Life Trajectories: Citizen Science used to generate a HYSPLIT analysis of Northern Lapwing (NOLA) sightings in Massachusetts following Superstorm Sandy

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Leonard M. Bloch, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; and Mark Faherty, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, L. Hample, J. Knox, V. Laux, T. Pastuszak, Z. Robbins, and J. M. Shepherd

Five professional scientists and three citizen scientists collaborated to understand the meteorological conditions surrounding Superstorm Sandy and their impacts on the subsequent influx of Northern Lapwings (NOLAs) in Massachusetts. We focused on three NOLA sightings on Cape Cod and Nantucket on October 30, 2012. HYPSLITs back-trajectory capabilities, along with first-hand reports of birders gathered by interviews, allowed us to determine plausible paths a NOLA under the influence of Superstorm Sandy could have followed to arrive in Massachusetts that day. The professional scientists interviewed three citizen scientists in order to inform the meteorological analysis. The interviews provided additional information that provided insight into the experiences of citizen scientists. Using grounded theory, we discerned three themes that inform our understanding of the experiences of citizen scientists: The citizen scientists engaged in this project have a great deal of 1) enthusiasm for and 2) expertise about birds, and 3) they enjoy sharing their enthusiasm and expertise with others. The citizen scientists also confirmed that many members of the birding community would be interested in using HYSPLIT to analyze the flight paths that particular birds follow under storm conditions.