BAR HARBOR — The National Science Foundation awarded a $250,000 grant aimed at turning Acadia National Park visitors into citizen scientists.

The grant was awarded to the Mount Desert Biological Laboratory, the National Park Service and the Schoodic Education and Research Center. It will be used to launch a project called “Pathway to BioTrails.”

For the project, members of the public will verify the identities of animals and plants using DNA barcoding. Ultimately, a range of citizen science projects will be offered revolving around the park’s hiking, bicycling and ocean kayaking trails.

Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory scientist Karen James hopes that once the concept is tested at Acadia, it can be expanded to other national parks and long-distance trails, such as the Appalachian Trail.


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