Wouldn’t it be great if you could snap a photo of a leaf you found while hiking and have it instantly identified? Or a bug? Or a shell? There are groups of scientists and laypeople collaborating on such efforts to identify, code, and catalogue the vast array of earth’s species. Dr. Karen James makes a case for easily participating in these “citizen science” projects that serve both the general public and scientists.
Dr. Karen James is a geneticist working at the intersection of research, education, and outreach. She combines DNA-assisted species identification (“DNA barcoding” and related techniques) with public participation in scientific research ("citizen science”) to expand the scale at which environmental research, conservation, and management can be done while enhancing public appreciation of science. She also instructs undergraduate students, visits K-12 classrooms, writes and speaks for lay audiences, and has cultivated a Twitter following of more than 16,000.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx