These two are dressed for lab work, but aren't they a bit young to be scientists?
These two are citizen scientists!
Citizen scientists can be any age and they can do science in lots of different places - on the seashore, in the countryside, in towns - anywhere!
They collect data which is used by scientists in lots of different ways, and lots of countries have projects where the public can collect data and be citizen scientists themselves!
"Data" is just a word for any type of measurement: sightings, pictures, dates, numbers, anything!
That's super cool!
So how can my friends in Ireland become citizen scientists?
I remember learning about mermaids' purses!
Let's see what Purse Search Ireland does with them!
People in Ireland can become citizen scientists and help with marine conservation by telling Purse Search Ireland when they find mermaids' purses at the beach!
Purse Search Ireland is a huge all-Ireland search for mermaids’ purses, run by Marine Dimensions
We’re hunting for eggcases because seeing where they're found tells us important information about where we might find nursery areas for Ireland’s egg-laying sharks and rays.
This is super important for conservation management, and you can do your part to help!
If you're a keen beachcomber and you see a mermaid’s purse anywhere around Ireland, you can: 1. Take a picture 2. Write down the location 3. Upload this data you've collected to https://marinedimensions.ie/purse-search-ireland/
Then we'll tell you what species of shark or ray you found and your sighting will go to elasmobranch scientists to help with shark and ray conservation in Ireland!
The MECO project
This is a really cool project! Its full name is Mediterranean Elasmobranchs Citizen Observations.
It's about people seeing sharks and rays in the Mediterranean Sea.
Its goal is to create a network of sightings, so they collaborate between countries around the Mediterranean. They want to understand where these animals live and if that varies between seasons.