The Science Cheerleader

By DeliaTheArtist
for Current.com

darlene-cavalier

In 1991, Darlene Cavalier was a professional cheerleader for the 76ers. Today however, she’s cheering for a different team – Citizen Science!

“Citizen Scientists aren’t waiting for an invitation to get involved. They are literally changing the way science gets done,” Darlene says. Her website, ScienceCheerleader.com, is a wealth of information as well as THE resource for anyone who wants to get more involved with science efforts in their communities. “It’s important that the citizen scientists get something out of the project and for that to happen researchers must believe that the public is capable of more than just data entry. Volunteers should be given the opportunity to ask questions and draw upon the data. In its most successful forms, citizen scientists even help shape science policy.”

ScienceCheerleader.com’s Project Finder helps connect people with scientific projects in their area of interest. What are some examples of things people can do? “Tag butterflies to help track their migratory habits, count fireflies to help researchers better understand why they appear to be diminishing in some places but not others (talk about a fun family project; my kids and I learned how to differentiate between males, females and stealth predators!), sort through galaxies, help meteorologists predict weather patterns, record earthquakes, help project flu outbreaks, you name it!”

Darlene is also working on having more user generated content on her site as well as “a full-functioning Mother-of-all-Citizen-Science websites” – read my entire interview with Darlene Cavalier, The Science Cheerleader, in this awesome 4th installment of Science is Speaking! [Click here]

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