From Science for Citizens: Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology wants YOU–to help test-drive a new citizen science project this fall. Called the YardMap Network, this project will ask participants to map their habitat management and carbon neutral practices in backyards and parks, interact socially within the network, and display their activities and carbon footprints on a Google map. Gardeners, birders, online learners who are novices, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s 300,000 citizen science participants will form ecological social networks that span the continent.
Participants first locate their yards or parks on a Google maps interface with high resolution imagery and then use a small set of coded habitat types and sustainable activities to create a map of the sustainable practices they have implemented, including planting natives, putting up bird feeders, installing a solar panel, or even biking to work. These practices are stored as data and linked to Cornell’s citizen science bird observations.