Citizen scientists discovered that acid mine drainage is causing a creek in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest to flow a bright orange, and they spurred state regulators to issue citations to the mine operators. But mining company Revelation Energy is in bankruptcy, which leaves big questions about who will clean up the mess — and when.
From monitoring the health of local waterways to tracking the changing seasons, people from all walks of life are seizing the opportunity to participate in scientific projects.
Local residents are monitoring pipeline construction along the routes of several major projects. Some people are checking on the health of impacted streams, and others are deploying aerial surveillance.
Volunteers with the Old-Growth Forest Network scout out stands of old-growth forest throughout the country to protect the unique forest habitats these trees provide.
Citizen scientists surveil water quality near active and former coal mines to hold companies accountable to the law.
Researchers and other individuals are tracking the invasive plants and beetles that are edging out and harming native plant species in Appalachia.
Volunteers are searching for an endangered bumblebee and using game cameras to spot local wildlife.
Citizen scientists use a mobile app to monitor seasonal life cycle phases of plants and animals along the Appalachian Trail, and use drones to monitor the habitats of Eastern hellbender salamanders.
Lichen, a symbiotic combination of fungi and algae, has helped create soil for billions of years and serves as an indicator of air quality.
Volunteers across Virginia participate in a statewide survey of breeding birds to create better conservation policy.