Happy Holidays Citizen Scientists!

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Everyone knows that birders, or nerders as I like to call them, are a dedicated bunch, willing to spend hours in one spot waiting for a sighting of an elusive species.  For those of us with self-diagnosed ADD, that seems like a true test of fortitude!  Birders play in an important role in the scientific community and each year act as citizen scientists, collecting invaluable data that helps to further research and fuel conservation efforts.  These efforts are mobilized each year during the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

CBC Santa

The 113th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count will take place Dec 14, 2012 to January 5, 2013.  The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends.  Data from the over 2,000 circles are entered after the count and become available to query here.

112th chirstmas bird count

The first year,in 1900, 27 birders participated, counting in 25 North American locations.  Last year, more than 63,000 volunteers in more than 2,200 locations took part.  Counts were held in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.

1936 chirstmas count

The original counters tallied about 90 species. Last year volunteers recorded nearly 2,300 species among more than 60 million birds.

Audubon’s chief scientist Gary Langham points out that the counts’ purpose goes beyond tallying birds.

“Data from the Audubon Christmas Bird Count are at the heart of hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies and inform decisions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Interior and the EPA,” he said.

christmas_bird_count

From all accounts it’s also a lot of fun!  Find a circle near you…

Getting Resourceful

There is no doubt that the internet is full of useful tools and tutorials, but as we all know it can be aggravating reading and sifting through countless web pages to find the most valuable resources.  To coincide with my post from last week, I have compiled a list of what IMHO constitute the best of the best!  I hope that these links are useful and allow you to continue to “skill up” and develop into a well-rounded information professional.

First of all some tools to help you unravel the mystery of website design, content management, and ever-changing software

Lynda Online Training Library

This site has hundreds of tutorials on all sorts of software as well as photography and videography.  Many academic institutions, including FSU, offer staff and students access to these tutorials free of charge.  If you aren’t so lucky you can sign up for a month long free trial and if you find the tutorials useful, you can subscribe for $25/a month.  Definiely worth pokking around!

http://www.lynda.com/

They also have about 10% of their content on YouTube for free

http://www.youtube.com/user/lyndapodcast

Free Drupal Training

Very comprehensive 4 week course!

http://nodeone.se/en/four-weeks-of-drupal

Receive a new Drupal lesson each week in your inbox!

http://www.ostraining.com/drupal-newsletter/

Fedora and Dspace

Extensive Wiki maintained by DuraSpace

https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/FEDORA/Home

Coding

Awesome free site that offers training on JavaScript, HTML/CSS, Python, and Ruby.  An invaluable resource!

http://www.codecademy.com/#!/exercises/0

Next up, ways to improve your teaching, e-learning resources, and social media platforms

Instructional Design

http://www.instructionaldesign.org/

Some good reading…

http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/instructional-design/

E-learning

First a little background information…

http://people.howstuffworks.com/elearning.htm

Lots of great online tools for educators and ideas on how to incorporate them into instruction sessions

https://sites.google.com/site/technologyenhancedlearning/home

A short list of E-learning tools from the University of Oregon Libraries

http://library.uoregon.edu/cmet/elearning.html

Finally every year the Center for Learning and Performance Technologies puts out a list of the Top 100 tools for learning.  This is a great and succinct slideshow!