Got ants, New York? A North Carolina State University-affiliated and National Science Foundation-funded project is asking you to bottle them up and send them in to be scientifically documented. School of Ants, a “citizen-scientist-driven study of the ants that live in urban areas,” seeks to document and catalog the species of ants living in cities across the country–and apparently New Yorkers have been slacking off. “Help us find new species in NYC, please” Rob R. Dunn, one of the scientists involved in the project, tweeted this afternoon. “We need samples from New York City for School of Ants and we need ‘em bad.”
The site for the organization has good instructions for collecting and sending in the critters–a process that does involve “sacrificing” them by sticking them in the freezer overnight, for what it’s worth–and there’s an instructional video above. Though the video’s pretty kid-centric, School of Ants insists that citizen-scientists of all ages and creeds should get involved. And hey, some good news: School of Ants specifies that the collection should take place on a warm day. We don’t know if you’ve heard, but it looks like we’ve got a few of those in our immediate future.