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Climate Change and Citizen Science

Citizen Science Central, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

These slide sets (one for the Eastern US and one for the Western US) describe how citizen observations can document the impact of climate change on plants and animals. They introduce the topic of phenology and data collection, the impact of climate change on phenology, and how individuals can become citizen scientists.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 9 Cross Cutting Concepts, 4 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 10 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 6 Cross Cutting Concepts, 3 Science and Engineering Practices

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • This is a good entry point to a unit on phenology.
  • The slides can be used to stimulate participation in student projects in climate change and phenology, to get students collecting data at school or community.
  • Students can be engaged in citizen science projects like "Project Budburst" http://neoninc.org/budburst/.

About the Science

  • Produced by Citizen Science Central, Cornell Lab of Ornithology; slides are also on the website of the National Phenology Network.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Resource provides several concrete examples of changes likely due to a warming climate that have been documented by interested citizens who were simply taking note of their surroundings over long periods of time. It does so in a fairly simple way, which is easy to understand, and may even inspire people to look around a bit more. All the literature cited is >5 years old. It also presents the warming trend as constant and fairly steep. While that's true at large scales, there isn't any acknowledgement that year to year weather is still variable and so long time periods are required to document species range change due to climate, not just one year.

About the Pedagogy

  • By giving examples of citizen science with a focus on seasonal changes observed in plants and animals, these slide shows will encourage students and other citizens to develop and share their own quality data sets.
  • This is a great opportunity to introduce the concept of Citizen Science to students.
  • The National Phenology Network website has training videos and resource materials on how to become a citizen scientist and gather and contribute data to their database.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent technical quality.
  • The slide shows can be expanded for projection in a classroom.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

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