We were scrambling a little in the last weeks but here they are (and all the participating schools have them already) - the results of our School program fall run which will for the time being our last one.
In 67 traps students collected 780 specimens on average for the two week period in September. Our collections group sorted 52,447 specimens and selected 12,029 to be barcoded. Our final dataset was made up of 10,478 DNA Barcodes (not all worked and short barcodes were discarded). Using BOLDs BIN analysis we could determine that 3,301 species were collected over the two week period of the program, 209 of which were brand new to BOLD. The map below shows all of these collection sites, which include elementary schools, secondary schools, and comparison sites (blue markers). You might notice that we also had some participants from the US. A shout out to our friends from the Western Center Academy and Mount San Jacinto College in California.
Our overall pie chart shows the typical species composition (largely grouped in orders):
Once more a great accomplishment by a large number of young citizen scientists. After three years still many surprises and new finds. Impressive.
As mentioned in a recent post, this will be the last run for now. We don't have any funds to continue the program in the future. Our hope for a comeback lies in the advancement of technology. New HTS technology and metabarcoding might come to our rescue. At some point they will allow us to reduce the costs for the analysis of a single trap catch to a point that it becomes affordable for schools even on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, we are not there yet but hopefully soon.