Citizen Science, Circa 1884

by Debbie Hadley on April 26, 2014


New York Herald, Friday, February 15, 1884

While looking for an obituary for one of my ancestors, I came across this post in the New York Herald, dated February 15, 1884. How about that? A citizen science project! Perhaps this was the predecessor of Cornell University’s Great Backyard Bird Count, a successful volunteer-driven research project. Apparently, observing birds was an activity unsuited for women and girls, in the estimation of 19th century ornithologists.


Summer Science Programs for Kids at the Ocean County Library

July 11, 2012

Kids can join me for several hands-on science programs at the Ocean County Library this summer. These programs are free and open to the public, but do require pre-registration, so enroll your child now! Here’s the schedule of WILD Jersey programs: Gyotaku Fish Printing Manchester Branch Monday, July 23rd at 10:30 am Children ages 8-13 […]

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Do You Speak Frog?

July 4, 2012

I just returned from my 9th Earthwatch expedition, Puerto Rico’s Rainforest. If you like mud, this is the expedition for you. For the first few days of the trip, we worked with herpetologist Norman Greenhawk, who taught us quite a bit about the different species of coquí frogs. Anyone who has visited Puerto Rico is […]

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Make Ink from Acorns at the Barnegat Bay Festival

May 27, 2012

Kids can attend a free WILD Jersey program on Sunday, June 3rd at the 15th Annual Barnegat Bay Festival in Island Heights, NJ. We’ll be making tannin ink, which is traditionally made from galls. I’ll show kids how to get tannic acid out of acorns, and then we’ll mix it with a magic ingredient to […]

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Kids Can Make Lenape Coil Pots at the Ocean County Library This Summer

August 1, 2011

WILD Jersey is bringing a new program to several branches of the Ocean County Library this summer. There’s still time to register your child for the Lenape Coil Pots program. Children will learn how the Lenape, NJ’s indigenous people, lived long ago. We’ll talk about what the Lenape ate, how they made their clothes and […]

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Don’t Mow the Violets

April 21, 2011

I’m surrounded by suspiciously green carpets of turfgrass. There’s probably nothing worse for wildlife than a weed-free, well-fertilized yard of turfgrass. Most of my neighbors probably cringe at the sight of my yard, with its sprawling patch of weeds. I don’t care. From an insect’s perspective, my “lawn” is paradise. Bees are already foraging on […]

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Finally, a New WILD Jersey Website!

April 15, 2011

If you can read this, it means I’ve finally finished a project that’s been on my to do list for way too long. I’ve been itching to redesign my website for the past several years, but as they say, life kept getting in the way. I’m happy to cross this off my list, at last. […]

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Why Birds Fly in “V” Formation

November 15, 2010

Scientists believe the “v” formation gives large birds an aerodynamic advantage that helps them conserve energy. French researchers measured the heart rates of great white pelicans, and found their heart rates slowed when flying in this formation. They were also able to glide more often. The birds can flap their wings in unison, and draft […]

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Hoarders Prepare for Winter

November 1, 2010

Most people have seen squirrels hoarding acorns and other nuts as winter approaches. But did you know that many birds are also hoarders? The white-breasted nuthatch, seen in these photos, is an accomplished hoarder. Nuthatches empty feeders quickly in the fall, removing one seed at a time and stashing it for a winter meal. They’re […]

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Cricket Invasion

October 15, 2010

Around this time every year, you probably notice black or brown crickets sneaking into your home and school. Sometimes, your only clue that crickets are in your house is the incessant chirping from the basement. A few days later, you find cricket carcasses in corners and under boxes. So what drives these insects into buildings […]

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