Christina L. Catlin-Groves
Full Text Available Within conservation and ecology, volunteer participation has always been an important component of research. Within the past two decades, this use of volunteers in research has proliferated and evolved into “citizen science.” Technologies are evolving rapidly. Mobile phone technologies and the emergence and uptake of high-speed Web-capable smart phones with GPS and data upload capabilities can allow instant collection and transmission of data. This is frequently used within everyday life particularly on social networking sites. Embedded sensors allow researchers to validate GPS and image data and are now affordable and regularly used by citizens. With the “perfect storm” of technology, data upload, and social networks, citizen science represents a powerful tool. This paper establishes the current state of citizen science within scientific literature, examines underlying themes, explores further possibilities for utilising citizen science within ecology, biodiversity, and biology, and identifies possible directions for further research. The paper highlights (1 lack of trust in the scientific community about the reliability of citizen science data, (2 the move from standardised data collection methods to data mining available datasets, and (3 the blurring of the line between citizen science and citizen sensors and the need to further explore online social networks for data collection.
Raddick, Jordan; Bracey, G.; Gay, P. L.
Galaxy Zoo is a citizen science website in which members of the public volunteer to classify galaxies, thereby helping astronomers conduct publishable research into galaxy morphologies and environments. Although the site was originally created to answer a few specific questions, some members of the community - both scientists and volunteers - have spontaneously developed an interest in a wider variety of questions. Volunteers have pursued answers to these questions with guidance from professional astronomers; in completing these projects, volunteers have independently used some of the same data viewing and analysis tools that professional astronomers use, and have even developed their own online tools. They have created their own research questions and their own plans for data analysis, and are planning to write scientific papers with the results to be submitted to peer-reviewed scientific journals. Volunteers have identified a number of such projects. These volunteer-initiated projects have extended the scientific reach of Galaxy Zoo, while also giving volunteers first-hand experience with the process of science. We are interested in the process by which volunteers become interested in volunteer-initiated projects, and what tasks they participate in, both initially and as their involvement increases. What motivates a volunteer to become involved in a volunteer-initiated project? How does his or her motivation change with further involvement? We are conducting a program of qualitative education research into these questions, using as data sources the posts that volunteers have made to the Galaxy Zoo forum and transcripts of interviews with volunteers.
Wei, J. H.; Force, A.
From a volunteer's perspective, citizen science can provide a direct connection between outdoor enthusiasts and the scientists who study these natural environments. These experiences are both rewarding and engaging, as participants become aware of field sites, the scientific method, and their own environmental impacts. Recent technological advances (i.e. smart phones and mobile applications) have the potential to transform citizen science, specifically as technology can both enable and modernize the networks between a large community of potential volunteers and scientists using these data. By providing volunteers who venture into largely understudied and remote areas with an easy method for data collection and entry, it becomes easier to encourage volunteer engagement in science, while maintaining quality control over the data collection process. Participating in Adventure Scientists' projects demonstrates the application of technology as an effective engagement tool, especially when compared to traditional pen and paper surveys often conducted. Pairing volunteers with simple, familiar technology increases engagement, particularly for volunteers otherwise intimidated by the scientific process. When equipped with useful features, such as GPS functionality, smartphone apps offer a simple and standardized method of data collection and description. Yet a variety of factors can complicate field sampling; final choices are ultimately left to the judgment of the volunteer and perhaps could be guided by use of a phone/app. Importantly, Adventure Scientists conducts follow ups and volunteer surveys, which are critical to the continued evaluation of volunteer experiences and the sampling methods themselves. For future projects, creating a forum in which scientists and volunteers can interact (perhaps also through a phone app) could provide scientific context for volunteers, further investing them in the scientific process and their continued participation. Overall, the
Boakes, Elizabeth H; Gliozzo, Gianfranco; Seymour, Valentine; Harvey, Martin; Smith, Chloë; Roy, David B; Haklay, Muki
The often opportunistic nature of biological recording via citizen science leads to taxonomic, spatial and temporal biases which add uncertainty to biodiversity estimates. However, such biases may also give valuable insight into volunteers' recording behaviour. Using Greater London as a case-study we examined the composition of three citizen science datasets - from Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC, iSpot and iRecord - with respect to recorder contribution and spatial and taxonomic biases, i.e. when, where and what volunteers record. We found most volunteers contributed few records and were active for just one day. Each dataset had its own taxonomic and spatial signature suggesting that volunteers' personal recording preferences may attract them towards particular schemes. There were also patterns across datasets: species' abundance and ease of identification were positively associated with number of records, as was plant height. We found clear hotspots of recording activity, the 10 most popular sites containing open water. We note that biases are accrued as part of the recording process (e.g. species' detectability) as well as from volunteer preferences. An increased understanding of volunteer behaviour gained from analysing the composition of records could thus enhance the fit between volunteers' interests and the needs of scientific projects.
Schloss, J. A.
