Wilson Center’s Science & Technology Innovation Program

Archive for the ‘News and Events’ Category

USGS, NPS and FWS Partner for “Catch, Click and Submit Contest”

In Citizen Science, Foresight, News and Events on February 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm

The inaugural Catch, Click and Submit Contest begins on Feb 21st in honor of the National Invasive Species Awareness Week running Feb 22nd through the 28th. The contest, which calls on anglers to photograph and report non-native fish species caught during the derby, will award prizes to various categories such as “Most Unusual Catch” and “Most Species”.  Submissions from the contest will aid researchers in developing a better understanding of the distribution of fish species throughout Florida waterways.


Photo Credit: Vance Crain, Flickr

By engaging the existing angler community, the contest hopes to increase public awareness of the potential impacts that arise from non-native fish species. “The Catch, Click and Submit Contest offers anglers the opportunity to assist natural resource managers in finding nonnative species by doing what they enjoy – fishing!” said biologist Kelly Gestring. “The early detection of a new, nonnative species could provide a better opportunity to control or even eradicate a population.” The hope is that participants will choose to target non-native fish for consumption in the future, helping to control invasive populations.

The contest will be run in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and other local agencies.  The goal is to establish an annual event to create a continued monitoring program using the support of anglers as citizen scientist.

New Reports on Citizen Science from the European and Intellectual Property Perspectives

In Citizen Science, Commons Lab, Governance, News and Events on February 9, 2015 at 1:38 pm


The Commons Lab at the Wilson Center is releasing two new reports today that address different challenges facing citizen science: One examining the policy implications of a range of successful citizen science projects in Europe, and the other exploring potential legal issues surrounding intellectual property (IP). Hard copies of these reports will be available at the inaugural conference of the Citizen Science Association, which begins Feb. 11, 2015 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, CA.

The first report, Citizen Science and Policy: A European Perspective, written by Dr. Muki Haklay of University College London, examines European citizen science projects to understand how they support or influence public policy (and how policy can support or constrain citizen science). The report includes suggestions for how projects can be better structured to support decision making and meet policy goals—for example, through strategic partnerships and by developing guidelines to facilitate the use of citizen science data. The report can be downloaded here: http://wilsoncenter.org/publication/citizen-science-and-policy-european-perspective

The second report, Typology of Citizen Science Projects from an Intellectual Property Perspective: Invention and Authorship between Researchers and Participants, written by Dr. Teresa Scassa and doctoral candidate Haewon Chung of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, analyzes various types of citizen science activities to determine whether they raise legal questions about IP ownership. The report includes a typology comparing the IP implications of different types of citizen science projects, from transcribing or gathering data to assisting with problem solving. The report can be downloaded here:
http://wilsoncenter.org/publication/typology-citizen-science-projects-and-intellectual-property-perspective Read the rest of this entry »

Curated List of Talks/Posters at the Citizen Science Association (Feb 11-12)

In Citizen Science, Governance, News and Events on February 3, 2015 at 5:17 pm

When the inaugural conference of the Citizen Science Association (CSA) gets underway next week in San Jose projects and ideas from every end of the spectrum, across many disciplines and encompassing a variety of experiences will be presented, shared and discussed. Citizen Science 2015 isn’t just a forum for collecting ideas on topics ranging from the biological sciences to cyber technologies; it’s an opportunity to make connections, share insights and move the entire field forward.

At the Commons Lab we are excited to see the development and deployment of new technologies, how their benefits can be maximized and the process through which the potential ethical, legal, and social impacts are anticipated, properly understood, and effectively managed. We combed the agenda for some of the topics specifically focusing on technological foresight and governance.

What to see on Day 1

  • 9:55-11:15am Session 1G 230C

Talks: Tackling Grand Challenges and Everyday Problems with Citizen Science

DIGITIZING LANDSCAPES: SENSORS, SATELLITES, & YOU! Julia Kumari Drapkin, iSeeChange; and Lily Bui, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • 11:50am-1:10pm Session 2D Lower Level 220D

Panel: Tackling Grand Challenges and Everyday Problems with Citizen Science

THE CROWD & THE CLOUD—USING BROADCAST AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO ADVANCE AND SUPPORT CITIZEN SCIENCE Geoff Haines-Stiles (Session Chair), PI, THE CROWD & THE CLOUD; Waleed Abdalati, CIRES, University of Colorado Boulder, and Host, CROWD & CLOUD; Erna Akuginow, Passport to Knowledge/GHSPi; Darlene Cavalier, SciStarter, Science Cheerleader, Arizona State University, Discover Magazine; Rajul Pandya, Thriving Earth Exchange, American Geophysical Union (AGU); Alexis de Belloy, Skoll Global Threats Fund Read the rest of this entry »

Journal for citizen science to launch in 2015

In Citizen Science, Crowdsourcing, News and Events, Reports and Publications, Uncategorized on January 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm

 A new peer-reviewed journal focusing on advancing the field of citiheader_leftzen science will be making its debut later this year. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice will bring together citizen scientist practitioners, researchers, educators, evaluators and many more in an open-access forum to discuss and share best practices for conceiving, developing, implementing, evaluating and sustaining projects that facilitate public participation in science. The journal is to be published by Ubiquity Press on behalf of the Citizen Science Association.

