Citizen Science, 2017 & Beyond


We have an event coming up that is our main focus now with regard to citizen science. After a few years of linking out to plenty of initiatives in this realm, 2017 is our big year, so to speak. And not only for us, nor only for 2017. We see the trend building momentum. Thanks to the Nature Conservancy and Cool Green Science for this story reminding us of the variety of citizen science projects are out there waiting to be discovered:

As a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) descends into the ocean depths, inky blackness slowly consumes all sunlight. Jellyfish and unidentified floating objects drift by, marine snow shimmers in the vehicle’s headlights. Suddenly, mountains and canyons taller and deeper than any on land materialize out of the darkness. Then, a voice breaks over the intercom, “Bridge, this is Nav, can we move five-meters South and hold position? Okay, let’s get underway again. Bearing 180°, 20 meters.”

Who is the man behind ‘Nav’? His name is Rich Bell.

Scientist by Day, Navigator by Night

When he’s not helping the Conservancy manage global fisheries, marine scientist Rich Bell occasionally moonlights as Navigator aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus – one of only two ships in the U.S. dedicated to exploration.

Bell developed his navigational skills growing up on the waters of New England and has perfected them throughout his career. But why is a Conservancy scientist taking vacation to gallivant around the globe on an exploration vessel?

Rich explains in his own words:

“Being aboard Nautilus allows me to explore unknown parts of the world and use different skills,” says Bell. “Plus, it’s also a great opportunity for learning – lots of talented people in a small space fosters cross-pollination of ideas, methods, and tools. I’ve built relationships that have led to new methods for achieving my Conservancy goals. For instance, I once went to sea with a robotics professor [author’s note: this is how all good stories start] who specializes in image processing – consequently, I recently submitted a proposal to use his underwater camera system to study fish and fish habitat. Most importantly, being on the water is one of the main reasons I became a marine scientist.”…

Read the whole article here.

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