Thank you, Bird Cams Lab Community!
July 8, 2021
Back in 2018, Bird Cams Lab started as a research project funded by the National Science Foundation. We set out to engage cam viewers from around the world in co-creating scientific investigations together in an online space, and to understand how participation in the scientific process might affect learning, skills, and actions.
As the grant comes to an end in July, we reflect on the last few years and are amazed at how the community has grown and accomplished in the course of six scientific investigations!
Whether you joined this past year or have been with us from the beginning, we thank you for being a part of our community. Your curiosity about the birds you’ve observed on the cam and your passion for this work made Bird Cams Lab possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is Bird Cams Lab ending?
Bird Cams Lab was supported by a National Science Foundation grant, and this grant ends on July 30, 2021. Without this funding, there is no longer support for the key staff who developed the technical infrastructure and managed the project.
We know that this news may be disappointing, but we look at Bird Cams Lab ending as a new beginning! Bird Cams Lab broke new ground, accomplishing what had never been done before: providing opportunities for people around the world to co-create with researchers in scientific investigations centered on live streaming wildlife cams.
We are currently working with an evaluation team from Rockman et al., and can’t wait to share what we find with you! We’ll be able to share with you, and the larger community, what we’ve learned about the co-creation process and about how participation in it may have affected learning outcomes this coming fall.
The Bird Cams Lab team truly hopes that the project will serve as a stepping-off point and inspiration for communities and researchers wanting to use online wildlife cams to make new discoveries. We hope that the methods and tools we used (such as tagging data) will not only be used in future Bird Cams work, but in other programs as well.
2. Will the Bird Cams Lab website disappear?
The Bird Cams Lab website will remain online, (https://birdcamslab.allaboutbirds.org/), showcasing past investigations and discussions. The Bird Cams website with its full slate of live streaming cams will also continue to be active and feature cams from around the world, 24/7 (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/).
3. What’s happening to all the biological data collected by the community?
The community recorded thousands of observations for six Bird Cams Lab investigations, and we explored those data in online interactive visualizations. The data used to create these visualizations are available for download (for example, see “When do smaller species visit the feeding station?”). Additionally, we shared and discussed what we found in each investigation in a final report, all of which are available on the Bird Cams Lab website (final report for Cornell Feeders Live forthcoming)
If you are interested in accessing the raw data collected for any of the investigations, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are in the process of storing this data in a data archive and will have a link to that in the near future.
4. Will I still be able to ask questions, give feedback, or use the tools and interfaces developed during Bird Cams Lab?
Bird Cams Lab will no longer have staff dedicated to interacting with the Bird Cams Lab community, guiding scientific investigations, or analyzing data. However, Bird Cams will continue to stream the lives of birds online along with interpretive and multimedia content, and some of the tools developed during Bird Cams Lab, such as data tagging, may be used with live cameras in the future.
5. I loved being a part of Bird Cams Lab. Now what can I do?
We are so glad that so many people found and enjoyed Bird Cams Lab. The project wouldn’t have been possible without your curiosity, passion, and interest in learning about the birds on the Bird Cams. We would love for you to continue learning about birds and doing science, so we’ve compiled a list of ways to do so. Check out our How to Stay in Touch and Keep Contributing post.
6. I have thoughts about the project that I’d like to share with the Bird Cams Lab team. How do I do that?
If you’d like to share any thoughts with us about the Bird Cams Lab project, please feel free to fill out this form. Thank you!