Science

Project BudBurst

In case you’re tired of hearing my religious rants… (I am! Really, I don’t want to sound like PZ. As much as I love some of the stuff he has to say, and his ranting obviously gets him a lot of traffic, I do think he’s over the top with his generalizations and outbursts, and just a tad crankier than I am)…

For a change of pace, here’s something fun and not as nerdy as some of the other things we’ve discussed lately:Bee on flower

The folks at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research want you to help track global warming. It’s easy enough for kids to participate, so don’t feel like you can’t sign up if you’re not a scientist.

The program collects data from around the U.S. (sorry to those of you outside the 50 states), about when plants are budding and blooming in different areas. By tracking the dates of when plants come to life each spring, the scientists organizing the project hope to be able to compile “valuable environmental and climate change information around the United States.”

According to their website:

Project BudBurst is a national field campaign for citizen scientists designed to engage the public in the collection of important climate change data based on the timing of leafing and flowering of trees and flowers. BudBurst participants take careful observations of the phenological events such as the first bud burst, first leafing, first flower, and seed or fruit dispersal of a diversity of tree and flower species, including weeds and ornamentals. The citizen science observations and records are reported into the BudBurst data base.

You can participate as an individual, a family, a teacher, or a student. The site has a page of resources for teachers and fun links for kids to learn about climate science.

Sign up or get more info here.

Hey, and I think today is the first day of spring because it’s my birthday!

writerdd

Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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6 Comments

  1. A very cool project! I’ll have to check further into the details. Ah Spring! Can it come soon enough? (it’s snowing outside at the moment).

    Oh, and of course…

    Happy birthday, writerdd!!! And many happy returns of the day.

  2. First- Happy Birthday! :)

    Second- I know this has nothing to do with your post, but I too love to have a religious rant now and again and I wanted to suggest a book to help further your arguments. It’s called “The Elementary Forms of Religious Life” By Emile Durkheim (a very influential sociologist).

    Here’s what Amazon had to say:

    “If religion generated everything that is essential in society, this is because the idea of society is the soul of religion.’ In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912), Emile Durkheim set himself the task of discovering the enduring source of human social identity. He investigated what he considered to be the simplest form of documented religion – totemism among the Aborigines of Australia. Aboriginal religion was an avenue ‘to yield an understanding of the religious nature of man, by showing us an essential and permanent aspect of humanity’. The need and capacity of men and women to relate socially lies at the heart of Durkheim’s exploration, in which religion embodies the beliefs that shape our moral universe. The Elementary Forms has been applauded and debated by sociologists, anthropologists, ethnographers, philosophers, and theologians, and continues to speak to new generations about the origin and nature of religion and society. This new, lightly abridged edition provides an excellent introduction to Durkheim’s ideas.”

    I really like this book, because religion is a very social part of some people’s lives and it helps explain why the idea of a god has become abstracted as societies merge and ideas conflict. Also in primitive “religions” there wasn’t really a god that was worshiped, mainly people fed off on the idea of togetherness and community. (I know that sounds a little “hippy” but he’s more articulate about that.)

    :)

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