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'Shutterbee' Has Biologists Asking St. Louisans To Collaborate As Backyard Naturalists

All that's required to participate is some sunshine, a camera and some brief virtual training.
Nicole Miller-Struttmann
All that's required to participate is some sunshine, a camera and some brief virtual training.
Nicole Miller-Struttmann
File photo | Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Reading the headlines of 2020 can be pretty overwhelming. Between a pandemic, an economic crisis and even a much-hyped sighting of “murder hornets” in the Pacific Northwest, it can all leave one feeling pretty helpless about attempting to be a force for good in the world.

But on an ecological level, at least one such attempt can take place right in one’s own backyard — and Nicole Miller-Struttmann and bee experts everywhere will be grateful for it. Miller-Struttmann and fellow biologists at Webster University and St. Louis University are launching Shutterbee, a collaborative project powered by citizen scientists.

It requires only some sunshine, a camera and completion of a single virtual training session on May 20, 21 or 23. Shutterbee’s organizers are intent on reaching a real scientific goal: to discover how landscape features and land management decisions affect bee diversity and behavior.

One Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Miller-Struttmann joined host Sarah Fenske to talk about how Shutterbee works. She also delved into the critical roles bees play on Earth and some of the threats they face.

Listen:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Evie is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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