Nelson’s Water Quality Research Cited in Valley News Report

Sarah Nelson, a researcher with the George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine, spoke with Valley News for an article about high school students in Hartford, Vermont who are acting as citizen scientists to study the presence of mercury in the environment. Nelson, who studies environmental water quality issues, works with the data the students produce, according to the article. Nelson and her colleagues decided studying dragonflies would be the best way to measure mercury levels, and in the fall the students gathered dragonfly larvae for the study, the article states. Nelson said citizen science can promote scientific understanding throughout communities and help train a new generation of scientists. “There’s a kind of stereotypical view of a scientist in a white lab coat working on highly technical equipment that’s very expensive,” she said. “We help students understand there’s lots of ways to do science. Science is just figuring out how the world works.”