Citizen Scientists

Above is my illustration for the current issue of Spacing Magazine, and my third contribution to the publication. The theme of the new issue is about our relationship with urban wildlife from mosquitoes, to white squirrels, to raccoons. The above is an illustration is for an piece by writer, Eva Amsen, titled “Citizen Scientists”. Here’s an excerpt:

Once in a while — more often than anyone would like — the media reports that a species has become endangered or is shifting its habitat. But where does this information come from? Who counts all these plants and animals?
Well, it could be you.
Enthusiastic amateur nature lovers often assist scientists by collecting a vast amount of information about the whereabouts of certain species. Many Torontonians take part in this “citizen science” as it is known, especially in the field of insect study.
Don Davis is one of these citizen scientists. He works for the Children’s Aid Society, but spends his spare time studying the monarch butterfly and attending meetings to exchange information about this species. The monarch butterfly migrates from Ontario and other Northern regions down to Mexico in the fall, and back north in spring. The generation that flies south is not the same as the one that flies north, and yet the butterflies always find their way. To study the flight patterns of the monarch butterfly, volunteers like Davis catch them, tag the wings with a unique code, and release them again.

To read the rest, pick up a copy of the current Spacing Magazine.


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