Would you like to participate in a family-friendly activity that helps the environment, wildlife and our community? Then please join us at the Environmental Learning Center (ELC) in Vero Beach on Saturday, April 13 from Noon-4:00 p.m. as we host our first Citizen Science Day.
Citizen Scientists are volunteers from the general public who help scientists conduct exciting and important research. Volunteers are usually able to help collect data right in their own community. During the ELC’s Citizen Science Day, you’ll be able to meet with environmental researchers who need your help with a variety of projects including:
Otter Spotter Project: The health of our otter population helps scientists determine the health of the Indian River Lagoon. Citizen Scientists record the number of otters seen, the date, location and habitat where they were observed.
Microplastics Projects: Microplastics are minute pieces of plastic that have broken down from larger plastic items found in our water. These microplastics may be harmful and can be ingested by animals and humans. Volunteers are needed to collect samples to determine the level of microplastics in water.
Horseshoe Crab Project: Horseshoe crabs are important to the Indian River Lagoon’s health. Take part in helping scientists with tagging horseshoe crabs and conducting population surveys.
eBird Project: Advance avian and environmental science by helping researchers track the health and welfare of birds through crowdsourcing. Collect data about birds you see and report them to eBird.
Dark Skies Project: While outdoor lighting has benefits, the spread of LED lighting has resulted in “light pollution” that’s harmful to wildlife and our environment. Work with researchers by analyzing images that help us better understand where light pollution may be having the greatest impact.
You’ll be able to learn about dozens of amazing studies. Many Citizen Science projects are family-friendly, so kids and adults can team up. There’s something for everyone – and every family.
In addition to visiting fascinating booths displaying a wide array of Citizen Science opportunities, there will be workshops where you can learn how to build a rain barrel or birdhouse and talks on important environmental issues. And while you’re learning, don’t forget to enjoy the great food and music.
The ELC is located at 255 Live Oak Dr., Vero Beach. Admission is $5 for guests 12+, $3 for children 3-11 and free for children 2 and under. Free admission to ELC members and any guest with proof of financial need: EBT card, Medicaid card, SNAP, TANF or Free and Reduced Lunch Letter.
The Environmental Learning Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting people with nature through education and exploration. Many thanks to the ELC’s community partners for making this event possible: Shari Blisset-Clark, ELC Junior Interpreters, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Home Depot, Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserve, Indian River County Master Gardeners, Will Johnson, Marine Resource Council, Otter Spotter, Plastic Free Florida, National Weather Service, Treasure Coast Wildlife, Vero Beach Power Squadron and Yami’s Ice Cream.
For details or directions, visit discoverelc.org or call (772) 589-5050.