A Summer of Learning

Published: Aug 5, 2014

Lisa Demaine is the Communities and Citizen Science Intern at The Stewardship Network. She will be a Junior Environmental Sciences: Hydrology student at the University of New Hampshire in the Fall.

I am about to finish my last objective of my internship with The Stewardship Network and UNH Sea Grant: creating a poster to summarize my research to be presented at the UNH Undergraduate Research Conference next April. After two months of researching citizen science programs in New England, we've added 30 programs to the Citizen Science Opportunities section of the website. They cover the diverse interests volunteers have with varying commitment levels, topics and locations. This is just the building blocks of the array of opportunities we will have. As other programs learn about us and the resources we provide they can create their own posting of volunteer opportunities.  

You may also know about the articles I wrote this summer (A Day at the Docks with Baby Oysters & 4-H Lends a Hand or 80) giving my viewpoint of being a volunteer at events posted on the Calendar of Opportunities. It was great to give back to the environment while meeting new people and being outside. I will be paying attention to events taking place near the Durham area while I’m in school this fall and cross my fingers that I can attend.

With NH Sea Grant I have been researching the methods of monitoring an invasive crab called the Chinese mitten crab which is likely making its way up the coast from Hudson Bay. They are a hassle to fishermen and erode tidal banks. If you see a crab like the one pictured take it out of the water, freeze it or preserve it in an alcohol solution, and contact the follwing person from NH Fish and Game depending on the type of water you found the crab. In freshwater contact Scott Decker and in saltwater contact Cheri Patterson. Also note the location and time you found the crab. 

I have also been researching citizen science as a whole--reading peer-reviewed citizen science evaluation papers, drafting an annotated bibliography of these and other documents about citizen science, and creating a tip sheet for researchers that want to develop a citizen science program. These resources will be posted on The Stewardship Network in the future and will help build the Resources section people are already benefitting from.

I’m very thankful to have been able to take part in and learn so much about the citizen science community in New Hampshire. Over the next school year I will have to finalize my senior Capstone project and will definitely try to fit citizen science into it! I’m excited to see The Stewardship Network: New England grow and to spread the word about it to my peers at UNH.