Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Citizen scientists stretch their wings and research dollars

Seneca Kristjonsdottir, left, who studies bees, and Colorado master
gardener Tina Ligon look at different species of Colorado bees with
magnifying glasses before a "Bees' Needs" meeting last month
at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.
(Jamie Cotten, Special to The Denver Post)

The birds and the bees naturally excite interest. But people were jam-packed into the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History one night in late March — extra seats crammed at the last minute behind fossil-display cases — as two scientists recruited them for a research project on native bee species.

CU is asking citizen scientists to help gather data about the roughly 150 species of bees that nest locally in any little cavity or tunnel in woody material — dead trees, fallen logs, hollowed-out twigs.

The crowded hall was, forgive the expression, buzzing with anticipation, as Dr. Alexandra Rose, the university's citizen-scientist coordinator, said CU was "conning the public into doing our work for us."

The public didn't mind.

Denver Post
07 Apr 2013
E Draper

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