‘Cool’ sampling sites more likely to show false trends

Image of bridge over stream in park.

(ScienceDaily, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig) Data collected by citizen science initiatives, museums and national parks is an important basis for research on biodiversity change. However, scientists found that sampling sites are oftentimes not representative, which may lead to false conclusions about how biodiversity changes. Their research calls for more objective site selection and better training for citizen scientists to prevent a site-selection bias.

A guide to entomology outreach, even during a pandemic

Image of researcher with net in garden.

(Entomology Today) Entomology outreach is an essential part of inviting the public to learn about and engage with insects. Frequently, graduate students are at the forefront of engaging the public in this field. However, not every graduate student is prepared to interact with a pre-entomologist, nor are they convinced that this is an important activity. Here is a beginner’s guide to initiating outreach.

Rusty patched bumble bee found at Iowa nature center

The actual image of the rusty patched bumble bee taken by Amy Loving.

(Quad-City Times) Amy Loving was working at Davenport’s Nahant Marsh Education Center, taking photos of bees and other insects buzzing around the building in preparation for an upcoming program. Spotting a bee in some white clover, she crouched down to get a shot. Back inside the center some time later, she was scrolling through her images when suddenly she felt her heart begin to race. One of her pictures showed a bee with a rusty patch in its yellow backside.

Community scientists identify bumble bees correctly 50% of the time

Image of bumble bee on clover flower.

(York University) Think you can identify that bumble bee you just took a photo of in your backyard? York University researchers have found that a little more than 50% of community science participants, who submitted photos to the North American Bumble Bee Watch program, were able to properly identify the bee species. “Accurate species level identification is an important first step for effective conservation management decisions. Those community science programs that have experts review submitted photos to determine if the identification is correct have a higher scientific value.”