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Archive for the ‘News and Events’ Category

White House Recognizes Citizen Science, CSA Commitments, at Science Fair

In Citizen Science, News and Events on March 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm

This post is re-blogged from the Citizen Science Association. The original post can be found here

Washington, D.C. ­­(March 23rd, 2015)– Citizen science received some high level attention today when plans were unveiled to install a new rain gauge in the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden.

This rain gauge represents far more than just a Pennsylvania Avenue data point for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS), a citizen science network of over 20,000 active participants who serve as the largest source of daily precipitation data in the United States. Announced in conjunction with the White House Science Fair, this commitment points to high-level recognition of citizen science as a powerful platform for science education.

CoCoRaHS founder, Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken, was on hand for the White House Science Fair. Doesken, also a member of the Citizen Science Association Board of Directors, says: “This fair clearly shows how the youth of our national are exploring the frontiers of science.  But people of all ages and backgrounds are also helping advance scientific research, education and discovery.  Today, opportunities abound for any of us to be “citizen scientists” — contributing through our own back yard and neighborhood observations or helping scientists analyze and interpret complex systems.  There are so many opportunities and they help make science very real and relevant.”

The Citizen Science Association (CSA) is leading the charge to support excellence in education through citizen science. As outlined in a document released today by the White House, CSA is creating resources to help citizen science projects excel at supporting education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

“Citizen science represents a transformative opportunity for both formal and informal science education,” says Sarah Kirn, from Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Co-Chair of CSA’s Education Working Group. “Through citizen science, educators have the opportunity to design experiences that immerse learners in the practices, concepts, and knowledge of science, but these experiences must be carefully constructed to achieve both scientific and learning outcomes.”

To this end, the CSA will work over the coming year to highlight projects representing exemplary practices in education through real-world research. CSA will also work withSciStarter to align 500 projects with standards for educational practices in science and engineering.

Some exemplary work is already receiving attention by the White House. In addition to CoCoRaHS, citizen science efforts highlighted in White House Science Fair exhibitions andannouncements include:

  • Work by 17-year old Tiye Garrett-Mills, a Teen Science Scholar at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, to develop low-cost instrumentation for leaf vein scanning and identification
  • Commitments by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to distribute Quest materials to help 4th graders and their families use eBird to connect to nature as part of President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park
  • An announcement of a new Citizen Science Tool lending library organized by SciStarter and Public Lab
  • The National Ecological Observatory Network’s “Project BudBurst” will offer a new online course to support citizen science at wildlife refuges
  • Esri will release a free open crowdsourcing app designed to help teachers, students, and youth groups easily create their own projects, report observations, and explore them on a dynamic map

Everyone is also encouraged to add their own young scientists’ citizen science projects to the White House Science Fair map:https://crowdsource.storymaps.esri.com/stories/science-fair

President Obama, commenting on the White House Science Fair, said: “There’s a reason so many young people love science.  It’s fun, it’s fascinating, and it helps us solve the mysteries of our world.   I want more boys and girls across America to get the chance to study science, technology, engineering and math – and maybe have the opportunity to go on to careers in those fields, too.  So I’m glad so many organizations are stepping up to support STEM education.  When we invest in our young people, we invest in our future.”

Want to get involved?

  • To find a project to participate in, check out a list of over 1000 projects on SciStarter.
  • To help advance education through citizen science, consider joining (for free) theCitizen Science Association.


Today’s event will be livestreamed, beginning at approximately 10am:www.whitehouse.gov/live

Follow on Twitter: #WHScienceFair

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

In Foresight, News and Events, Citizen Science 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 Citizen Science, Governance, News and Events 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 »


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