True tales from the front lines of citizen science

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Two adults and a child examine an oysterStories from the Field Celebrates New Hampshire Citizen Science Volunteers on Dec. 8 in Portsmouth, NH

From helping salamanders cross the road to raising oysters in the Great Bay Estuary, citizen scientists in New Hampshire have a wealth of tales to tell. They’ll share these stories and more at Stories from the Field, a night of live storytelling that celebrates citizen science in the Granite State. Volunteers will share stories of scientific discovery on Friday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, NH.

“Traditional science communication is often perceived as boring and unapproachable, but storytelling can bring science to life and make it relatable,” says Haley Andreozzi, wildlife outreach program coordinator for UNH Cooperative Extension and one of the event’s organizers. “Our hope is that having citizen scientists tell their stories will show others that they too can be involved in scientific research that is interesting, important for conservation efforts and also just plain fun.”

Stories from the Field will feature five storytellers from throughout New Hampshire sharing stories from the frontlines of citizen science. More than 25 New Hampshire citizen science organizations will be at the Stories from the Field, showcasing the work they’ve accomplished throughout the state. The event also includes food, a cash bar and a DJ.

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Citizen science is thriving in New Hampshire. Thousands of volunteers participate in almost four dozen citizen science projects in the Volunteers collect data on plants while seated on a rocky mountainsidestate, from finding and recording the biggest trees to monitoring glass eel populations. Programs like the annual New Hampshire loon census have had far-reaching effects: data from the loon census informed legislation that banned the use of lead sinkers and jigs, which are harmful to loons.

“Citizen science is an international movement,” says Malin Clyde, an Extension specialist in community volunteer development and project manager for The Stewardship Network: New England (TSNNE). “It allows people who are passionate about a subject to play an important role in the research process.”

Stories from the Field caps off the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) State of Our Estuaries conference, which will explore results from the 2018 State of Our Estuaries report. Conference participants will receive an update on the latest data for the Great Bay and Hampton-Seabrook estuaries, including coverage of environmental, biological, and social indicators such as bacteria levels, nutrient concentrations, shellfish abundance, land use, and stewardship in the coastal watershed. Registration for the conference is open at www.StateOfOurEstuaries.org.

Stories from the Field is sponsored by New Hampshire Sea Grant, PREP, the Gundalow Company, and UNH Cooperative Extension. Questions about this event may be directed to Abigail Lyon of the Piscataqua Regional Estuaries Partnership, abigail.lyon@unh.edu or (603) 862-3729.

 

 

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