Family Citizen Science @ the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve:
Connecting Family, Community, Education, and Ecosystems through Field Research Projects


Children and adults study streamStudents become scientifically literate by actively learning science as science is done. Whether in the field or classroom, participating K-12 students, teachers, families, and area community groups, such as scouts and 4-H, can be engaged with the undertaking of science as an active process. “Family Citizen Science @ the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve” will encompass and support participation in active scientific research through the development of meaningful mentor-mentee relationships collecting, interpreting, and communicating scientific data facilitated by Brandwein Institute Directors.

Initial Citizen Science projects include:

  1. GLOBE’s newly announced “Trees Around The GLOBE” protocol that will enable students and their mentors to collect and examine carbon sequestration data, seasonal phenology dates, and assess the general health of a forest. See
  2. Using iNaturalist protocols, mentor-mentee teams will collect and share data on local bird migration and invasive species.

Check the website and social media sites for information on possible fall weekend training sessions to be held at the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve. Training will also be posted on the Brandwein Institute’s website in video and PDF formats to download. The sessions can be live-streamed, recorded, and edited. Both the on-site training and online videos and PDFs will provide information on data collection protocols, communicating, and submitting data to the Brandwein Institute as well as how to construct the necessary data collection tools, such as DBH tapes, Canopy Densitometers, and Tree Altimeters, or how to borrow field equipment from the Brandwein Institute.

One of the goals of the program is to support families in doing science as family citizen scientists, collecting and discussing the process of science and data together. To further support the future training workshops, the Brandwein website will host an “Ask a Question” portal to allow participants to submit questions that will be answered by Brandwein Institute Directors.

Data collected will be shared with GLOBE and posted on the website.  Participants may incorporate the data with appropriate student classes; for use by individual student research projects; for use by 4-H Clubs, Scout badge requirements; and BNLP Summer Science Camp participants who will also be collecting data during their time at camp. Stay tuned to website and social media sites for further details and registration information.

Resources for Family Citizen Science at the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve (BNLP):

Suggested books on Citizen Science that are a great read!

  • “The Value of Mentors: Family Citizen Science at the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve,” by Dan Bisaccio, appears in the Summer 2019 issue of Pathways, the official publication of the New York State Outdoor Education Association. See Citizen Science Article.
  • Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction; Mary Ellen Hannibal, The Experiment, NY, 2016
  • Citizen Science: How Ordinary People Are Changing the Face of Discovery; Caren Cooper, The Overlook Press, NY, 2016

Choosing a Citizen Science Project that is right for you:

Citizen Science programs:

Field Guides:

Apps available for nature watchers:

Other resources: