Sometimes I search Google News for stories on ants. Who hasn’t, now and again? Recently I came across a story in The Independent Florida Alligator on the School of Ants:
The ant school relies on citizen science, a project where people all over the country collect data from their own backyard to send to experts for review. Andrea Lucky, head of the School of Ants and assistant research scientist in the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, said about 1,000 samples have been sent to the school, which has helped monitor new species and see if they are expanding.
I’ve known about this “school” for a while, but I realized that I had never mentioned it on this blog. The opportunity seems great for kids and adults alike – it allows the non-scientist public to see that at least some science is doable even by those with no formal scientific training! Plus, the dataset, as it grows, will hopefully include a wide coverage difficult to obtain from the efforts of a single lab, benefiting the study of invasive species spread and other interesting myrmecological topics.
For more on the project, visit the website here.