Citizens Can Help Research Porcupines at BioBlitz #CitizenScience


National Parks around the country are creating BioBlitz events—opportunities for citizens to participate in science. One that is a standout is the study being done at the Devil’s Tower National Monument, according to SDBP Radio. A team from the University of Wyoming has been attaching radio transmitters to the quills of the porcupines that make their home there. On April 30th, they will be assembling a citizen science group to help track the critters and their habits. Doug Keinath is the lead researcher for the program and is quite excited.

As soon as you start studying these guys more closely, you realize they’re really benign animals. I mean, I just find them fascinating. They’re just incredible, adorable little animals.

The prickly rodents like to feed on the inner bark of Ponderosa trees, which seems like a rather specific diet, and they hang out in dens. I’m sure it will be interesting to follow their GPS trails during the day to see how habitual they are and how their behaviors change through the season. All secrets of their inner lives will be revealed as participants will learn how to use the same technology as the researchers to track the porcupines. According to Nancy Stimson of Devil’s Tower, this data is the beginning.

This two-year study is the first focusing on the porcupine population and their winter habitat at Devils Tower. From this research, Stimson says the park plans to learn how to protect porcupine habitats in all seasons.

Here’s some tantalizing footage of “Petunia”, one of the six residents hanging around the tower. Keep your volume up for maximum quillage.

So, whether you are a porcupine lover in Wyoming, or another citizen scientist looking for an opportunity in your state, be sure to check out the National Park Service BioBlitz listing. There are some amazing projects where your skills are actually needed and many don’t even require experience. Also, if you are intrigued by radio transmitters or communicating with things in the physical world, you should check out this Making Things Talk Book that’s filled with projects. Not only is it fun for scientists, but teachers and artists will also get a kick out of exploring thermostats, game controllers, and connected plush monkeys. And you thought Doctor Doolittle was the only one that could talk to animals!



Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

Join 7,500+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

Maker Business — Despite multiple bankruptcies, RadioShack continues to find ways to keep the lights on

Wearables — Molding with glue

Electronics — A few words on inductor resistance

Biohacking — Running Blades

Python for Microcontrollers — Help bring CircuitPython to other languages!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.