Excited to Join the Team!

Alycia CrallMany of you may have seen my name in recent talk posts on the Season Spotter project website and wondered “who is this?”  I am a new addition to the Season Spotter research team and am very excited to be part of all the great work you are doing to advance the science of phenology!  A little bit about myself…I received my undergraduate degrees in ecology and environmental health science from the University of Georgia.  Shortly after graduation, the mountains were calling my name and I ventured out West to start a master’s degree in ecology at Colorado State University.  My research focused on the invasion of non-native plant species into rare habitats of the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.  A beautiful place to visit if you have never been before!  After completion of my degree, I continued my research on invasive species at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL). While at NREL, our research team began looking at innovative approaches for generating extensive datasets on invasive species locations.  Scientists use these data to generate models to predict future spread of these species under different climate scenarios.  It was evident that we did not have the staff to collect the amount of data needed to address our research questions.  This is when I was introduced to the world of citizen science.  We received funds from the National Science Foundation to support the development of a national invasive species citizen science program to support our research efforts.  While working on this project, I received my PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison developing, implementing, and evaluating this national program.  We learned a lot about successful design for these types of projects and our  efforts resulted in the creation of a website to support data management and sharing for local organizations (CitSci.org).  After my dissertation, I took a faculty position at Virginia Tech as the Director of the Virginia Master Naturalist program.  This program engages thousands of volunteers across the state in citizen science, environmental education, and stewardship projects.  Our volunteers mostly supported “on-the-ground” citizen science so I’m excited to begin working with all of you in more of an online collaboration.  It will be a new experience for me and I look forward to learning from all of you!

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About acrall

I am an interdisciplinary researcher focusing on the development and evaluation of citizen science projects that support natural resource conservation.
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