BioTrails is a collaborative project of the MDI Biological Laboratory, the National Park Service, and the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. Pilot studies were supported in part by funding from the National Science Foundation (DRL-1223210).
The pilot project established practices for combining public participation in scientific research (citizen science) with DNA-based species identification (DNA barcoding) to scale-up and improve the accuracy of research projects that monitor animal and plant species in the sea and on land as they respond to climate and other environmental changes.
Participants in the pilot BioTrails project collaborated with scientists in the field and in the lab, collecting, sorting, and identifying invertebrates from eelgrass beds in Frenchman Bay as part of an ongoing restoration project, and helped to create DNA barcoding reference libraries that will be a valuable resource for DNA-assisted citizen science projects in the future. In addition, their efforts have contributed to our learning about how to engage citizens in DNA-assisted and other citizen science projects.
Contact Jane E. Disney, Ph.D., Education Director at MDI Biological Laboratory.