Citizen scientists participating in Caterpillars Count!, a project developed by Dr. Allen Hurlbert, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, conduct surveys on leaves of trees and shrubs to aid in measuring the seasonal variation (also known as phenology) and abundance of arthropods like caterpillars, beetles, and spiders. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Center for Public Engagement with Science is working with Dr. Hurlbert to expand this project to new sites throughout the United States.
With support from NASA, Dr. Tamlin Pavelsky, Associate Professor of Global Hydrology in the Department of Geology, is teaming up with the Center for Public Engagement with Science to gain a more accurate picture of water storage in lakes around the globe. We are enlisting citizen scientists to help collect lake height measurements on over 60 lakes in the United States, France and Bangladesh. These measurements, paired with satellite imagery of changes in lake area, are helping us learn how water storage varies regionally and illustrate how water moves through Earth’s systems.
The Center for Public Engagement with Science is collaborating with the UNC Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (Dr. Rebecca Fry) and Virginia Tech Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Dr. Marc Edwards) to document and respond to private well contamination in environmental justice communities in North Carolina. Over four years, we have tested wells and reported findings to over 1,200 private well users in six environmental justice communities across the state. By offering free well tests and, when contaminants are identified, filters, we have helped some of NC’s most vulnerable populations to understand and respond to well water contamination in their communities.