Pennsylvania DCNR Video Features Diane Husic and Moravian Students

What is citizen science? To explain, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) visited the the greenhouse of the Moravian Department of Biological Sciences February 28 to film an educational video on the topic. The film is the first in the series "What is Citizen Science?"

Diane Husic, professor and chair of biological sciences, was interviewed about the role and importance of the public in gathering scientific data. As an Audubon TogetherGreen Fellow, Husic is working closely with the DCNR on a pilot project that will engage Pennsylvania citizens as "citizen scientists."

Husic's project focuses on phenology, the study of the relationship between natural seasonal events and the environment. Working with local environmental educators, she has begun to build a regional network of citizen scientists who will monitor key ecological events and species. Moravian students are helping to design the programming, collect data, and delve into the historical data related to phenology.

"The DCNR chose Moravian for the video for a couple of reasons," said Professor Husic. "One is the pilot project I am working on [Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology Project] and the associated blog as part of my Audubon TogetherGreen Fellowship." The DCNR also is familiar with Moravian's work at the Palmerton Superfund site, the recent ecological assessment of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, and the stream quality assessments conducted by Professor Frank Kuserk, environmental studies director, and his students. Last year, the DCNR invited Husic to serve on the PA Climate Change Adaptation working group as a result of Moravian's participation at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Meredith Wright '10, an environmental studies graduate who is helping Husic with the Audubon TogetherGreen Fellowship citizen science project, and Anika Riaz '14 also appeared in the video as students "doing science."