Gravestones still available for citizen scientists

There are not many reasons to visit graveyards while being alive (there is a single one, afterwards). Dead relatives or friends are the most common ones, closely followed by a handful of suicidal or sick rockstars and poets lying in trendy European graveyards. Environmental monitoring now adds a new motivation: marble gravestones are good recorders of air quality and a perfect set for citizen science. The Gravestone Project, supported by the EarthTrek Project, is recruiting volunteers to collect global data about air pollution in the past decades. The weathering of gravestones, measured by a micrometer, tells a lot about rainfall acidity, which is affected by air pollutants and pollution change rates. The toolkit is simple: in addition to the micrometer, a GPS receiver is needed to locate graveyards in space, whereas time coordinates of gravestones are in general clearly visible to visitors. The projects, which started in 2009, is due to end this year on November, 30: do not miss this chance to visit a cemetery with a truly scientific purpose. Next time could be too late…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *