Gravestone Project

Gravestone Project

The weathering rates of gravestones are an indication of changes in the acidity of rainfall between locations and over time. The acidity is affected by air pollution and other factors, and could be used as a measure of changes in climate and pollution levels.

The Gravestone Project has two levels of data collection. The first is the location of graveyards, which requires the use of a GPS. The second is the measurement of the weathering of marble and other gravestones, which requires a micrometer. Citizen scientists can participate in either or both tasks.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Gary Lewis, EarthTrek Project Director
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: Geological Society of America
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Fieldwork
  • COST: More than $50
  • GRADE LEVEL: Middle School

    For more information about the project, contact the EarthTrek program within the Geological Society of America. Participation requires the use of a GPS and/or calipers and a small tape measure.

See more projects in More than $50FieldworkMiddle School.

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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