The journal aims to support citizen science by creating a centralized venue for the exchange of citizen science scholarship across disciplines. The hope is that citizen science will gain greater visibility and that key ideas can be included in the growing organization of academia rather than being shared narrowly among dispersed groups of citizen scientists and their networks.


Researchers who are conducting projects using citizen science are encouraged to submit their findings to the appropriate discipline-specific journal and to use the keyword “citizen science”.  Through publication scientific findings resulting from citizen science can then reach the scientific audiences in relevant disciplines and help to advance the field.

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WEBINAR: Trans-NIH Workshop to Explore the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of Citizen Science

In Citizen Science, Crowdsourcing, Governance, News and Events on January 12, 2015 at 2:55 pm


The purpose of this workshop is to identify the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) challenges raised by Citizen Science in the context of biomedical research and identify ways for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address these ELSI issues. The term “biomedical” is used in the broadest sense to include a wide range of research related to the NIH mission: biological, biomedical, behavioral, social, environmental and clinical studies that relate to understanding health and disease.

Watch it live: Tuesday, January 13th at 8:30 a.m. 

Workshop Goals:

  • To identify prominent ELSI issues associated with various types of Citizen Science research projects (for consideration by NIH policymakers and for use by investigators leading such projects).
  • To identify gaps in ELSI research on Citizen Science relevant to NIH’s mission.
  • To plan for continued, expanded engagement of Citizen Science and bioethics communities to further develop criteria and guidance for NIH Citizen Science research activities.

Follow the workshop broadcast live at GenomeTV or on Twitter via #CitSciELSI

View the Agenda for the Workshop

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Nutrient Sensor Challenge Opens

In Governance, News and Events, Citizen Science on December 18, 2014 at 5:30 pm

The Alliance for Coastal Technologies and a coalition of the following organizations:

Office of Science and Technology Policy, US Department of Agriculture, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Institute of Science and Technology, Everglades Foundation, Partnership on Technology Innovation & Environment, Tulane University, US Integrated Ocean Observing System

Presents the Nutrient Sensor Challenge:

nutientFind out more! — http://www.act-us.info/nutrients-challenge/About.php

Tracking a Changing Climate Workshop Summary

In Citizen Science, Commons Lab, Crowdsourcing, Governance, Guest Blogger, News and Events on December 15, 2014 at 3:40 pm

How can Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing play a role in tracking our changing climate?  The Commons Lab collaborated with US Global Climate Research Program and the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science to find out how a system like this could work.  The vision for the sustained National Climate Assessment involves identifying a set of indicators – or physical, ecological, and societal variables – that track climate changes, impacts and responses.  We held a public roundtable (November 18th) and an invitation-only workshop (November 19th) to explore the following questions:

  • Which indicators could benefit from the incorporation of citizen science—10 years from now, five years from now, and today?
  • What existing citizen science projects can be leveraged? Are there opportunities for new uses of citizen science?
  • How can citizen science and indicators be used together to help a range of audiences better understand climate change?

A graphic recording of the roundtable discussions. (Credit: Emily Cloyd)

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Reports From the Field: European Citizen Science Association

In Citizen Science, Commons Lab, Governance, News and Events on December 10, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Berlin, Germany


Photo Credit: Hwa Ja Goetz / Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Last week in Berlin marked the third official convening of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) hosted by the Museum für Naturkunde. Project managers, academics, policy makers and technologists met to discuss the state of the field in the EU, funding opportunities, governance issues and share projects. The vision for the ECSA is to advance and promote a Europe where citizens are valued and empowered to take a key part in the growth of knowledge and sustainability.

The group defined challenges like respecting cultural differences, maintaining volunteer interest, avoiding redundancy, closing the gap between projects and policy and the appropriate use of technology.  Opportunities were highlighted in the overwhelming interest in creating and maintaining ECSA, strong core organizations and a wide diversity of citizen science topics. Questions left to be addressed were how to:

  • Accelerate current progress
  • Support national citizen science communities across Europe
  • Provide tools and solutions but also guidance
  • Close the gap between north-south participation in political engagement and attitude

Read the rest of this entry »

EVENT: Tracking a Changing Climate with Citizen Science

In Citizen Science, Commons Lab, Crowdsourcing, Governance, News and Events on November 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm


Tuesday, November 18th 2014, 2:00-4:30pm, 6th Floor Auditorium 

The vision for the U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) includes creating a set of indicators – measures of key physical, ecological, and societal variables and values – that would inform and support decision-making about climate changes, impacts, vulnerabilities, and responses. This round-table will explore ways in which crowd-based approaches, such as citizen science and community-based monitoring, are and can be used to support indicators or indicator systems of climate change, impacts and response.



Dr. Virginia Burkett, Acting Associate Director, Climate and Land Use Change, US Geological Survey


Dr. Richard Spinrad, Chief Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Panel Discussion

Dr. Julia Parrish, University of Washington

Dr. Jennifer Shirk, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Dr. Tim Watkins, National Park Service

Dr. Duncan McKinley, US Forest Service

Moderator: Jenn Gustetic, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Please RSVP here.

This event will be live streamed during the keynote and panel discussion; registration is not required for online participation. Read the rest of this entry »


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