William B. Monahan, Senior GIS Scientist with Audubon California, has written an essay on (published at Grist.org) 0n how data collected by volunteer scientists is helping to build a case for climate action.
“They traipse through forest, grass and wetland, through mud, rain and even snow. They carry binoculars and take careful notes of everything they see.
“These are the folks—thousands of dedicated bird watchers—that for more than 100 years have been taking part in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, documenting fluctuations in bird populations the old-fashioned way: counting birds one by one, year after year.
“Old fashioned as it is, this data has proven invaluable for researchers through several generations. Now, we at Audubon California have found a way to use the work of these volunteers to shed new light on climate change, one of the most challenging issues for bird conservation today.”