Nature Abounds Working with Carnegie Mellon University on Citizen Science Grant

DUBOIS – Nature Abounds recently received news that a $1.7 million grant proposal they played a part of has been approved. The project is being spearheaded by Carnegie Mellon University’s Learning Media Design Center.

Funding is being provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the ultimate project goal being to develop and study cyber-learning tools that support deep looking and learning in citizen science.

Nature Abounds will use and evaluate the tools in the field through their Senior Environment Corps (SEC) program, which now has senior volunteers engaged in activities across one-third of Pennsylvania and into Maryland.

Specifically, the tools will be used when the SEC volunteers identify macroinvertebrates (insects) in freshwater streams twice a year as part of the SEC Water Quality Monitoring protocols.

“We’re really excited to be working with Carnegie Mellon University and the other partners on such an important project,” said Nature Abounds’ President Melinda Hughes-Wert.

“Improving macroinvertebrate identification skills allows our volunteers, who already gather high quality data, to improve even further upon their skills, giving even more credibility to our data as well as our protocols for data collecting.”

While Carnegie Mellon University will be coordinating the grant project, there will also be several other partners, including the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Stroud Water Research Center, and Clemson University.

Including Nature Abounds, five water monitoring programs across Pennsylvania and Maryland will also be involved in the field portion of the project.

Nature Abounds is a national 501c3 organization, headquartered in DuBois, with more than 6,500 volunteers across all 50 states and beyond engaged in activities for a healthy planet.

For more information, check out the Nature Abounds’ Web site at www.natureabounds.org
or call 1-814-765-1453.

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