citizen science

A map of the United States with multicolored dots showing precipitation amounts.
CoCoRaHS / Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network

When driving even a short distance through northern Michigan in the winter, the weather can feel contradictory. Keith Berger, the Observing Programs Leader at the National Weather Service in Gaylord, agrees. 

People stand in the water, holding both ends of a large net.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, hear how citizens are becoming scientists on the Great Lakes.

Plus, a cheesy grits casserole recipe with a special ingredient: family history.

A hand is holding a tiny fish.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

A new nonprofit is training citizen scientists to collect data on fish in the Great Lakes, which could be a game changer for research in the region and help prevent the establishment of invasive species.


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources doesn’t have enough people out in the field to keep an eye on everything in nature, so it relies on hunters, hikers, anglers, and activists to report things that are out of the ordinary.

But there was a problem with the department’s method of getting that information: red tape. The DNR had 15 different observation forms.

But now, there's an app for that.