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WFSU Promotes 'EcoCitizen Day' By Encouraging Citizen Scientists

A bee lands on a white flower to take advantage of its yellow, pollen center (2019).
Rob Diaz de Villegas

TALLAHASSEE, FL – WFSU Public Media today announced the launch of an initiative to promote scientific observations made by every day citizens, in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Coastal Plains Institute, the City of Tallahassee and Leon County. The initiative will build momentum toward several events at the end of April, including a call to take part in the Tallahassee/Leon County City Nature Challenge April 26-29, participation in EcoCitizen Day on April 27, and the viewing of Nature: American Spring LIVE April 29-May 1.

The Tallahassee/ Leon County City Nature Challenge kicks off April 26 at 12:01am in each time zone and runs through April 29, 11:59 pm. The global event calls on current and aspiring citizen scientists, nature and science fans, and people of all ages and education backgrounds to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the free mobile app iNaturalist. Identification of photographed species will be crowdsourced through the online community April 30 – May 5 and results will be announced on May 6. Visit inaturalist.org or download iNaturalist from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

As part of the EcoCitizen initiative, WFSU and its partners are encouraging EcoCitizens to work toward three main goals:

  • Learn how to create a home habitat, with Florida-friendly native plants that will invite birds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators into your yard.
  • Observe how nature responds to the change of seasons, like when different birds migrate here and when different flowers bloom.
  • Engage in Citizen Science by learning more about the nature that surrounds us and contributing to a greater scientific understanding of plant and animal species.

Throughout April, the partners are hosting different events to celebrate nature and to give community members tools that help them become EcoCitizens. On EcoCitizen Day – April 27, everything comes together with family-friendly activities on FAMU Way in Railroad Square, trips out to nearby natural habitats to record data, and much, much more. A full list of events is online at: www.wfsu.org/ecologyblog and MyFWC.com/CNC.

Immediately after EcoCitizen Day, the change of seasons will be on full display in real time with “Nature: American Spring LIVE,” which will present the change from winter to spring in real time from iconic locations across America with a mix of live and pre-taped footage highlighting some of the most pivotal events in nature’s calendar. For three consecutive nights, Monday, April 29 - Wednesday, May 1 at 8pm ET on PBS (check local listings) and Facebook. Each episode will be available to stream the following day on pbs.org/natureand PBS apps. WFSU will host a free screening of “Nature: American Spring Live” at Proof Brewery on May 1 beginning at 7pm.

“Nature: American Spring LIVE” is the finale of Nature’s 37th season on PBS. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

To encourage citizen science participation during the broadcast and beyond, Nature: American Spring LIVE has partnered with the Celebrate Urban Birds and Bird Cams projects (Cornell Lab of Ornithology), The Great Sunflower Project (San Francisco State University), The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (University of Minnesota Monarch Lab), Track-a-Lilac with Nature’s Notebook (USA National Phenology Network), SciStarter (Arizona State University), Next Avenue (Twin Cities PBS), and the National Park Service.

WNET Community Engagement will work with PBS stations in communities across the country in partnership with local science and community-based organizations to encourage diverse audiences to participate in citizen science through a series of training workshops, family events and more. A robust collection of classroom resources produced by WNET Kids’ Media and Education will be hosted on PBS LearningMedia with activities to help teachers get students involved in hands-on science research.

Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer, Bill Murphy is Series Producer and Janet Hess is Series Editor. American Spring LIVE is a production of Berman Productions, Inc. and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET. Al Berman is Executive Producer and Ann Johnson Prum is Senior Producer. Major support for Nature: American Spring LIVE was provided by the National Science Foundation and Anne Ray Foundation.

Additional financial support was provided by the Arnhold Family in memory of Henry and Clarisse Arnhold, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Anderson Family Fund, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, the Halmi Family in memory of Robert Halmi, Sr., Sandra Atlas Bass, Doris R. and Robert J. Thomas, Charles Rosenblum, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by the nation’s public television stations.

Websites: pbs.org/americanspringlive, facebook.com/PBSNature, @PBSNature, instagram.com/pbsnature, youtube.com/naturepbs, #AmericanSpringLivePBS


About WNET

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multi-platform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.

Made Possible By: National Science Foundation

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1811511. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

For more information, contact:

Kim Kelling

850.645-6056 / kkelling@fsu.edu

Press Materials: pbs.org/pressroomor thirteen.org/pressroom