Solar Eclipse 2017: Life Responds | California Academy of Sciences

Photo by Luc Viator (CC-BY-SA)

In case the clouds part and you want to experience the eclipse in Golden Gate Park, here’s a citizen science project that you can participate in, thanks to the California Academy of Science:

“The next solar eclipse is crossing the U.S. on August 21, 2017.  .  .

How does life respond to the dramatic event of a total solar eclipse? There is some evidence that plant and animal life react to the environmental changes that occur during a total solar eclipse. As the sky darkens and the temperature drops, birds reportedly stop singing, spiders may tear down their webs, and gray squirrels retreat to their dens, among other observed behaviors. Much of these reports, however, are anecdotal or documented with captive animals. On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the continental United States, from coast to coast. The Academy invites citizen scientists like you to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to record eclipse-related animal behavior with the iNaturalist app.

Before the eclipse: Download the iNaturalist app on the App Store or Google Play and make an account. Practice making observations. Check out the Getting Started Guide for helpful tips. Join the Life Responds project on iNaturalist. Decide where you will be viewing the eclipse and know when the eclipse will be at maximum at your location. Use this map to help determine that time:  map

Day of the eclipse (Aug 21):

  1. Once you arrive at your site, scout your area for animals and plants. Choose the individual organism(s) you want to observe.
  2. During the eclipse, make 3 separate observations for each individual organism using the iNaturalist app, adding each of them to the “Life Responds” project:
    • 1st: 30 minutes before totality (or maximum coverage) make an observation in iNaturalist. Add anything interesting you notice about their behavior in the “Notes” section.
    • 2nd: During the 5 minutes of totality (or maximum coverage) make a second observation in iNaturalist. Add anything interesting you notice about their behavior in the “Notes” section.
    • 3rd: 30 minutes after totality (or maximum coverage) make a third and final observation in iNaturalist. Add anything interesting you notice about their behavior in the “Notes” section.
    • You’re welcome to make other observations of your organism(s) beyond these three – just be sure to choose the time frame in which you made these other observations in “Before, During, or After Totality” field.

For questions or more information, please contact: citizenscience@calacademy.org”

Source: Solar Eclipse 2017: Life Responds | California Academy of Sciences

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About fromthethicket

I'm a landscape historian and professor emeritus of landscape architecture, UC Davis. I live in San Francisco.
This entry was posted in animals, birds, california academy of sciences, events in Golden Gate Park, insects, plants, science, urban ecology, wildlife and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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