The research professor explains the nationwide study of dragonfly larvae.
A citizen science program that began over a decade ago found that dragonflies can be used to measure mercury pollution. Research Professor Celia Chen, director of Dartmouth's Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program, explains the national research effort, which grew out of a Dartmouth-affiliated regional project to collect dragonfly larvae.
"It's an important possible way for us to determine whether national and international policies on controlling mercury are effective," says Chen. "The dragonfly as a "biosentinel" or bioindicator may be a very useful method for determining change across the landscape as well as change through time."