Big Deal Media

K-12 Technology

Mar 01, 2023 2023-03-01

Mobile Learning

Citizen–Science Observations Contributing to Ecological Conservation

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world contribute bird observations to The Cornel Lab of Ornithology each year, gathering data on a scale once imaginable. Scientists use these data to reveal how birds are affected by habitat loss, pollution, disease, climate, and other environmental changes. Students’ participation will help these scientists trace bird migration, nesting success, and changes in bird numbers through time. These insights inform conservation plans and key actions to protect birds and habitats.

Visit The Cornell Lab’s website and find a project that is right for your students. For example, you may want to join the bilingual project focused on urban, rural, and underserved communities. Students watch for 10 minutes and report on the species of birds they observe. Or you may want to participate in community, art, habitat, and bird events with help from the lab’s educational kits and mini-grants.

The Merlin bird ID app can help students distinguish birds by size, shape, song, or other characteristics. Students can then enter their findings into the eBird app and keep track of their bird sightings while contributing to worldwide data for birding, science, and conservation. They can explore maps, charts, photos, and more—all within the app on their phone.

Plus: K–12 educators are invited to join The Cornel Lab’s free 2022–23 webinar series, covering topics such as discovering culturally responsive teaching practices in science, inspiring curiosity with webcams, building observational skills through nature-inspired art, participating in citizen science, and bringing inquiry-practices into the classroom. Each hour-long webinar includes interactive elements and leaves participants with fresh ideas and resources ready to implement in the classroom. Visit the lab’s website to see the list of webinars for March through June.

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