The New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring Program was originally designed by faculty at the University of New Hampshire in 1979 to provide the capacity to better monitor for long-term lake water quality changes and trends. As participants became educated, empowered and engaged the program soon evolved to also become a participatory research enterprise. This resulted in not only providing useful information for informed local stewardship and protection at the local level but also for state and region-wide decision-making, state and federal assessments/reporting and advancing our understanding of lake and watershed science. Our successes and failures have been more dependent on understanding the particular human dimensions that influence our volunteers and less to do with the typical project management, quality assurance, and communication concerns we typically deal with in professional based research efforts. Our participants are extremely diverse in terms of their life experiences, interests and motivations so the key to long-term commitment and high quality participation is understanding the difference between a citizen monitor and your archetypical research technician or student. This presentation will highlight some important lessons learned on how to involve various types of volunteers from school groups to retirees, as well as particular approaches and concerns regarding program management, retention, quality control and communications.
Hayes, Mark A.
Biologists at the Colorado Division of Wildlife faced a big problem back in 1990. They wanted to protect important bat roosts in the state’s abandoned mines, but first they had to find the bats. Colorado’s rich mining history had left more than 23,000 old mines scattered across the landscape, few of which had ever been surveyed for bat roosts. The magnitude of the task was overwhelming. So the agency put out a call for volunteers, “citizen scientists” willing to donate their time for bat conservation. Two decades later, the results have surpassed their wildest expectations.
Recent years have seen many extreme and damaging weather events - for example the low Arctic sea-ice of 2012, and the severe winter of 2013/4 in North America and the UK. To understand these events, and to judge whether they represent environmental change, we need to compare today's weather to the long-term historical record. Our long-term historical record of the weather is based on the billions of observations, from scientists, explorers, mariners, and others, that have been made, across the world, over the last few centuries. Many of these records are still dark: They exist only as hand-written paper documents in various archives and libraries, and are inaccessible to science. As a result our historical weather reconstructions have major gaps, where we do not know how the climate has varied. oldWeather.org is a citizen science project rescuing these observations. By providing an web interface to scans of paper records, we enable volunteers around the world to contribute to the task of rescuing the observations. So far a community of around 20,000 volunteers have read well over 1 million pages of paper records and contributed millions of recovered weather observations to international climate datasets. As well as learning about past weather, we are also learning what it takes to build a successful volunteer science project in this area: building a community, breaking down the task into manageable steps, feeding back success to the volunteers, and enabling comitted volunteers to take on more responsibilities were all vital to our success. We are currently using those lessons to build a new version of oldWeather that can rescue even more data.
Full Text Available This study explores the motivations and barriers for participation and persistence in an innovative citizen science pilot project with Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers. The project combines self-guided online training, in-person meetings, and collaboration through social networking and “mental modeling” to support on-the-ground development and execution of citizen science projects developed by participants. Results suggest that the two strongest motivators for volunteers to participate in the project were an interest in the environment and an interest in protecting a local natural resource. Our findings indicate that volunteers with more prior experience participating in citizen science projects and those with higher gross incomes were more likely to persist in the project. Our data also suggest that decisions to persist or drop out of the project were influenced by volunteers’ time commitment, their ability to use the online tools, the perceived relevance of the resources, and the saliency of the project. Projects that arose from pre-existing environmental issues seemed to be more salient and may have enhanced volunteer persistence. We discuss the influence of our findings and the implications for the development of future citizen science projects.
Didier G. Leibovici
Full Text Available Environmental policy involving citizen science (CS is of growing interest. In support of this open data stream of information, validation or quality assessment of the CS geo-located data to their appropriate usage for evidence-based policy making needs a flexible and easily adaptable data curation process ensuring transparency. Addressing these needs, this paper describes an approach for automatic quality assurance as proposed by the Citizen OBservatory WEB (COBWEB FP7 project. This approach is based upon a workflow composition that combines different quality controls, each belonging to seven categories or “pillars”. Each pillar focuses on a specific dimension in the types of reasoning algorithms for CS data qualification. These pillars attribute values to a range of quality elements belonging to three complementary quality models. Additional data from various sources, such as Earth Observation (EO data, are often included as part of the inputs of quality controls within the pillars. However, qualified CS data can also contribute to the validation of EO data. Therefore, the question of validation can be considered as “two sides of the same coin”. Based on an invasive species CS study, concerning Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed, the paper discusses the flexibility and usefulness of qualifying CS data, either when using an EO data product for the validation within the quality assurance process, or validating an EO data product that describes the risk of occurrence of the plant. Both validation paths are found to be improved by quality assurance of the CS data. Addressing the reliability of CS open data, issues and limitations of the role of quality assurance for validation, due to the quality of secondary data used within the automatic workflow, are described, e.g., error propagation, paving the route to improvements in the approach.
Wixom, Joshua A.
This dissertation discusses the complex social relations that link citizen science, scientific literacy, and the dissemination of information to the public. Scientific information is not produced in value-neutral settings by people removed from their social context. Instead, science is a social pursuit and the scientist's social context is embedded in the knowledge produced. Additionally, the dissemination of this information via numerous media outlets is filtered through institutional lenses and subject to journalistic norms. As a result, the general public must be able to recognize the inherent biases in this information. Yet, the rates of scientific literacy in the U.S. are quite low, which suggests that people may not be capable of fully understanding the biases present. Furthermore, people tend to seek out sources that reinforce their values and personal perspectives, thus reinforcing their own biases. Improving scientific literacy allows people to see past these biases and translate media narratives in order to comprehend the facts and evidence presented to them. Citizen science is both an epistemological tool used by scientists to collect and interpret scientific data and a means to improve the scientific literacy of participants. Citizen science programs have the ability to generate real knowledge and improve the critical thinking skills necessary for the general public to interpret scientific information.
