Citizen science projects offered at Jennings center

Staff report

Slippery Rock, Pa.

The first in a series of citizen science investigations or CSI for home-schooling families will provide an opportunity to learn about birds while contributing to scientific research.

From 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 17, Jennings Environmental Education Center, 2951 Prospect Road, will offer an informative, interactive program that will feature hands-on discovery centers, an introduction to bird identification, guided observation and counting of birds, and instructions for participation in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count.

Participants will be encouraged to use their new skills to observe birds and submit their own data at home.

The program is designed for people 5 and older at a cost of $3 per person (maximum $12 per family). Enrollment is limited. Registration and prepayment should be done by Feb. 10 by contacting the center at 724-794-6011 or online at

From 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 18, a workshop and indoor observation session will take place and be designed for those age 12 and older.

The free event is particularly recommended for teachers and youth leaders who might want to involve their students in citizen-science projects. Enrollment is limited, and participants must register by contacting the center at 724-794-6011 or registering online at no later than Feb. 14.

A limited number of binoculars and field guides are available for use. Participants also are welcome to bring their own.

Celebrating its 15th year, the Great Backyard Bird Count is hosted by the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology in partnership with Bird Studies Canada.

The indoor workshop at Jennings will allow home-schooling parents and their children to work together to learn the basics of bird identification while observing and enjoying birds at the feeders outside the classroom windows.

Jennings staff will explain and demonstrate use of the GBBC website for submitting data and obtaining information. Representatives of the Bartramian Audubon Society also will be on hand to provide assistance and bird-feeding tips.

Jennings is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and on weekends as scheduled.

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