by Taetske | 3:12 pm
(Last Updated On: April 3, 2019)

 

 

Thousands of citizens are amateur scientists as 1000 eyes definitely see more

I came upon this nice article recently and as I am a nature lover I decided to tell you about this.

 

sunset with birds

Sunset with birds by JBigora

Volunteers  and their achievements

A 16-year-old girl from the Canary Island discovered on the 6 of November 2018, an asteroid while working on her home computer. Alejandra Artiles was helped by her professor and used software to be able to analyze the images from an American telescope.

A young man from the Asturias region of Spain, Jorge Alvarez, made a special photo with his mobile phone. He was the first person to send information to the program called Mosquito Alert. The mosquito he photographed was an Aedes Japonicus and it was the first sighting of this mosquito in Spain. This mosquito is the transmitter of very bad illnesses like Dengue, and different forms of encephalitis.

A few winters ago an amateur ornithologist alerted the scientific community that the swallow was not migrating to then return to Cadiz in the spring. Fact is that the swallow was not leaving and that is probably due to climate change.

 

tiger-mosquito

Tiger-Mosquito

 

These are 3 examples of where the normal burger (civilian) is contributing with his or her observations to scientific studies.

Mr. Francisco Sanz, who is the executive director of the foundation Ibercivis says that often the volunteer is a real expert in his or her field.

 

 

How people became scientists

The pioneers were the bird observers. The program to observe the migratory birds in America was founded in 1883. In the ’50s Francisco Bernis and Jose Antonio Valverde mobilized hundreds of amateurs to document the concentrations of water birds in Spain.  Their work formed the basis for the protection of Donana National Park, the Ebro Delta, a world heritage site, and the Natural Park of Albufera in Valencia.

 

 

In 1954 the Spanish Society of Ornithology ( SEO ) was created. Many of the volunteers became members over the years. Today the society has 3.700 members and they participate in 12 active programs of SEO/Birdlife.  They observe and register their observations thru applications on their computer and mobile phone.

These can be easy studies, like counting the birds they see, or more sophisticated ones such as alerting the communities of massive bird flocks which emigrate so those individuals involved with banding studies can mobilize and document the migration before the young birds continue on their way.

 

the beautiful king fisher

The beautiful Kingfisher

 

One does not have to be a specialist but one has to be able to distinguish between the different bird’s species. These volunteers are people who feel a love for their environment and want to help to preserve it. They donate freely of their time and resources to participate in these studies.

The data which is collected is passed on to the professionals of the .org and evaluated for suitability to be included in relevant scientific studies and other environmental issues.

 

binoculars is an important observation tool

Binoculars is an important observation tool

 

The help of modern technology

Because most people have a computer nowadays, it has become a lot easier to be in contact. Individuals using smartphones, private telescopes, a weather station, and even binoculars have increased the number of observations and all this forms a human and technological network which surpasses the capability of the official groups.

They often come up with something, thru their investigations that had not been common knowledge before. They can report on a situation which scientists had no idea about. All this is possible because of the network of thousands of extra eyes that observe their surroundings.

As in Europe, Spain has advanced and become more democratic in its form of investigation. The public science observatory was founded by Ibercivis with financing from the Spanish Science and Technology Foundation.  Since 2011 more than 200 projects have been registered and more than 50.000 people have participated.

 

photographing nature by dae jeung kim

Photographing nature by Dae Jeung Kim

 

Many and unusual projects

There are a large variety of projects available. Counting the sunspots, documenting when suicidal behavior is observed on the internet, observing the Iberian Wolf and counting how many there are, informing on the effects of earthquakes, observations on plagues and reporting wildfires. Even reporting bad smells world-wide.  The list is much longer but I think this will give you an idea of the different projects people collaborate with.

Some of these projects have to do with problems like the spreading of the flu.  In Spain, there are 1000 people who signed up for this project and 25.000 people from 7 more European countries. People from Zaragoza University have created Gripe-Net. There you can place your observations on the flu in your surroundings.

 

Some famous people and their inventions

When you come to think of it, in old times scientist were wealthy men of leisure and amateurs. These were Individuals from the early part of the 20th century and earlier.

William Herschel was a musician who was also a hobby astronomer. In 1781 he discovered the planet Uranus with his simple telescope.

Then we have Benjamin Franklin. When the affairs of state left him some free time he liked to invent things like the bifocal glasses and also the lightning rod.

 

.

 

Albert Einstein wrote his General Theory of Relativity when he was working in a patent office as a pen pusher.

During most of history, the scientific body was composed of “gentleman of means” who studied nature and the cosmos out of passion. Only later on it became a job for which they would receive a salary from universities or investigation centers.

