Beginning tonight, at midnight, the first Seattle City Nature Challenge begins. Launched last year as an effort between Los Angeles and San Francisco, this year it’s expanded to 16 US cities, including Seattle, which I’m organizing.
The City Nature Challenge is a nationwide urban bioblitz for anyone and everyone to participate in. Together, we can help document the urban nature of Seattle for science. Anyone can be a citizen scientist from April 14-18 and it’s very easy:
- Download the iNaturalist app (available for Android and iOS)
- Get outside and take photos of everything in nature; moss/lichen/birds/insects/plants/sea life/etc.
- Record your photos as observations in the iNaturalist app
You do not know what it is you’re taking photos of, others on iNaturalist can help identify it.
If you do not have a smart phone, no problem. You can take photos and post them on…
In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.
This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count and we participated today. Although the weather was not ideal for birds, it’s been overcast with rain off and on all day, we still managed to rack up a number of species. Things started slow and I was not anticipating much counting, but after awhile of visiting various windows…
So you’re a successful wildlife gardener, how about becoming an amateur citizen scientist too? Today, there are so many resources and books available for everyone you don’t have to have a science degree to be an amateur scientist.
Becoming an ecologist of your yard, your habitat will help you understand better and as a result, provide the best habitat possible for your specific yard. Perhaps just as important or even more so, you will gain knowledge and data that can be useful to others such as neighbors, the city or conservation organizations.
The human inhabited environment has been sorely ignored by ecologists. A recent study found that out of a sample of over 8,000 scientific papers published in top ecological journals over the previous 5 years, only 3% were focused on urban areas and an even smaller amount (1%) focused on suburban…
- Bringing natural life into buildings:: Eco-architect Dr Ken Yeang’s attempts to introduce more nature into architecture are highlighted in this article. “Many buildings have been ‘de-natured’. Human beings have simplified and fragmented nature.”
- Loft ambitions: why green roofs are the future of urban gardening:: This article from The Ecologist discusses the many benefits of green roofs.
- Do Wildlife Corridors Really Work?:: From the Smithsonian blog is a discussion about whether corridors actually work and a new crowd-sourcing project to find the answer.
- Citizen scientists vital for wildlife data collection:: A great article about how scientists rely heavily on their volunteer data collectors and how important citizen science is.
- Gardens: sharp practices to encourage hedgehogs:: One more reason to encourage hedgehogs into European gardens, they are excellent for pest control.
- Biodiversity project maps urban ants:: An in-depth article about the School of Ants program and…
- Unleashing the Scientist in the Student:: A fantastic citizen science project enlists seventh grade students to help study salamanders in New York City.
- WA prison inmates raise imperiled butterflies:: This is an interesting story about local inmates trained with raising butterflies in a prison greenhouse to be released. This is a great program to help prevent a decline in the population of at-risk species and at the same time giving inmates skills and responsibility.
- Yellow belle on a green roof:: What is believed to be the first breeding colony of yellow belle moths in Yorkshire was recently discovered….on a green roof.
- Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: In a city of falcons, it’s worth looking up:: This article is a fascinating look at London’s peregrine falcons.
- Where Is the Love for Bugs?:: An interesting article discussing the true value of invertebrates and how they are largely…
- London’s a real hoot after dark, say twitchers:: This article discusses another aspect of London nightlife, the owls. Owl Prowl, taking place in August is run by the the London Wildlife Trust and aims to survey urban owls to raise awareness of the city’s owl population.
- Troops called in to scare storks with eye contact:: A fascinating article about a conflict between birds and an air show and a creative, non-violent solution found where people stared at the storks making them uncomfortable enough to leave the area.
- ‘Weeds’: In Defense Of Botany’s Cockroach:: This NPR story features a look at a new book by British nature author Richard Mabey and discusses the resilience of weeds in post-industrial wastelands and war sites. He also discusses that if we understood the ecology of plants a little better, we may have a better response to those that cause us…