Corvallis OR : Oregon State University Press, 2014.
222 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
ISBNs9780870717529, 0870717529, 9780870717536
In the exploding world of citizen science, hundreds of thousands of volunteers are monitoring climate change, tracking bird migration, and following their bliss counting stardust for NASA or excavating mastodons. The sheer number of citizen scientists, combined with new technology, has begun to shape how research is conducted. Non-professionals become acknowledged experts: dentists turn into astronomers and accountants into botanists. Diary of a Citizen Scientist is a timely exploration of this phenomenon, told through the lens of nature writer Sharman Apt Russell's yearlong study of a little-known species, the Western red-bellied tiger beetle. In a voice both humorous and lyrical, Russell recounts her persistent and joyful tracking of an insect she calls "charismatic," "elegant," and "fierce." Patrolling the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico, collector's net in hand, she negotiates the realities of climate change even as she celebrates the beauty of a still-wild and rural landscape.