 

Conclusion

We need to celebrate and honor the intrepid explorers and builders of our current scientific knowledge but more importantly, we need to continue this into the 21st century. We all need to observe the conditions around our own little part of the world and collaborate with the scientific community to keep our world the beautiful place it is. This is especially important for our environment, which is subject to abuse and can use all the extra help it can get. Let’s keep our eyes open.

 

Source: Newspaper Sur, story by Ines Gallastegui

Photo Source: Pixabay

 

You might find the following post of your interest too.

Archaeological Sites are the History of a People

Comments

Olalekan Taliat

Observation is the first step in discovery. Even when such discoveries are accidental, observation plays a huge role in scientific discoveries. Both modern and ancient scientists would agree that without a good observatory practice, the foundation of scientific discoveries will never exist. 

There is no playing down the importance of data gathered even by amateurs. This is a cool post regarding the salient role unsung heroes of the science world play.

Mar 18.2019 | 08:38 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Olalekan,

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    It is important to go through life in an observant way. I discovered that starting on my Spanish farm in 1981.

    By looking at nature which surrounds me I have learned a lot. Like for example toads, they are a protected species in Spain. Over the years one sees less of them. Because of the lack of rain I have not seen them this winter. They normally go to the big pond for the wedding in January. Soon there will be no toads anymore and I say this is due to climate change.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 19.2019 | 08:00 am

Ainars Ozols

Thank you for this wonderful post. I completely agree with you on the point that people have to pay attention to their environment. If everyone will cooperate with scientists think how much more we could achieve in terms of progress. I believe that people can change the world for the better. 

Mar 18.2019 | 08:41 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Ainars,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I agree with you, the people, when they unite, can change the world. It is very important to keep an eye on what is happening in our immediate surroundings. We can alert the scientific institutions when something is not ok. Like that bigger harm can be avoided.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 19.2019 | 07:53 am

ajibola40

Thanks for writing this article on thousands of citizen who are amateur scientist and how all modern scientists come to play a role in this modern world.I love the beauty of nature too and all discovery from people of the past too, I appreciate their work I just hope their effort will not be in vain .because presently we are doing more harm than good to the nature they work so hard to preserve for us

Mar 18.2019 | 08:44 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Ajibola,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    You are right, our environment is suffering a lot as we harm it with our stupid actions. That is why it is so good to have normal citizens take care of it. This initiative is very important for the scientific community as the added data is a big help.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 19.2019 | 07:47 am

Wealthfather

Great Content and Information!

What a concise and thorough article

Tons of value to be found on this post on amateur scientists offering valuable data.

This is a great and simple to follow guide. You laid it all out clearly and showed a series of examples that helped emphasize your various points. Many amateur scientists we have nowadays collect important information  to help our environment Thanks for this eye opener 

Mar 18.2019 | 08:48 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning,

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my website.

    Nice to hear you find my article interesting. The normal citizen can be of big help to the scientific community. 

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 19.2019 | 07:37 am

Pernilla

Hello Taetske,
I really enjoyed reading this article. It makes it clear that everyone can contribute to a better world. No one is too small to make a change in the world by being observative and sharing knowledge and experiences, how tiny the discoveries even seem to be.
Your posts are so very much encouraging. Thank you for caring for Mother Earth!
All the best,
Pernilla

Mar 20.2019 | 08:51 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Pernilla,

    Thank you for stopping by again and leaving a comment. I do not have to tell you that you can download a free PDF right?
    If we all do a little bit, on the whole, it will make a big change. My cousin in Holland told me she had participated in a European study where you would count the birds present in your garden. Sadly these type of studies show that every year there are fewer animals.
    Nice to hear you like my posts. I hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 20.2019 | 12:46 pm

Sylvia Mann

Dear Taetske,
I enjoyed this article very much and it even helped me to remember when I was in my mid-teens meeting an elderly farmer, back in Germany, who told me about the Moon phases and its impact on human and wildlife alike.
He told me and my Mother a lot, even when it is the best time to wash your cloth or to get rid of stains, where one usually will use an extra product to achieve good results, in his mind this wasn’t necessary.
I remember that my Mother wrote down a few things he mentioned and tried them out at home and I recall that she was quite impressed with the great results.
Unfortunately, I was too young then and didn’t appreciate the knowledge and wisdom this man had. I even thought, and yes, I am ashamed now that I did, what can he know he is “just” a farmer and has no degree of any kind. My Mother scolded me for thinking that way, she was a wise woman.
Now, I do appreciate all the information I can get from people who love to help and love to observe. We do need them and I do trust them, sometimes even more than the whole scientific profession.
Thank you for sharing
Namaste
Sylvia

Mar 23.2019 | 11:33 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Sylvia,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for comment.

