The Chartiers-Houston Community Library is getting “techie” with nature.
Patrons, teens and families are invited to Citizen Science 101 this Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. with PA master naturalist and retired Chartiers-Houston science teacher Gary Popiolkowski.
Registration is not required, but those interested are encouraged to RSVP at 724-745-4300.
Popiolkowski will introduce attendees to the Citizen Science program and the City Nature Challenge, and demonstrate smartphone and tablet applications that allow users to engage more purposefully with the natural world.
“It’s sort of like an intro – and eye-opening, perhaps – for people who never knew about Citizen Science and how easy it is to become involved,” said Popiolkowski, who plans to step outside with attendees and demonstrate apps like Seek and iNaturalist. “You don’t have to have any specific equipment if you have a smartphone, a camera. There’s so many neat things out there. Sometimes we get stuck indoors. Let’s use our tech to do some cool stuff.”
Popiolkowski encourages parents to bring their kids to the event, where together they can learn about the interesting species living in their backyards and foster curiosity and learning.
“Get out together,” he said. “Share those moments.”
Those moments, beginning with Popiolkowski’s Citizen Science 101 event Tuesday.
“Having someone like Gary and this program in a public library setting, where it’s free … it’s going to be really important moving forward,” said library director Susan Strnisha. “Things are turning so much toward technology that it is important for us to be a resource where citizens can find out how they can use this information. Every living thing has something beneficial to give back to our environment.”
Strnisha hopes the Citizen Science 101 event inspires attendees the community to dive deeper into environmental science, and Popiolkowski hopes to expand the reach of the program beyond Chartiers.
“You don’t have to be Isaac Newton,” said Popiolkowki. “You just have to have an interest in science.”