A Senator and a Citizen Scientist

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A satellite image of the Patuxent River.
A satellite image of the Patuxent River (image credit: NASA).

Senator Bernie Fowler from Maryland, USA has been measuring the clarity of the water in the Patuxent River every June for the last 30 years. His chosen method of measurement? White sneakers. He wades into the river until he cannot see his white sneakers anymore and then records how deep the water is at that point. Some years he can wade in much further than others. What began as a simple test of the health of Maryland's waters has turned into a 30 year long citizen science and public outreach project. And June 2017 marks the 30th anniversary. Watch for the next data point to appear on his website.

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A Senator and a Citizen Scientist
NASA Earth Observatory
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Profile picture for user Jesse Rogerson
Jesse Rogerson, PhD

As a passionate science communicator, Jesse Rogerson loves promoting science literacy to the public. He frequently represents the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on television and radio, social media, and at conferences. He co-developed a science communication workshop for Canadian science professionals, to instruct them in more effective methods of communicating their science. A trained and practicing astrophysicist, Jesse holds a PhD in observational astrophysics from York University, and recently published a peer-reviewed paper in The Astrophysical Journal. Jesse enjoys riding his motorcycle, board games, and ultimate frisbee.