may limit our ability to meet in person we are still a community. (And a strong one at that!) My hope is that we can continue to make our community stronger and larger by contributing to the science of other communities. If you want to share with PTMSC your experience with community science or some pictures of your most recent beach walk or winter paddle, email Meghan Slocombe (Community/Citizen Science Educator) at mgslocombe@ptmsc.org.

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