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Citizen scientists, trees needed for seasonality research in Pocatello

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – The Idaho State University Department of Biological Sciences needs your help researching the trees around Pocatello.

Scientists in Dr. Rebecca Hale’s urban socio-hydrology lab are asking residents to volunteer a tree in their front yard for observation. Currently, researchers are looking for the following tree species:

  • Littleleaf linden
  • Callery pear
  • Green ash
  • Russian olive
  • Crab apple
  • Siberian elm
  • Honeylocust
  • Norway maple

“This research will better allow us to monitor how the trees are changing through the seasons and know more precisely when leaves, fruit and seeds sprout and fall off of a tree,” Post-Baccalaureate Scholar Brittany Folk said.

Additionally, researchers are looking to enlist the help of citizen scientists to help check on the trees. Trees that are volunteered will have a small sign with a link to a brief survey that community members can use to enter data about how the tree is faring at that moment. The survey features questions about the whether fruit or seeds are on the tree, the tree’s general health, and more.

“By using citizen science, we can monitor more trees than would be possible using just one researcher checking a tree each day,” Folk said. “This will allow us to get more wide-reaching data about the timing of trees within our cities and give us a greater understanding of a large part of our city's ecosystem.”

The compiled data will be used to better monitor leaf and seed material on the ground in future studies and help provide researchers with more information about citizen science data collection techniques.

If you are interested in volunteering your trees for the research, contact Brittany Folk at brittanyfolk@isu.edu.

For more information on ISU’s Department of Biological Sciences, visit isu.edu/biology.

Article Topic Follows: Pocatello

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Cole Sams

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