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Hydra Hunters: Community Outreach and Exploration with Citizen Science

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Cnidarians of the genus Hydra are found all over the world in a wide range of habitats. Hydra are also important in biomedical research as model organisms for regeneration and aging. Recently, a team of scientists at UC Irvine and Pomona College has used DNA sequencing to trace the evolution of Hydra and understand how they have dispersed across the globe. We aim to expand the reach of these studies by mobilizing citizen scientists in San Diego County to search for Hydra specimens in local fresh water environments. With funding from the USD Associated Students Government, we have created Hydra collecting kits that will be distributed to members of the public at a workshop where we will teach the techniques of Hydra collecting and identification. We have also developed a hands-on workshop for youth observe and do hands-on experiments with Hydra. These workshops introduce students to the scientific investigations and raise awareness about a little-known aspect of the local environment.

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Hydra Hunters: Community Outreach and Exploration with Citizen Science

Cnidarians of the genus Hydra are found all over the world in a wide range of habitats. Hydra are also important in biomedical research as model organisms for regeneration and aging. Recently, a team of scientists at UC Irvine and Pomona College has used DNA sequencing to trace the evolution of Hydra and understand how they have dispersed across the globe. We aim to expand the reach of these studies by mobilizing citizen scientists in San Diego County to search for Hydra specimens in local fresh water environments. With funding from the USD Associated Students Government, we have created Hydra collecting kits that will be distributed to members of the public at a workshop where we will teach the techniques of Hydra collecting and identification. We have also developed a hands-on workshop for youth observe and do hands-on experiments with Hydra. These workshops introduce students to the scientific investigations and raise awareness about a little-known aspect of the local environment.