Full Text Available The idea that closer things are more related than distant things, known as ‘Tobler’s first law of geography’, is fundamental to understanding many spatial processes. If this concept applies to volunteered geographic information (VGI, it could help to efficiently allocate tasks in citizen science campaigns and help to improve the overall quality of collected data. In this paper, we use classifications of satellite imagery by volunteers from around the world to test whether local familiarity with landscapes helps their performance. Our results show that volunteers identify cropland slightly better within their home country, and do slightly worse as a function of linear distance between their home and the location represented in an image. Volunteers with a professional background in remote sensing or land cover did no better than the general population at this task, but they did not show the decline with distance that was seen among other participants. Even in a landscape where pasture is easily confused for cropland, regional residents demonstrated no advantage. Where we did find evidence for local knowledge aiding classification performance, the realized impact of this effect was tiny. Rather, the inherent difficulty of a task is a much more important predictor of volunteer performance. These findings suggest that, at least for simple tasks, the geographical origin of VGI volunteers has little impact on their ability to complete image classifications.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A network of citizen science volunteers periodically monitors water quality at several beaches across the island of Maui in the State of Hawaii. This community-based...
Traditionally, academic science has used graduate students to collect data in many cases, but community science, the term by which citizen science is also known, has revolutionized the process by which large amounts of data can be collected accurately by large numbers of non-scientists under the training and mentorship of scientists. There has been some discussion in the scientific community about whether the data collected by citizen scientists is as scientifically valid as data collected by...
Demonstrating citizen science data quality through a precision study on data and analysis of 15 years of standardized Reef Check (RC reef health data in Queensland, Australia.Identifying and responding to data gaps through volunteer monitoring of sub-tropical rocky reefs in South East Queensland, Australia.Adapting citizen science protocols to enhance capacity building, partnerships and strategic natural resource management applications through reef habitat mapping.Tailoring new pathways for sharing citizen science findings and engaging volunteers with the community via a Reef Check Australia Ambassadors community outreach program.These case studies offer insights into considerations for developing targeted and flexible citizen science projects, showcasing the work of volunteers and project stakeholders, and collaborating with partners for applications beneficial to research, management and education.
Green, Carie; Medina-Jerez, William
In recent years, citizen science projects have emerged as a means to involve students in scientific inquiry, particularly in the fields of ecology and environmental science. A citizen scientist is "a volunteer who collects and/or processes data as part of a scientific inquiry" (Silverton 2009, p. 467). Participation in citizen science…
Full Text Available Volunteered geographic information (VGI has been heralded as a promising new data source for urban planning and policymaking. However, there are also concerns surrounding uneven levels of participation and spatial coverage, despite the promotion of VGI as a means to increase access to geographic knowledge production. To begin addressing these concerns, this research examines the spatial distribution and data richness of urban forest VGI in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and San Francisco, California. Using ordinary least squares (OLS, general linear models (GLM, and spatial autoregressive models, our findings reveal that sociodemographic and environmental indicators are strong predictors of both densities of attributed trees and data richness. Although recent digital urban tree inventory applications present significant opportunities for collaborative data gathering, innovative research, and improved policymaking, asymmetries in the quantity and quality of the data may undermine their effectiveness. If these incomplete and uneven datasets are used in policymaking, environmental justice issues may arise.
Den Broeder, Lea; Devilee, Jeroen; Van Oers, Hans; Schuit, A Jantine; Wagemakers, Annemarie
Community engagement in public health policy is easier said than done. One reason is that public health policy is produced in a complex process resulting in policies that may appear not to link up to citizen perspectives. We therefore address the central question as to whether citizen engagement in knowledge production could enable inclusive health policy making. Building on non-health work fields, we describe different types of citizen engagement in scientific research, or 'Citizen Science'. We describe the challenges that Citizen Science poses for public health, and how these could be addressed. Despite these challenges, we expect that Citizen Science or similar approaches such as participatory action research and 'popular epidemiology' may yield better knowledge, empowered communities, and improved community health. We provide a draft framework to enable evaluation of Citizen Science in practice, consisting of a descriptive typology of different kinds of Citizen Science and a causal framework that shows how Citizen Science in public health might benefit both the knowledge produced as well as the 'Citizen Scientists' as active participants. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.
Palermo, Eduardo; Laut, Jeffrey; Nov, Oded; Cappa, Paolo; Porfiri, Maurizio
Citizen science enables volunteers to contribute to scientific projects, where massive data collection and analysis are often required. Volunteers participate in citizen science activities online from their homes or in the field and are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Here, we investigated the possibility of integrating citizen science tasks within physical exercises envisaged as part of a potential rehabilitation therapy session. The citizen science activity entailed envir...
Thorne, P.; Hennon, C. C.; Knapp, K. R.; Schreck, C. J., III; Stevens, S. E.; Kossin, J. P.; Rennie, J.; Hennon, P. A.; Kruk, M. C.
