Are fireflies disappearing? Clemson University researchers are seeking to answer this question, and the public can help them by counting fireflies in their backyards and elsewhere this summer. This is the fifth year of the Clemson University Vanishing Firefly Project, which invites citizen-scientists to count the number of fireflies they see in their field of vision in 60 seconds. Clemson researchers are seeking the public's help in counting fireflies this summer in an effort to find out if they are vanishing - and if so, why. The data will be collected over several years from different habitats across South Carolina, the U.S. and other countries to determine the impact of human activity on firefly populations. Among the topics to be studied are the impacts of land-use patterns, soil and leaf litter quality, light pollution and weather. Counters submit the data through an Apple or Android smartphone app or a website form and they are instantly able to view the results of their counts on the Vanishing Firefly Project website, said Michelle Cook, project co-leader and associate professor of science education in Clemson’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education. Using a drop-down menu, counters are also asked to describe the flash patterns they observe as well as the habitat and light quality in their locations. Find out more.