CHATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Columbia Land Conservancy is lighting up the night with a special summer project. July is the last month that those interested can be part of the science of the Hudson Valley Firefly Project.

Run by Ossining High School science research student Juliana Chauca, the firefly project is taking a close look at fireflies in the Columbia County region, and how human activity, artificial light and urban spread affect their life cycles. Those taking part in the study can conduct research from their own backyards.

Here’s how it works. Those taking part are asked to choose four nights in July when the sky is clear – ideally days that are spread out. From there, all they need to do is visit their backyard or a nearby location at sunset and observe firefly activity. Participants will be given a form to fill out for each night of research.

Those interested in helping to track some fireflies can fill out an informed consent form online. The study is expected to take about four hours, split across four days. Surveyors will be asked to identify where firefly flashes were seen, estimate how many fireflies were seen, and describe what kinds of land management are going on in the locations observed, including mowing, pesticide use, irrigation and more.

The Columbia Land Conservancy works as a steward of Columbia County landscape and wildlife. The conservancy organizes community events and appreciation of the environment, as well as maintaining longstanding points of local culture and tradition along that landscape.