January 13, 2011

Time to Plan Your Adventurous Year

Every January, my adventure club, the League of Adventurous Women, gathers to vote on four official adventures for the year. We always end up with bonus activities because opportunities just pop up.  For example, we have yet to hold our meeting but we've already tried a free CrossFit/Russian kettlebell workout (thanks to Michael Krivka at CrossFit Koncepts), and have formed a team for the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure, June 4, in Washington, DC.

I'll let you know the results of our annual meeting but with such a great beginning, it's sure to be a fabulous year! What's on YOUR agenda for 2011?

January 8, 2011

A Stellar Idea!

I read about 10-year-old Kathryn Gray's discovery of a supernova and thought it was time to post something about one of my favorite sit-at-the-computer adventures: Galaxy Zoo. (You can't be on the trapeze or playing paintball ALL the time.)  I thought I was being creative but then I heard Ira Flatow discussing it on Science Friday. I guess there must be something in the atmosphere....

What is Galaxy Zoo? It's another citizen-scientist opportunity that allows you to help researchers make amazing discoveries.  The Galaxy Zoo Web site offers a brief tutorial about the characteristics of galaxies and then you get to look at pictures captured by the Hubble telescope and apply your new knowledge.  It's ordinary citizens like us that help scientists process the tons of data coming from their research.

Galaxies aren't the only thing in the universe, visit Zooniverse to participate in research on sunspots, supernovae, new planets, and more.

If outer space isn't your thing, check out some of these other citizen scientist opportunities:

Track bees with The Great Sunflower Project

Track the seasonal changes in your own backyard with the USA National Phrenology Network

Or mark your calendars for The Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count.

Actually, there are so many things you can do, there's a whole site dedicated to citizen science projects.  Oddly enough, it's called Science for Citizens.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA