This semester, I chose to once again visit Zooniverse for virtual volunteering. Instead of choosing service in my field, however, I decided to branch out into the field of science.
The project Notes from Nature – Invertebrate Time Machine transcribes older marine invertebrate labels into a database that consolidates the information for research. As a child, I loved marine life, and even into high school I took some classes that delved into marine biology. For that reason, this project caught my eye. It may not seem glamorous, but learning the names of different, strange snails and gastropods in our oceans was entertaining to me. Doing several hours of service, I amounted quite a collection of transcribed invertebrate labels. As of now, the project is nearing its end, but there are still a few thousand transcriptions needed.
This project also got the conservation of our oceans in my mind. Perhaps a future service opportunity in conservation on the Mississippi coast could be in my future. It’s where I was raised, and the beaches could always use some help with cleaning and organization.
Other than that service, Noah Brown, Dr. Sparkman and I went into talks about a Luckyday podcast produced and created by Noah and me. We hope to get that project set up by next fall. It will feature students, organizations and locals of the Hattiesburg area to put a spotlight on both service and those who do service. The planning for that is going well, and once a site is hosted by us next fall, the episodes should come out intermittently throughout the semester.
As the current pandemic also comes to a close, I hope that more in-person service opportunities arise for Luckyday scholars to step in, creating a better community for us all.