    Farmers were very wise people who lived in harmony with nature. Sadly we turned away from nature which caused a big disbalance in the human race. When we insisted on making man-made food our health also declined.
    Here on my farm in the south of Spain, I take the moon phases in consideration especially when the yearly big cleaning and cutting is done in January. The bougainvillea, vines, and bushes and trees which get cleaning are only cut when the moon is in the right phase. From full moon toward the new moon is the right time for that.
    I wrote a post on the moon phases as I have a very nice German book. It is a collection of 400 years of Bavarian farmers knowledge.
    https://motherearthstreasures.com/the-positive-influence-of-the-moon-phases
    I was surprised so many people participate in observing happenings in their immediate surroundings. It is quite amazing how helpful this collected data is for scientific studies.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 24.2019 | 07:09 am

Linda Frankson

Hi Taetske, I am amazed not on the work you do to bring information because you do a wondrous work through your articles.

But what was an eye-opener were the travels of the mosquito that carries Dengue or better said the tiger mosquito? This is the first time that I have seen this creature close up, but I have witnessed Denque first hand.

My understanding was that it is a topical bug and was found in South America and is traveling up into the northern tropical regions of the US. I was bitten in Costa Rica and was down for over a month. To date, the mark where this insect bit me still bothers me.

The poison that this creature injects into your system attacks the nervous system. What are the symptoms?

!- very sensitve eye site. Your eyes will not take the light it hurts so bad. Just by opening the door to my room I had to yell please close the door
2-headaches were awful and you would only feel better lying down. If you sit up you become dizzy and your whole body trembles.
3- every muscle in your body aces and the only way you feel any better is by laying down. All your energy is drained out of your body only sleep would help. It feels like every bone in your body is breaking
4- when the poison leaves the body it leaves through your pores, leaving huge red blotches on the skin. It could occur on the back or chest, mine occurred on the legs from the knees to the ankle bone. It feels like your skin is on fire. That occurred when I was feeling a bit better and finally recovering.

It is very aggressive and there have been cases that death occurs. To those that have been bitten more than once because it causes internal bleeding.

In all my work I have been doing on health I have found that Dengue Virus has played a large part in my health condition especially in the muscles of the legs. The pain in my legs had been very bad to a point that I couldn’t walk it traveled up the legs to the lower back and then to my middle of the back hips and thighs. It was logged in all the muscle tissues.

It is only recently that I have been able to identify the cause and cure it through a Chinees method called PaedaLejin that works on the Meridians of Acupuncture.

I am grateful to have this opportunity to share this information. All the work that you do here Taetske is of importance to get information out to the general public. Thank you.

Always a better way
Linda

Apr 02.2019 | 07:19 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Linda,

    Thank you so much for your long comment.

    The photo I have on my post is of the Tiger Mosquito, https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/asian-tiger-mosquitoes/ this insect has been in Spain already for quite some years. The Aedes Japonicus has now also been sighted in Spain. http://www.wrbu.org/mqID/mq_medspc/AD/AEjap_hab.html As far as I understand this, I am after all not an expert in mosquitos, these 2 are family and both dangerous.

    After reading how awful it was to be bitten by this mosquito I am very thankful it has not happened to me. Have you ever thought of doing a super detox cure?

    Good to hear you are so much better thanks to the discovery of Chinees healing methods. Let’s face it, these people were much closer to nature and have age-old healing traditions we can all learn from.

    I hope you downloaded your free PDF, you can choose any you like.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 03.2019 | 02:21 pm

      Linda Frankson

      Taetske, I just thought I would drop a note on your question about detox. And I promise it would be too long.

      Since I have been working in bettering my health and that of my family, we have put into action a detox that we do every day. I have found that there are too many toxins that we take into our system every day.

      From the food, water, air, pharmaceutical drugs ex-ex. the list goes on. Most people don’t realize that very harmful substances can and will load in your body for very long periods of time which most people call today old age setting in.

      Age will always be there and a factor that we all have but we can age gracefully. But those of us that have been taking pharmaceuticals for a very long time causing other side effects. Do experience old age much more than others. I see it every single day.

      I could go on and on but I won’t but I will say that it is imperative that we detox every single day and there are forms of doing so without the aggressive effects that people put themselves through with the wrong information. This comes to my saying there is always a better way Linda

      Apr 03.2019 | 04:02 pm

        Taetske

        Good evening Linda,

        Thank you for your comment. Nice to see you again.

        I find it great you think so much about your health and that of your family. As we eat mainly healthy things we are in quite a good shape for our age. The last time I was in bed was at the end of 2000. Since then I have not been sick anymore. I suppose that is a good sign.
        In total, I think I am in better shape than 30 years ago. I am feeling better and we should not forget our cells renew.

        Regards, Taetske

        Apr 03.2019 | 06:47 pm

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. We use cookies to personalize content, provide advertisements, and analyze our traffic. We do not utilize social media so your information will not be shared. Click on our privacy policy banner at the bottom of this page for more information. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close