Science is our most reliable system for gaining new knowledge. And, citizen science lets us ask new questions, collect data, and discover scientific advancements with your help. April is Citizen Science Month and we are welcoming it with wide open arms as it is a great activity to do while you stay at home and keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19! Why is that? Let’s start with what on earth citizen science is.
Citizen science is the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world. At Casey Trees our citizen science volunteers traverse the city collecting and documenting tree data that is used to advance the field of urban forestry. Taking tangible actions to help local scientific organizations (like us!) is an easy and satisfying way to contribute.
Whether they were measuring trees with us at our Park Inventories, by themselves as part of our Survival Study, or monitoring the changing leaves or budding trees on their property, our citizen sciences are critical parts of collecting all kinds of data and information about our city’s trees. We use all this gathered information to manage our community forest and prioritize tree maintenance needs. We can’t protect our current trees and plan for new ones if we don’t know the health and make up of our current urban forest – all the data from citizen scientists also influences how our advocates fight for change.
Did you take advantage of our Cherry Blossoms of D.C. Map while staying away from the Tidal Basin and crowds for this year’s #PeakBloom? Do you love seeing our Spring Blooms Map and checking out other beautiful blooming trees? You have citizen scientists to thank! Those maps are pulled from data gathered by volunteers – and can be seen in our Park Inventory Map!