The cyclonecenter.org project started in fall 2012 and has been collecting citizen scientist volunteer tropical cyclone intensity estimates ever since. The project is hosted by the Citizen Science Alliance (zooniverse) and the platform is supported by a range of scientists. We have over 30 years of satellite imagery of tropical cyclones but the analysis to date has been done on an ocean-basin by ocean-basin basis and worse still practices have changed over time. We therefore do not, presently, have a homogeneous record relevant for discerning climatic changes. Automated techniques can classify many of the images but have a propensity to be challenged during storm transitions. The problem is fundamentally one where many pairs of eyes are invaluable as there is no substitute for human eyes in discerning patterns. Each image is classified by ten unique users before it is retired. This provides a unique insight into the uncertainty inherent in classification. In the three years of the project much useful data has accrued. This presentation shall highlight some of the results and analyses to date and touch on insights as to what has worked and what perhaps has not worked so well. There are still many images left to complete so its far from too late to jump over to www.cyclonecenter.org and help out.
Lynch, Louise I.
Citizen science is an increasingly popular collaboration between members of the public and the scientific community to pursue current research questions. In addition to providing researchers with much needed volunteer support, it is a unique and promising form of informal science education that can counter declining public science literacy, including attitudes towards and understanding of science. However, the impacts of citizen science programs on participants' science literacy remains elusive. The purpose of this study was to balance the top-down approach to citizen science research by exploring how adult citizen scientists participate in entomology research based on their perceptions and pioneer mixed methods research to investigate and explain the impacts of citizen science programs. Transference, in which citizen scientists transfer program impacts to people around them, was uncovered in a grounded theory study focused on adults in a collaborative bumble bee research program. Most of the citizen scientists involved in entomology research shared their science experiences and knowledge with people around them. In certain cases, expertise was attributed to the individual by others. Citizen scientists then have the opportunity to acquire the role of expert to those around them and influence knowledge, attitudinal and behavioral changes in others. An intervention explanatory sequential mixed methods design assessed how entomology-based contributory citizen science affects science self-efficacy, self-efficacy for environmental action, nature relatedness and attitude towards insects in adults. However, no statistically significant impacts were evident. A qualitative follow-up uncovered a discrepancy between statistically measured changes and perceived influences reported by citizen scientists. The results have important implications for understanding how citizen scientists learn, the role of citizen scientists in entomology research, the broader program impacts and
Full Text Available Biomedical literature represents one of the largest and fastest growing collections of unstructured biomedical knowledge. Finding critical information buried in the literature can be challenging. To extract information from free-flowing text, researchers need to: 1. identify the entities in the text (named entity recognition, 2. apply a standardized vocabulary to these entities (normalization, and 3. identify how entities in the text are related to one another (relationship extraction. Researchers have primarily approached these information extraction tasks through manual expert curation and computational methods. We have previously demonstrated that named entity recognition (NER tasks can be crowdsourced to a group of non-experts via the paid microtask platform, Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT, and can dramatically reduce the cost and increase the throughput of biocuration efforts. However, given the size of the biomedical literature, even information extraction via paid microtask platforms is not scalable. With our web-based application Mark2Cure (http://mark2cure.org, we demonstrate that NER tasks also can be performed by volunteer citizen scientists with high accuracy. We apply metrics from the Zooniverse Matrices of Citizen Science Success and provide the results here to serve as a basis of comparison for other citizen science projects. Further, we discuss design considerations, issues, and the application of analytics for successfully moving a crowdsourcing workflow from a paid microtask platform to a citizen science platform. To our knowledge, this study is the first application of citizen science to a natural language processing task.
McKinley, Duncan C.; Miller-Rushing, Abe J.; Ballard, Heidi L.; Bonney, Rick; Brown, Hutch; Cook-Patton, Susan; Evans, Daniel M.; French, Rebecca A.; Parrish, Julia; Phillips, Tina B.; Ryan, Sean F.; Shanley, Lea A.; Shirk, Jennifer L.; Stepenuck, Kristine F.; Weltzin, Jake F.; Wiggins, Andrea; Boyle, Owen D.; Briggs, Russell D.; Chapin, Stuart F.; Hewitt, David A.; Preuss, Peter W.; Soukup, Michael A.
Citizen science has advanced science for hundreds of years, contributed to many peer-reviewed articles, and informed land management decisions and policies across the United States. Over the last 10 years, citizen science has grown immensely in the United States and many other countries. Here, we show how citizen science is a powerful tool for tackling many of the challenges faced in the field of conservation biology. We describe the two interwoven paths by which citizen science can improve conservation efforts, natural resource management, and environmental protection. The first path includes building scientific knowledge, while the other path involves informing policy and encouraging public action. We explore how citizen science is currently used and describe the investments needed to create a citizen science program. We find that:Citizen science already contributes substantially to many domains of science, including conservation, natural resource, and environmental science. Citizen science informs natural resource management, environmental protection, and policymaking and fosters public input and engagement.Many types of projects can benefit from citizen science, but one must be careful to match the needs for science and public involvement with the right type of citizen science project and the right method of public participation.Citizen science is a rigorous process of scientific discovery, indistinguishable from conventional science apart from the participation of volunteers. When properly designed, carried out, and evaluated, citizen science can provide sound science, efficiently generate high-quality data, and help solve problems.
Haas, Andrew; The ATLAS collaboration
Since the launch of HiggsHunters.org in November 2014, citizen science volunteers have classified more than a million points of interest in images from the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. Volunteers have been looking for displaced vertices and unusual features in images recorded during LHC Run-1. We discuss the design of the project, its impact on the public, and the surprising results of how the human volunteers performed relative to the computer algorithms in identifying displaced secondary vertices.
