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  • Affirm The Experiment

Citizen Scientist

Mary Ellen Hannibal

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The environment

CITIZEN SCIENTIST is award-winning environmental journalist and author Mary Ellen Hannibal's story of becoming a citizen scientist - and finding more than she bargained for at every turn. She knew she was joining a flourishing community of volunteers who help conserve nature, but she was surprised to learn how this new and tech-enabled movement continues a rich tradition of amateur observation established by writers and naturalists over centuries. And she knew, in the midst of an unprecedented mass extinction, that she would find a shrinking number of species, but she couldn't know how her father's sudden passing would tear open her quest to confront loss.

Ultimately, to be a citizen scientist is to intimately examine all the life that still finds a way. So as Hannibal, alongside an inspiring cast of fellow citizen scientists, discovers a wealth of species - by wading into tide pools, tracking hawks, scouring mountains - she also rescues herself from an odyssey of loss, and finds a hopeful and practical way forward.

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