The Sciences

12 Days of Christmas with Citizen Science

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(Originally published 12/16)

CC BY-SA 3.0 Make sure you’re on Santa’s “nice list” this year. Lend your hands, hearts and brains to science during these 12 days leading up to Christmas!

On the 1^st day of Christmas, the Forest Restoration Alliance gave to me:

A chance to monitor the invasive insects that attack both hemlocks and Fraser firs (the most popular Christmas Tree in North America).

On the 2^nd day of Christmas, Audubon gave to me:

Two turtle doves that I spotted during the Christmas Bird Count! The count is the world’s longest running citizen science project.

On the 3^rd day of Christmas, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center gave to me:

Three Chinese mitten hens (female crabs) on the east coast of the United States. Mitten Crab Watch needs our help to determine the current distribution status of the mitten crab in the region.

On the 4^th day of Christmas, Audubon gave to me:

Four or more calling birds that I “adopted” for the holidays. Through December 31st, anyone can adopt a bird for someone special, and Audubon will send them a personalized holiday card showcasing the adoption and an Audubon gift membership.

On the 5^th day of Christmas, geographers at Wilfrid Laurier University gave to me:

Five frozen skating rinks! This winter, you can track climate change through backyard skating rinks by taking part in Rink Watch. Just put in the location of your backyard rink on a map and record days you can skate.

On the 6^th of Christmas, Seattle Audubon Society gave to me:

A chance to help seabird researchers create a snapshot of geese density on more than three square miles of near-shore saltwater habitat.

On the 7^th day of Christmas, the Swan Society of the University of Melbourne gave to me: 

The MySwan project to report sightings of tagged black swans around the world. After you submit your sighting, you’ll get an instant report about the swan, with interesting information about its history and recent movements.

On the 8^th day of Christmas, Zooniverse gave to me:

The Milky Way Project, a chance to help scientists study our galaxy, as well as the Milky Way advent calendar and even Milky Way tree ornaments!

On the 9^th day of Christmas, the European Space Agency gave to me:

Citizen scientists doing our favorite dance: the robot! By flying a Parrot AR drone in virtual space, you can help create new robotic capabilities for space probes and contribute to future space exploration.

On the 10^th day of Christmas, CoCoRaHS gave to me:

Ten million snowflakes! Measure them and share your precipitation data with the National Weather Service through CoCoRaHS!

On the 11^th day of Christmas, the University of Washington gave to me:

SingAboutScience, a searchable database where you can find content-rich songs on specific scientific and mathematical topics. These singers sure have some pipes!

On the 12^th day of Christmas, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation gave to me:

The Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey to help hunters survey the population of ruffed grouse during breeding season. Happy holidays from the SciStarter team!

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