Like Tokyo, other cities, both small and large, typically have numerous universities with dedicated faculties of scientists. By using portals such as Citizen Science and SciStarter, teachers can reach beyond the four walls of their classroom. The incredible experience of forging a relationship with a local scientist can easily begin via a cordial…
This poster offers information about volunteer computing for science gateways that offer high-throughput computing services. Volunteer computing can be used to get computing power. This increases the visibility of the gateway to the general public as well as increasing computing capacity at little cost.
Scientific American, 1978
Reports on the following topics: (1) a national science and technology plan for China, (2) operable nuclear power plants in the U.S., (3) the university presidents' report on scientific research, (4) the pluperfect square, (5) test tube potatoes, and (6) Russian research of paranormal phenomena a century ago. (MA)
This dissertation is the result of a PhD project entitled The Making of Citizen Science – Network Alliances between Science Shops and CSOs Engaging in Science and Air Pollution. The PhD project was carried out at Department of Management Engineering, Section for Innovation and Sustainability...... of effects: effects on the CSOs’ original problems, and/or other forms of effects. It is interesting to note that these other forms of effects can result in both cases that affected the CSOs’ original problems as well as cases that failed to do so. It can be concluded that CSOs can influence such actors...... as industry and local authorities and their practices through alliances with Science Shops and scientists. It is further concluded that the Science Shops’ role can have decisive impact on whether networks succeed in influencing the problems experienced by the CSOs. When the Science Shops apply an impact...
Hecht, Julie; Spicer Rice, Eleanor
Researchers increasingly rely on members of the public to contribute to scientific projects-from collecting or identifying, to analyzing and disseminating data. The "citizen science" model proves useful to many thematically distinctive fields, like ornithology, astronomy, and phenology. The recent formalization of citizen science projects addresses technical issues related to volunteer participation--like data quality--so that citizen scientists can make longstanding, meaningful contributions to scientific projects. Since the late 1990s, canine science research has relied with greater frequency on the participation of the general public, particularly dog owners. These researchers do not typically consider the methods and technical issues that those conducting citizen science projects embrace and continue to investigate. As more canine science studies rely on public input, an in-depth knowledge of the benefits and challenges of citizen science can help produce relevant, high-quality data while increasing the general public's understanding of canine behavior and cognition as well as the scientific process. We examine the benefits and challenges of current citizen science models in an effort to enhance canine citizen science project preparation, execution, and dissemination. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Canine Behavior. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Michael J O Pocock
Full Text Available Citizen science-the involvement of volunteers in data collection, analysis and interpretation-simultaneously supports research and public engagement with science, and its profile is rapidly rising. Citizen science represents a diverse range of approaches, but until now this diversity has not been quantitatively explored. We conducted a systematic internet search and discovered 509 environmental and ecological citizen science projects. We scored each project for 32 attributes based on publicly obtainable information and used multiple factor analysis to summarise this variation to assess citizen science approaches. We found that projects varied according to their methodological approach from 'mass participation' (e.g. easy participation by anyone anywhere to 'systematic monitoring' (e.g. trained volunteers repeatedly sampling at specific locations. They also varied in complexity from approaches that are 'simple' to those that are 'elaborate' (e.g. provide lots of support to gather rich, detailed datasets. There was a separate cluster of entirely computer-based projects but, in general, we found that the range of citizen science projects in ecology and the environment showed continuous variation and cannot be neatly categorised into distinct types of activity. While the diversity of projects begun in each time period (pre 1990, 1990-99, 2000-09 and 2010-13 has not increased, we found that projects tended to have become increasingly different from each other as time progressed (possibly due to changing opportunities, including technological innovation. Most projects were still active so consequently we found that the overall diversity of active projects (available for participation increased as time progressed. Overall, understanding the landscape of citizen science in ecology and the environment (and its change over time is valuable because it informs the comparative evaluation of the 'success' of different citizen science approaches. Comparative
Carballo-Cárdenas, Eira C.; Tobi, Hilde
Understanding the drivers and barriers to participation in citizen science initiatives for conservation is important if long-term involvement from volunteers is expected. This study investigates the motivations of individuals from five marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Dutch Caribbean to (not)
Lara A. Roman; Bryant C. Scharenbroch; Johan P.A. Ostberg; Lee S. Mueller; Jason G. Henning; Andrew K. Koeser; Jessica R. Sanders; Daniel R. Betz; Rebecca C. Jordan
Citizen science has been gaining popularity in ecological research and resource management in general and in urban forestry specifically. As municipalities and nonprofits engage volunteers in tree data collection, it is critical to understand data quality. We investigated observation error by comparing street tree data collected by experts to data collected by less...
Cohen, Cynthia M.; Cheney, Liz; Duong, Khue; Lea, Ben; Unno, Zoe Pettway
Citizen science projects continue to grow in popularity, providing opportunities for nonexpert volunteers to contribute to and become personally invested in rigorous scientific research. Academic libraries, aiming to promote and provide tools and resources to master scientific and information literacy, can support these efforts. While few examples…
The science studies literatures on amateurs and citizen science have remained largely unconnected despite similarities between the two categories. The essay connects amateur knowledge and citizen science through examples from public art. Through an analysis of the use of the term "amateur" by contemporary artists working to engage the public in critiques of science, connections in the ideals of democratic knowledge making by amateurs and citizen scientists are further explored.
Wyatt, Ryan; Price, A.
Citizen Sky is a multi-year, NSF funded citizen science project involving the bright and mysterious variable star epsilon Aurigae. The project was conceived by the IYA 2009 working group on Research Experiences for Students, Teachers, and Citizen-Scientists. Citizen Sky goes beyond simple observing to include a major data analysis component, introducing participants to the full scientific process from background research to paper writing for a peer-reviewed journal. As a means of generating interest in the project, the California Academy of Sciences produced a six-minute "trailer” formatted for both traditional and fulldome planetariums as well as HD and web applications. This talk will review the production process for the trailer as well as the methods of distribution via planetariums, social media, and other venues_along with an update on the Citizen Sky Project as a whole. We will show how to use a small, professionally-produced planetarium trailer to help spread word on a citizen science project. We will also show preliminary results on a study about how participation level/type in the project affects science learning.
AUTHOR|(INSPIRE)INSPIRE-00053405; The ATLAS collaboration
Since the launch of HiggsHunters.org in November 2014, citizen science volunteers have classified more than a million points of interest in images from the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. Volunteers have been looking for displaced vertices and unusual features in images recorded during LHC Run-1. We discuss the design of the project, its impact on the public, and the results of how the human volunteers performed relative to the computer algorithms in identifying displaced secondary vertices. People were better than existing algorithms at identifying displaced vertices for some masses and lifetimes, and showed good ability to recognize unexpected new features in the data.
Nugent, Jill; Smith, Walter; Cook, Linda; Bell, Meredith
With rapidly evolving technology, the world is more connected than ever, and citizens around the globe can contribute to science like never before (Dickinson and Bonney 2012). Reflecting the growing capacity of citizen science, this article presents a science education continuum that moves from global awareness to global contribution. At each…
Typical data sources for both basic and mission-focused environmental research include satellite sensors, in situ observations made by scientists, and data from well established and often government-sponsored networks. While these data sources enable substantial advances in understanding our environment, they are not always complete in the picture they present. By incorporating citizen science into our portfolio of observations, we gain a powerful complement to these traditional data sources, drawing on the enthusiasm and commitment of volunteer observers. While such data can be more difficult to calibrate or quality check, these challenges can be overcome by clear and simple protocols and consistent instrumentation. One such example is the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) in which thousands of volunteers in the United States and Canada use low-cost equipment to make point-measurements of rain, hail and snowfall near their homes or workplaces. All participants in CoCoRaHS make these measurements with the same $30 rain gauges and follow a well-established protocol in which they are trained. These observations feed into National Weather Service forecast models, sometimes directly influencing the issuing of alerts and warnings, and are used to both validate and improve these models. In other cases, observations can be more subjective, such as Buddhist monks in the Catskills documenting leaf fall, or the Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count in which birds are surveyed annually as their habitats change. The uncertainty associated with such subjective measurements is far outweighed by the value of the data, and it can be reduced by increasing the numbers of observers and encouraging participation by the same observers year after year for consistent inputs. These citizen science efforts, and many others like them, provide tremendous scientific opportunities for complementing big-picture science with local variability, resulting in a more
Newman, S. J.; Henderson, S.; Gardiner, L. S.; Ward, D.; Gram, W.
The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will be a national resource for ecological research and education. NEON citizen science projects are being designed to increase awareness and educate citizen scientists about the impacts of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species on continental-scale ecological processes as well as expand NEON data collection capacity by enabling laypersons to collect geographically distributed data. The citizen science area of the NEON web portal will enable citizen scientists to collect, contribute, interpret, and visualize scientific data, as well as access training modules, collection protocols and targeted learning experiences related to citizen science project topics. For NEON, citizen science projects are a means for interested people to interact with and contribute to NEON science. Investigations at vast spatial and temporal scales often require rapid acquisition of large amounts of data from a geographically distributed population of "human sensors." As a continental-scale ecological observatory, NEON is uniquely positioned to develop strategies to effectively integrate data collected by non-scientists into scientific databases. Ultimately, we plan to work collaboratively to transform the practice of science to include "citizens" or non-scientists in the process. Doing science is not limited to scientists, and breaking down the barriers between scientists and citizens will help people better understand the power of using science in their own decision making. In preparation for fully developing the NEON citizen science program, we are partnering with Project BudBurst (PBB), a citizen science project focused on monitoring plant phenology. The educational goals of PBB are to: (1) increase awareness of climate change, (2) educate citizen scientists about the impacts of climate change on plants and the environment, and (3) increase science literacy by engaging participants in the scientific process. Phenology was
Price, C. Aaron; Lee, Hee-Sun
Citizen science projects provide non-scientists with opportunities to take part in scientific research. While their contribution to scientific data collection has been well documented, there is limited research on how participation in citizen science projects may affect their scientific literacy. In this study, we investigated (1) how volunteers'…
Eitzel, M.V.; Cappadonna, Jessica L.; Santos-Lang, Chris; Duerr, Ruth Ellen; Virapongse, Arika; West, Sarah Elizabeth; Kyba, Christopher Conrad Maximillian; Bowser, Anne; Cooper, Caren Beth; Sforzi, Andrea; Metcalfe, Anya Nova; Harris, Edward S.; Thiel, Martin; Haklay, Mordechai; Ponciano, Lesandro; Roche, Joseph; Ceccaroni, Luigi; Shilling, Fraser Mark; Dörler, Daniel; Heigl, Florian; Kiessling, Tim; Davis, Brittany Y.; Jiang, Qijun
