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Former VSCC Student Presents Citizen Scientist Project at Summer Institute Showcase

Former VSCC student, Kyle Brown, presented his citizen-scientist project to students and faculty at the VSCC Summer Institute Student Showcase, July 22.

Kyle Brown graduated from Vol State during the spring semester and majored in environmental science. He is interested in pursuing a career and furthering his education within the field of entomology.

“If I was able to pick the perfect career in entomology, it would be an independent researcher looking at native plants and their relationship with the insect species that are on them,” said Brown.

His presentation shared photos of a project he pursued during the year. He identified and located different species of insects within Indian Lake, Hendersonville. After taking photos of these insects he would post them to, what Brown said were, “citizen science applications.”

“This is very much a personal project but I like to share it with as many people as possible because it allows me to learn and it allows me to be more hands-on with the field that I’d like to be a part of,” Brown said.

During his presentation, Brown told the story of a group of Carolina Mantises he raised himself.

“A tree cutting service came through and was cutting a bunch of limbs and I said, ‘hey can I look at the limbs before you guys chop them up?’ and they were like, ‘yeah sure no problem.’ So I was looking through and I found two of their egg sacks. I was able to keep them at a relatively cool temperature until spring, and then I let it warm up quite a bit. They hatched out and I had 19 healthy individuals I was able to release into the wild,” Brown said.

When asked what inspired him to pursue this project, Brown said, “During professor Bloom’s classes we did a lot of stuff with citizen-science applications… I just downloaded a few one day and was casually going through it and found – Hey! This is really fun.”

Once his presentation had ended, Brown received comments from professors within the audience.

“You did a great job. I am still following you on the iNaturalist app, so I keep up with what you’re seeing,” said Erin Bloom.

“I love the intellectual curiosity involved in citizen science. This is the kind of curiosity I want my students to have about the world around them,” said Jessie McKinney.

His citizen scientist work can be found on his iNaturalist account, kylebrown3.

Those interested in attending or participating in future student showcases can contact Bloom using her email address erin.bloom@volstate.edu.

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