WXXI AM News

citizen science

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The Cumming Nature Center is a little oasis about an hour south of Rochester. With miles of quiet trails through swamplands and towering pine trees, it’s a great place to talk about citizen science.

So what exactly does that term mean?

Nathan Hayes, the director of the nature center, says its the “crowdsourcing of scientific information. Multiple people all over the place putting the puzzle pieces together to get the picture.”

There is so much information to collect, Hayes says, that scientists alone can’t do it all. That’s where the rest of us can help. He says people can get involved and collect valuable information wherever they may be.

“We can study -- we should study -- these woods, and not worry about the Amazon. I mean, worry about the Amazon, but you don’t have to go away to contribute to important scientific base of knowledge, you can do it in your backyard.”