Much can be at stake depending on the choice of words used to describe citizen science, because terminology impacts how knowledge is developed. Citizen science is a quickly evolving field that is mobilizing people’s involvement in information development, social action and justice, and large-scale
The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will be a national resource for ecological research and education. NEON citizen science projects are being designed to increase awareness and educate citizen scientists about the impacts of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species on continental-scale ecological processes as well as expand NEON data collection capacity by enabling laypersons to collect geographically distributed data. The citizen science area of the NEON web portal will enable citizen scientists to collect, contribute, interpret, and visualize scientific data, as well as access training modules, collection protocols and targeted learning experiences related to citizen science project topics. For NEON, citizen science projects are a means for interested people to interact with and contribute to NEON science. Investigations at vast spatial and temporal scales often require rapid acquisition of large amounts of data from a geographically distributed population of “human sensors.” As a continental-scale ecological observatory, NEON is uniquely positioned to develop strategies to effectively integrate data collected by non-scientists into scientific databases. Ultimately, we plan to work collaboratively to transform the practice of science to include “citizens” or non-scientists in the process. Doing science is not limited to scientists, and breaking down the barriers between scientists and citizens will help people better understand the power of using science in their own decision making. In preparation for fully developing the NEON citizen science program, we are partnering with Project BudBurst (PBB), a citizen science project focused on monitoring plant phenology. The educational goals of PBB are to: (1) increase awareness of climate change, (2) educate citizen scientists about the impacts of climate change on plants and the environment, and (3) increase science literacy by engaging participants in the scientific process
Broeder, Den Lea; Devilee, Jeroen; Oers, Van Hans; Schuit, A.J.; Wagemakers, Annemarie
Community engagement in public health policy is easier said than done. One reason is that public health policy is produced in a complex process resulting in policies that may appear not to link up to citizen perspectives. We therefore address the central question as to whether citizen engagement in
Den Broeder, Lea; Devilee, Jeroen; Van Oers, J.A.M.; Schuit, A.J.; Wagemakers, Annemarie
Community engagement in public health policy is easier said than done. One reason is that public health policy is produced in a complex process resulting in policies that may appear not to link up to citizen perspectives. We therefore address the central question as to whether citizen engagement in
Assumpção, Thaine Herman; Popescu, Ioana; Jonoski, Andreja; Solomatine, Dimitri P.
Citizen science is an established mechanism in many fields of science, including ecology, biology and astronomy. Citizen participation ranges from collecting and interpreting data towards designing experiments with scientists and cooperating with water management authorities. In the environmental sciences, its potential has begun to be explored in the past decades and many studies on the applicability to water resources have emerged. Citizen Observatories are at the core of several EU-funded projects such as WeSenseIt, GroundTruth, GroundTruth 2.0 and SCENT (Smart Toolbox for Engaging Citizens into a People-Centric Observation Web) that already resulted in valuable contributions to the field. Buytaert et al. (2014) has already reviewed the role of citizen science in hydrology. The work presented here aims to complement it, reporting and discussing the use of citizen science for modelling the hydrodynamics of floods in a variety of studies. Additionally, it highlights the challenges that lie ahead to utilize more fully the citizen science potential contribution. In this work, focus is given to each component of hydrodynamic models: water level, velocity, flood extent, roughness and topography. It is addressed how citizens have been contributing to each aspect, mainly considering citizens as sensors and citizens as data interpreters. We consider to which kind of model (1D or 2D) the discussed approaches contribute and what their limitations and potential uses are. We found that although certain mechanisms are well established (e.g. the use of Volunteer Geographic Information for soft validation of land-cover and land-use maps), the applications in a modelling context are rather modest. Also, most studies involving models are limited to replacing traditional data with citizen data. We recommend that citizen science continue to be explored in modelling frameworks, in different case studies, taking advantage of the discussed mechanisms and of new sensor technologies
Donnelly, Alison; Crowe, Olivia; Regan, Eugenie; Begley, Sinead; Caffarra, Amelia
Citizen science is proving to be an effective tool in tracking the rapid pace at which our environment is changing over large geographic areas. It is becoming increasingly popular, in places such as North America and some European countries, to engage members of the general public and school pupils in the collection of scientific data to support long-term environmental monitoring. Participants in such schemes are generally volunteers and are referred to as citizen scientists. The Christmas bird count in the US is one of the worlds longest running citizen science projects whereby volunteers have been collecting data on birds on a specific day since 1900. Similar volunteer networks in Ireland have been in existence since the 1960s and were established to monitor the number and diversity of birds throughout the country. More recently, initiatives such as Greenwave (2006) and Nature Watch (2009) invite school children and members of the general public respectively, to record phenology data from a range of common species of plant, insect and bird. In addition, the Irish butterfly and bumblebee monitoring schemes engage volunteers to record data on sightings of these species. The primary purpose of all of these networks is to collect data by which to monitor changes in wildlife development and diversity, and in the case of Greenwave to involve children in hands-on, inquiry-based science. Together these various networks help raise awareness of key environmental issues, such as climate change and loss of biodiversity, while at the same time promote development of scientific skills among the general population. In addition, they provide valuable scientific data by which to track environmental change. Here we examine the role of citizen science in monitoring biodiversity in Ireland and conclude that some of the data collected in these networks can be used to fulfil Ireland's statutory obligations for nature conservation. In addition, a bee thought previously to be extinct
Steger, Cara; Butt, Bilal; Hooten, Mevin B.
