Have you spotted me?: Learning lessons looking for ladybugsDiscover Life's role in a proposal
to the National Science Foundation
submitted by principal investigator
John Losey, Cornell University
14 December, 2006
This page documents the role of The Polistes Foundation in "Have you spotted me?: Learning lessons looking for ladybugs," a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation with John Losey as its principal investigator. This proposal concerns teaching science through the study of coccinellid beetles, more affectionately known as ladybugs. Its scientific goals are to collect high-quality data over a broad geographic scale to better understand the impact of invasive species on native beetles, particularly rare ones.
Through its Discover Life website, The Polistes Foundation provides an integrated suite of software tools, databases, and protocols for students and citizen scientists to conduct inquiry-based research and learn important thinking and creative skills in the process. Our goal is to provide the means for people to discover what is known and unknown about the things they find exploring schoolyards, neighborhoods, and other outdoor areas.
Specific to the ladybug proposal, the Polistes Foundation will
Ensuring data quality|
The goal of citizen science projects often is to teach rather than to do science per se. Consequently, their data may be of poor quality and little scientific use. Fortunately, this need not be so. We will develop rigorous checks and balances to ensure that sufficient, high-quality, replicated data are collected across sites to be valuable to professional scientists, land managers, and policy makers. Participants will photograph and voucher specimens so that we can verify species identifications, for example. We will use software to cross-check data, rank potential quality, and filter out mistakes and unreliable individuals.
|For more information, you can view the proposal here.|
Our web services include tools to submit and database photographs, make barcoded specimen labels, identify species, report findings, make maps, and analyze results. We will provide these services through the website Discover Life and its umbrella organization, The Polistes Foundation.
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