We are trying a new way to fund graduate research this spring using crowd-sourcing at Experiment.com. Last fall, wildfires ripped through Napa and Sonoma counties destroying homes, killing people and burning vast tracts of wildlands. Fifteen years ago, we wrapped a project looking at oak woodland bees in these areas. Though tragic, the fires created an opportunity for us to see what the effect of wildfire is on pollinator communities.
Molly Hayes, a graduate student grabbed the project and has been working hard to quickly collect the data to answer these questions. Because we had to jump in the field to collect the data, there was not time to tap into the traditional resources for funding science. And, funding for science of this type is not exactly easy to get. So, Molly has gone the entrepreneurial route and is using crowd funding to get this research done.