My guest for this episode is Elizabeth Farnsworth, PhD, a research biologist with the New England Wild Flower Society, and one of the leads on the GoBotany! project, an online resource for discovering thousands of New England Plants, including simple and advanced plant identification tools, teaching tools, and a PlantShare space where you can create your own home page to catalog your plant discoveries. This also gives you access to Ask A Botanist. As an online tool, GoBotany! Serves as an electronic field guide that can help us reconnect in a digitally connected world to the natural landscape, and foster ongoing discovery.
We also spend some time talking about the idea of citizen science and how we can work to be a part of the scientific process. For those of you who listen to this show and Jen Mendez of PermieKids.com, there are some thoughts on developing a passion for discovery that extends from us into our children.
I took away from this conversation that each of us is a scientist. We can wake up each morning and simple as, “Why?” That leads us to an exploration of the world. We can then take that further by connecting with citizen scientist programs like EDDMapS or the EarthWatch Institute and get involved. Your interest and passions can add to the body of human knowledge. In turn that adds to the body of permaculture knowledge. Together we can create an abundant world together.
Resources and Citizen Science Programs
Cornell Lab of Ornithology Check out the Merlin Bird ID App for Android and iOS.
Citizen science comes of age (PDF) From the Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment journal.
Zooniverse Citizen Science Websites.
DataONE.org for managing large data sets.
PublicLab.org DIY monitoring tools
Project Noah Explore and document wildlife in your area.
Going on the Road
The show is going on the road so that I can go report on events of interest to the growing movements to build a better world, and to continue to spread the word of this wonderful system of design we call Permaculture. Next up I’ll be going to CHABA-Con, in Bridgeton, New Jersey, on October 11th, 2014 where Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute will be the keynote speaker for a day of lectures, discussions, and tours on how to transform the world we live in.
The last of the currently planned trips is to Roanoke, Virginia, from October 20th-22nd, interviewing farmers and local permaculture practitioners. I am also delivering a presentation, “Permaculture: Creating a Better World by Design” on 630PM on October 21st, 2014, at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op at Grandin Village. If you’re in the area I’d love to see you there or at any of these other events.
Get In Touch
The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018