New Distributed Human projects (projects in which people, instead of computers, do the work) are being created more frequently lately. One of the newest ones is the Boston Museum of Science‘s Firefly Watch project to learn more about the “geographic distribution of fireflies and their activity during the summer season” and to study environmental factors affecting firefly habitats, such as human-made light and pesticides in lawns. This project asks Citizen Scientists all over North America to observe firefly activity in their back yards or nearby fields one evening a week during the summer and to report the activity to the project. The project’s progress is tracked on its online map. Also, more news articles are being written about Citizen Scientists, such as today’s article: Volunteering for a better world: harnessing technology and willing citizens. It’s exciting to see so many new ways for the general public to become involved in scientific research.

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