If you have a schoolyard habitat or garden and would like fresh ideas about how to use it, or are simply interested in getting your students outside to experience their environment in meaningful and educational ways, this session is for you! This presentation shares how you and your students can get involved with bird-related citizen-science projects and authentic outdoor inquiry!
The Lab is a non-profit membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth ’ s biological diversity through research, education and citizen science focused on birds. By participating in this workshop, you will join the thousands of “ citizen scientists ” in North America who are actively engaged in scientific research and data collection with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
So, I’m guessing that some of you might have heard of that concept, “citizen science.” Define cit sci with the group.
At the Cornell Lab, our citizen science projects are focused on birds, and involves people collecting bird data and sending it in, usually online… There are millions of birdwatchers in America. Some backyard birdwatchers record data about the birds they see in their backyards, local parks, or on birdwatching trips. Imagine all that data—kinds of birds, where and when they are seen, how many are seen, habitat and weather information—scattered in notebooks all across the country! Scientists at the Lab of Ornithology realized that the data in those people’s notebooks has amazing value! There are some interesting scientific questions that can only be answered by looking at large data sets, collected over time, over large geographic areas, but scientists can’t be everywhere. Citizen Scientists can be the eyes and ears of scientists! Now, people all over the country collect data about the birds they see and send it to the Lab (often via the Internet), where the data becomes available to scientists and the general public.
Self Explanatory. Give some examples. If you don’t know about these, study the brochure. GBBC (great backyard bird count) Celebrate Urban Birds (or “CUBs) NestWatch focuses on nesting bird Project PigeonWatch YardMap: will be our newest project, currently in development
You can find out about these projects at Cornell Lab’s citizen science website. There are millions of birdwatchers in America. Some backyard birdwatchers record data about the birds they see in their backyards, local parks, or on birdwatching trips. Imagine all that data—kinds of birds, where and when they are seen, how many are seen, habitat and weather information—scattered in notebooks all across the country! Scientists at the Lab of Ornithology realized that the data in those people’s notebooks has amazing value! There are some interesting scientific questions that can only be answered by looking at large data sets, collected over time, over large geographic areas, but scientists can’t be everywhere. Citizen Scientists can be the eyes and ears of scientists! Now, people all over the country collect data about the birds they see and send it to the Lab (often via the Internet), where the data becomes available to scientists and the general public.
Type on the screen… ask 1-2 teachers to describe their participation if some have…
Today, we’ll concentrate on two projects: eBird and Project FeederWatch. eBird: Very flexible! Any bird, any where, any time: it just went global! Project FeederWatch: Focus on winter feeder birds.
Stats to review. Huge project—now global! Power of citizen science is in the amount of data
View of where our eBirders are at this time… but this is constantly expanding!
Entering our observations into eBird really does make a difference. Now people around the country are using our data! And each checklist we’ve submitted helps add to the understanding of birds. The scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology appreciate your participation.
eBird screen capture– Ithaca NY Red-winged blackbird. Each red “google bubble” is clickable and so you can see who saw the species and how many they saw. This is the “MAP” feature. There are other options, too.
Here is a frequency graph (essentially, how many eBirders are reporting these species). Plus, f you want to compare several birds in an area, you can do that too! Just click on the “Change Species” button, and add up to five birds to compare. Let’s see how the 3 kinds of graphs we’ve been studying look when we add more than one species. ASK: What species are we looking at? Mourning Dove, House Wren, Northern Mockingbird (review colors according to the key) What location are we looking at? New York What does this histogram show us? Mourning Dove are commonly seen throughout the year (thick green bars) House Wrens are only found in New York in the summer (breeding season) Northern Mockingbirds seen less often than Mourning Doves, but they are found throughout the year. What does this frequency graph show us? A similar thing, but in a different way (as a line graph) Mourning Doves are seen on about half the checklists submitted throughout the year House Wrens are found in New York only in the summer, and on about 30% of checklists submitted. Northern Mockingbirds are seen less frequently (less than 10% of lists), though they are reported throughout the year.
PFW is a WINTER project. You only count feeder birds.
People who enroll in PFW receive a packet that will help them participate. The packet includes posters of common feeder birds. Some educators find PFW easy to participate in because there are a limited number of species that you will need to identify (see the poster). Plus. you’re attracting birds so there is usually something fun to see. Other schools can’t put up feeders or find the expense of stocking feeders to be prohibitive.
Tualatin Valley Academy in Hillsboro Oregon… have been doing citizen science for over 10 years. They’ve grown their program over the years and now have many different kinds of feeders and a bird blind to count from.
As you can see, if Cornell doesn’t have several observations from many people, the data isn’t as useful or revealing, so keep the counts coming! Students find this real-world importance very motivating.
We created the BirdSleuth curriculum to help support teachers in using our programs… Citizen science programs are low-cost or free, and easy to use. But some teachers have asked for more support and resources to help them, so educators at the Cornell Lab developed BirdSleuth with support from the National Science Foundation.
Some points to mention… Learn science through inquiry Go outdoors to study their local environment Get involved in birding—perhaps develop a life-long interest Become citizen scientists and collect and use real data Become better equipped to make scientifically sound decisions
BirdSleuth is both a curriculum and lessons, and teacher professional development program.
As it turns out, observing birds and conducting citizen science provides an ideal route to student inquiry. As students observe birds, they get curious! Questions naturally arise!
The patterns in the data, and birds themselves– seem to naturally encourage student questions! We encourage you to keep track of student questions on an “I Wonder Board.” Some teachers give each student a stack of post-its, and when they think of a question, they put it on the board. This way, questions don’t get lost in those times when you say “great question– we’ll come back to that”– but forget to address it later, or don’t know how to address it. The posted questions become a starting point for learning about (and experiencing) the science process.
Our most successful resource is our free online module called “Investigating Evidence,” which take students through the entire science process, from asking a question, designing a study, collecting and analyzing data, and sharing results with others.
Experiment sample… Here’s a sample question that Amy asked, which was published in our 2005 Classroom BirdScope student research magazine. Amy wondered if a fake cat would scare away birds. From the graph… can you tell anything about Amy’s experiment? [Amy concluded the cat was a good guard!] Amy put feeders in a tree (one with sunflower seeds and one with mixed seed) and measured the amount taken in one week. She then re-filled the feeders and put a stuffed cat in the tree to “guard” the seed. Just like a real scientist… Amy did not just make her conclusion and stop there. She went further- proposing new questions and new questions that she or other students could do! For example, she stated that she was surprised that the birds did not seem to learn that the cat was not a real threat. She wondered how long it would take for the birds to learn the cat was not a threat, and that she was going to set up a new observational study to find out!
BirdSleuth encourages students experience the scientific process– from developing a question, to conducting research (observational or experimental), and—just like real scientists—publishing results!
If you have questions…
Citizen Science and Inquiry
Thursday, Dec 9, 2010 Advancing Student Learning Through Citizen Science and Birds Beyond Penguins is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024.
<ul><li>A – Classroom Teacher </li></ul><ul><li>B – Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>C – Administrator </li></ul><ul><li>D – Higher Education </li></ul><ul><li>E – Other </li></ul>What best describes your professional position? Answer using the poll buttons underneath the participant window!
What grade(s) do you teach? <ul><li>A – Grades K-2 </li></ul><ul><li>B – Grades 3-5 </li></ul><ul><li>C – Grades 6-8 </li></ul><ul><li>D – Grades 9-12 </li></ul><ul><li>E – Other </li></ul>Answer using the poll buttons underneath the participant window!
From where are you joining us today? Answer using the stamping tool to the left of the whiteboard!
Today’s Presenters Olivia Kates, Education and BirdSleuth Intern, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Lisa DeRado, BirdSleuth Program Coordinator, Cornell Lab of Ornithology http://www.birds.cornell.edu/
Overview of Presentation http://wiki.nsdl.org/index.php/BeyondPenguins/Seminars What is citizen science? eBird Bird Sleuth
Our mission is to interpret and conserve the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.
What is “Citizen Science”? Please tell us what you think, or type in the chat box!
Have you done CITIZEN SCIENCE? A. Yes B. No C. I don’t know!
The Lab’s Citizen Science Projects essentially follow a similar model: <ul><li>Identify and observe birds </li></ul><ul><li>Collect data </li></ul><ul><li>Enter data online </li></ul><ul><li>Retrieve and view online data </li></ul>Projects vary: focus species, season, type of data
BirdSleuth helps educators bring the power and engagement of citizen science and inquiry to students
Why connect kids to Citizen Science? <ul><li>Getting outside for observation, appreciating the local environment. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s relevant, and their counts help the world—really motivating! </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for science investigations that mirror professional science </li></ul><ul><li>Connects them to a global perspective. </li></ul>
BirdSleuth Today <ul><li>Curriculum Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Development </li></ul>Online and in-person Fee-based kits and free downloads
“ I learned that taking them outside and letting them do bird observation was a great way to motivate them to ask questions in science.”
Will a Fake Cat Scare Away Birds? An experiment by Amy
Info on Webinar Series <ul><li>Next Webinar: </li></ul><ul><li>Thursday, January 13, 2011: Reader's Theater and Informational Text </li></ul><ul><li>Archived Recordings and Related Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Please take our survey! </li></ul>http://wiki.nsdl.org/index.php/BeyondPenguins/Seminars