Kids' Cicada Hunt!

Cicada Citizen Science

Science doesn’t have to be a spectator sport!  Citizen-science projects let ordinary folks do science in the big leagues, managed by the pros.  Look below to read about some Cicada Citizen-Science projects in the Chicago area.
  


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Interactive Online Emergence Map, Lake County Forest Preserve District
The Lake County Forest Preserve District project is now online here:  http://www.lcfpd.org/cicadamap/ 
As their original announcement said, “Those living in the region of the 2007 emergence are invited to contribute valuable information to the forest preserve district’s cicada emergence mapping project….Citizen scientists are asked to visit an online interactive map and place a map pin at their home or work address to indicate the density of cicadas in their area.” 

The Lake County Forest Preserve project seems like just the right kind of citizen-science program for our family.  It’s web-based, and we can do it from home — just like Project FeederWatch, which we have done for the last three winters.  (Go here to find out more about Project FeederWatch: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/Overview/over_index.html )

However, it's not clear how the can check the data for people who are just messing around and haven't really seen anything.  As of May 14, the map showed emergences throughout the Chicago area, but there is no way to check if the pin-stickers really saw adult cicadas, or just nymphs, or just nothing.  (Dan at CicadaMania.com says he hasn't seen any online photos of adults so far this year.)

  

Cicada Citizen Science, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
If you want to become an official cicada hunter for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Illinois, then sign up for their “Cicada Citizen Science” program.   As cicada citizen scientists, county residents can help the Forest Preserve District map where cicadas live in DuPage County.   There will be an an informational session on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to Noon, at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook.   Reservations begin April 30.   For information, call (630) 850-3722, or go here for information, data forms, and a video: http://tom.dupageforest.com/video/cicadacitizen.html

We live in Cook County, so we will probably remain unofficial cicada hunters.  Still, it seems like a great program!

  


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           This page was created on April 26, 2007, and it was last updated on May 14, 2007.