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The Quake-Catcher Network

The Quake-Catcher Network

The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) is a collaborative initiative for developing the world's largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to Internet-connected computers. Volunteers can help the Quake-Catcher Network provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems and others. The Quake-Catcher Network also provides educational software designed to help teach about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Elizabeth Cochran
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: University of California, Riverside, Department of Earth Science
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Data Processing
  • COST: $20-$50
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    K-12 teachers at underserved schools can apply for a free sensor. Another option is a free loan of up to 15 sensors for up to three weeks, although borrowers do have to pay for the return postage of $10.35. Or purchase a $49 USB sensor, which comes with Quake-Catcher Network monitoring software, educational software, a USB cable, installation equipment and instructions. Pay with a credit card using the online form or print and mail in the form with a check.

    Contact Elizabeth Cochran, project leader and assistant professor of seismology.

See more projects in $20-$50Data ProcessingAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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