An Opportunity to Showcase the Council’s Citizen Science Program’s
Volunteers, Partners, and New Projects
If you follow the Council on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – you may have noticed some additional posts during April highlighting the Council’s Citizen Science Program, and in particular, some of our remarkable volunteers.
April is Global Citizen Science Month and a time to celebrate all things citizen science – from inspiring projects to amazing volunteers to the incredible global citizen science community. Citizen Science Month started from a single day of events. Just a few years later it has grown to a coordinated effort by SciStarter, the National Library of Medicine, Arizona State University, the Citizen Science Association, Science Friday, National Geographic, and many other collaborators around the world. It provides an opportunity to promote citizen science and help connect people to projects where they can contribute to data collection over a wide range of topics. In years past, Citizen Science Month events have been held across the country, encouraging people to get involved in collecting data in their communities. This year, impacts from COVID-19 shifted the focus to virtual events and online volunteer citizen science opportunities. To easily find ways to get involved from home, visit SciStarter’s Project Finder that can connect you to citizen science opportunities available online or in your community.
To help celebrate Citizen Science month, the Council wanted to highlight our volunteers and activities, as well as other citizen science efforts across the region. We know that many people are being greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so our first Citizen Science Month post focused on citizen science resources related to the novel virus that were compiled by the Citizen Science Association.
Other posts featured our incredible volunteers and partners. Charter Captain Dan Carey, commercial fisherman Robby Rourk, and recreational fishermen Collins Doughtie were showcased for their participation in the SAFMC Scamp Release pilot project. Ken Brennan (NOAA Fisheries), Rusty Hudson (Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel), Erin Burge (Coastal Carolina University), and Tracey Smart (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources) were highlighted for their contributions to the FISHstory pilot project, and Bob Lorenz (Snapper Grouper AP Vice Chair) was highlighted as a Citizen Science Operations Committee member and participant in our pilot projects. We also shared information on the expansion of the SAFMC Release app, made possible through a recent grant received from the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) in partnership with North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, ACCSP, and Harbor Light Software.
When constructing these posts staff reflected on the incredible partners that are contributing to our Citizen Science Program – from fishermen collecting data on Scamp Grouper to scientists and fishermen helping develop the FISHstory project (launched on May 26!), to Citizen Science Operations Committee members guiding Program policies and procedures. Without these collaborations and partnerships, we wouldn’t have the Program we do today. Although we appreciate all the hard work our partners and volunteers contribute year-round, we’re especially grateful during Citizen Science Month!
To keep up with the Citizen Science Program or receive information about getting involved in projects, please fill out the online form HERE to provide us with your contact info and join the email distribution list! Don’t forget to check out the Council’s newest citizen science project, FISHstory, which launched May 26![Return to Newsletter]