Citizen Recruits Aid Overwhelmed Climate Researchers
Volunteer divers recently verified reports that an endangered fish survives off of Tasmania. Similar data provided by citizen scientists are helping researchers from Oceania to Maine keep up with impacts of a rapidly changing climate. “There is only so much a lab researcher can do,” says one marine ecologist, especially with funding and political constraints. Divers for Florida’s Reef Environmental Education Foundation, for example, have done 235,000 surveys and documented northward shifts of tropical fish species.
Is the data shoddy? A Harvard study says it’s surprisingly reliable, and can save millions of dollars in labor costs.