Get ready for the Cricket Crawl in September!

Proteus Gowanus is calling all citizen scientists in the area to help them map out the distribution of crickets and katydids throughout the five boroughs of New York City on September 11, 2009 (rain date: September 12, 2009) from dusk to 1:00 am.  Crickets and katydids, like many of the other natural creatures I have blogged about in the past, are part of urban ecosystems, but are fading fast as their resources disappear.  Creating a distribution map of their locations through New York City will speak volumes about the types of habitats needed to sustain their survival.

Very little training is required to discern a cricket call versus that of a katydid, but the organizers will be providing a brief online training for participants prior to the crawl, as well as in-person demonstrations at the headquarters before the crawl begins.  Throughout the evening, volunteers would listen for the calls of crickets and katydids and document their observations with pencil and paper. (Or, those citizen scientists that are more technically saavy than I am can ditch their pencil and paper and submit their findings via text messaging for real-time analyses at Cricket Crawl headquarters.)

Signing up for the crawl is easy!  Just e-mail cricket_crawl@yahoo.com for more details.  Also, if you are interested in volunteering beyond just recording the calls of crickets, you can play a larger role in the organization of Cricket Crawl by creating a Cricket Crawl website, Facebook page, or a Twitter network.  And for those citizen scientists with an artistic side, Proteus Gowanus is also looking for artists to create pieces in connection with the crawl that could be posted in an online gallery.  Interested artists should e-mail info@proteusgowanus.com for more details.

PROJECT SNAPSHOT:

  • Topics: crickets, urban ecosystems
  • Location: at home or close to home, if you live in NYC
  • Duration: one starry night, from dusk to 1 am
  • Cost: free or low cost
  • Gear: pencil and paper, and/or a phone with text messaging capability
  • Level of Difficulty: easy