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    Posted April 10, 2014 by
    Camarillo, California
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    100 Years of Citizen Science - University of California Cooperative Extension Celebration May 8


    The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources is marking its Centennial on May 8th. It is conducting 3 ‘crowd sourced’ scientific studies and asking for Californians to take part of that day to help. The field studies are meant to gauge the state of the state’s food resources and environmental health.

    The University of California is one of the 50 ‘land grant’ college created under the Morrill Act signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. The purpose of the act, created at a time when we were an agricultural nation, was to create colleges in each state to compile and spread knowledge – especially agricultural scientific information. Each state has one of these to promote the spread of local, researched knowledge.

    Since the ANR’s inception, their researchers, farm and home advisers have brought university research to the local farmers, rancher and home owner. The 100 years of contributions have identified the causes of unknown plant diseases, fought invasive and exotic pests and help California farmers produce the bounty they do today.

    Local UC research stations are actively engaged in creating new varieties adapted to our area climates and through the programs like the 4-H and Master Gardeners, are also producing new farmers. Our local station located in Santa Paula, has been actively developing and selecting new blueberry varieties. These take advantage of our mild winters and let local farmers reach markets before the national crop and take advantage of higher prices.

    Other projects include the creation of the strawberries, tomatoes, asparagus, peppers and more you enjoy today, studying and combating the causes of bee decline, fighting insect and invasive weeds, and usually without adequate resources or personal.

    The University’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC/ANR or ANR) is celebrating its 100 years of education and advocacy this May 8. As part of this celebration, the University invites all Californians to participate in a Day of Science. California families can spend the day or a even a few minutes outside and collect information to aid in three different studies and include it in an online map.

    This open call for participation for ‘crowd sourcing’ is your chance to add to the overall understanding of the state of the state’s health. The UC-sponsored BeAScientist website says, “The University of California is conducting three science projects on May 8, 2014 and we need your help collecting data. Pick one of the projects below to learn more about how you can participate.”

    The website set up for this event asks you to count pollinators for 3 minutes, then enter your location, and the number of pollinators counted, plus your photo if you want to add it.
    You can also add to the water saving survey. Again, enter your location and fill in a short form. Add photos of your water saving projects.

    The Food survey asks you to locate the food growing areas in your community. These can be your own yard, a community or school garden, or commercial growing areas. Again, there is a short form and a chance to add your photos.

    After you have made a submission, you will see your own results displayed along with everyone else participating. You can also judge how your area ranks against the other data collected so far.

    For more information on this project, see http://beascientist.ucanr.edu/

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