🍃 Naturalist Participatory Science Program
Giving Science Back to the People
The good news is that together we can really make a difference!
Biodiversity Conservation Science Needs Natural History. Only with the collaboration of naturalists, scientists, and trained volunteers can we closely monitor indicators necessary to ascertain the state of biodiversity across the planet, such as indicators of phenology, migratory behavior, bioindicator species, population age structure, and species distributions.
We invite you to participate and make a difference! [Apply today]
EwA promotes a form of scientific contribution and experiential learning that is systems-based with an emphasis on in situ species interactions. The program covers various habitats in the Greater Boston Area and fills essential data gaps, revealing a continuous natural history of these habitats.
Since 2018, EwA’s citizen scientists collected more than 190,000 dedicated phenological observations and over 100,000 biodiversity records of a wide variety of animal and plant species. The data is aggregated into open and global databases. In order to drive societal change, comprehensive annual reports tell a rich story of communities invested in understanding species diversity and their habitats, and the effects of climate change and land use.
The program empowers its participants and contributes critical information to local, national, and global projects. EwA’s model is successful because it deeply connects all involved through making nature science accessible while having a great community and scientific impact.
Learn about EwA’s participatory science model and impact – Meet its community > StoryMap (or click the poster cover below).
“One of EwA’s mottos is “Nature Conservation as a Way of Life.” I believe in that. I am an amateur naturalist, and at EwA, I have met like-minded curious naturalists, with the mission to collect biodiversity evidence for national data platforms. It is empowering to contribute to databases that researchers in climate and biodiversity can use in their research. I also love EwA’s mission to educate members of the local communities about the nature that surrounds them. EwA gives them the knowledge and tools to notice it and study it, and to do that in a way that is respectful to nature. Nature and biodiversity become part of what we notice and care for every day.” — Kathy McGlathery
“As a citizen scientist, I am rewarded by the ever-changing splendor of the Fells as each season brings a unique sensual experience. During winter, white snow blankets the ground, painting the trees and rocks with a spectrum of color, with only the sound of wind through pine needles. The warmth and light of springtime bring the sound of birdsong everywhere as the first colors poke through snow remnants, slowly giving way to the thick green of summer and the radiant color of fall. Each season has its own way of inviting us to protect this fragile area that brings beauty, peace, and renewal to so many people.” — Tom Dempsey
“Monitoring with EwA has been a rewarding and fun experience. We follow a set route each week, and it’s so interesting to see how time, the seasons, and the use of the Fells affect the plants and animals we monitor. And knowing that the data we collect contributes to local and national conservation groups makes me feel our efforts are really making a difference in preserving the Fells and other natural areas.” — Lisa DiRocco
“As a Science teacher, I am passionate about helping students develop the knowledge and confidence to take on an active role in the world. Education is key to empowering the next generation, and EwA’s role in attracting, educating, and retaining citizen scientists is something that I truly appreciate and support.” — Bill MacIndewar
“A colleague told me of Earthwise Aware. I joined the group on one of the nature outings in the Fells and was immediately drawn to the people and the mission. Being outside makes me happy and I enjoy being a part of this group.
Just as important, participating in the phenology and arthropod surveys as a citizen scientist allows me to contribute to the collection of data that will inform larger research questions. This is a great way to increase our understanding of biodiversity, which, in turn, will inform the decisions we make on policy on how we conserve and protect species, especially in the face of a changing climate.” — Jennifer Clifford
“Practicing citizen science with Earthwise Aware is an empowering way to broaden your experience of the ecosystem we all live in. It manages to be both approachable and rigorous, and time spent practicing citizen science with us is time building useful skills, from identification to a more general knowledge of ecosystem dynamics” — Mike McGlathery