Protected areas are the cornerstone of global conservation, yet financial support for basic monitoring infrastructure is lacking in 60% of them. Citizen science holds potential to address these shortcomings in wildlife monitoring, particularly for resource-limited conservation initiatives in developing countries – if we can account for the reliability of data produced by volunteer citizen scientists (VCS).This study tests the reliability of VCS data vs. data produced by trained ecologists, presenting a hierarchical framework for integrating diverse datasets to assess extra variability from VCS data.Our results show that while VCS data are likely to be overdispersed for our system, the overdispersion varies widely by species. We contend that citizen science methods, within the context of East African drylands, may be more appropriate for species with large body sizes, which are relatively rare, or those that form small herds. VCS perceptions of the charisma of a species may also influence their enthusiasm for recording it.Tailored programme design (such as incentives for VCS) may mitigate the biases in citizen science data and improve overall participation. However, the cost of designing and implementing high-quality citizen science programmes may be prohibitive for the small protected areas that would most benefit from these approaches.Synthesis and applications. As citizen science methods continue to gain momentum, it is critical that managers remain cautious in their implementation of these programmes while working to ensure methods match data purpose. Context-specific tests of citizen science data quality can improve programme implementation, and separate data models should be used when volunteer citizen scientists' variability differs from trained ecologists' data. Partnerships across protected areas and between protected areas and other conservation institutions could help to cover the costs of citizen science programme design and implementation.
Gallo, Travis; Waitt, Damon
The Invaders of Texas program is a successful citizen science program in which volunteers survey and monitor invasive plants throughout Texas. Invasive plants are being introduced at alarming rates, and our limited knowledge about their distribution is a major cause for concern. The Invaders of Texas program trains citizen scientists to detect the…
Wang Wei, James; Lee, Benjamin P Y-H; Bing Wen, Low
Citizen science has gained widespread currency as a tool for ecological research over the past decade. However, in the discipline of urban ecology, the existing contributions and future potential of citizen science engagement, specifically in terms of knowledge gain, have not yet been comprehensively explored. Here, we present a systematic review of published work on the urban ecology of birds and butterflies in relation to their use of citizen science data between 2005 and 2014. We compared the number of studies that used citizen science data to the number of studies that could potentially have employed data derived from citizen science. The take-up rates of citizen science data were 21% and 26% for birds and butterflies respectively. Most studies that employed citizen science used volunteer-derived data as primary data, and adopted Collegial, Collaborative and Contributional engagement modes to the exclusion of Contractual and Co-created arrangements. There was no evidence that citizen science studies investigated a different organismal scale (community vs. species) compared to the urban ecology literature. For both taxa, citizen science contributions were lower than expected compared to their representation in the urban ecology literature for studies on species-environment relationships at landscape and micro-environment scales, as well as behavioural ecology in general. Other research topics that could benefit from further citizen science involvement include breeding studies and guild analyses for birds, and multi-taxa studies for butterflies. Promising models of citizen science engagement for urban ecology are highlighted in relation to their thematic foci and methodological detail, and a number of research questions that could be productively addressed using citizen science are identified. The dynamics of contemporary engagement between citizen science and urban ecology described by this review could inform the design and refinement of urban ecology-citizen
Wang Wei, James; Lee, Benjamin P. Y-H.; Bing Wen, Low
Citizen science has gained widespread currency as a tool for ecological research over the past decade. However, in the discipline of urban ecology, the existing contributions and future potential of citizen science engagement, specifically in terms of knowledge gain, have not yet been comprehensively explored. Here, we present a systematic review of published work on the urban ecology of birds and butterflies in relation to their use of citizen science data between 2005 and 2014. We compared the number of studies that used citizen science data to the number of studies that could potentially have employed data derived from citizen science. The take-up rates of citizen science data were 21% and 26% for birds and butterflies respectively. Most studies that employed citizen science used volunteer-derived data as primary data, and adopted Collegial, Collaborative and Contributional engagement modes to the exclusion of Contractual and Co-created arrangements. There was no evidence that citizen science studies investigated a different organismal scale (community vs. species) compared to the urban ecology literature. For both taxa, citizen science contributions were lower than expected compared to their representation in the urban ecology literature for studies on species-environment relationships at landscape and micro-environment scales, as well as behavioural ecology in general. Other research topics that could benefit from further citizen science involvement include breeding studies and guild analyses for birds, and multi-taxa studies for butterflies. Promising models of citizen science engagement for urban ecology are highlighted in relation to their thematic foci and methodological detail, and a number of research questions that could be productively addressed using citizen science are identified. The dynamics of contemporary engagement between citizen science and urban ecology described by this review could inform the design and refinement of urban ecology–citizen
Penn, M. J.; Haden, C.
On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible along a path of totality from Oregon to South Carolina. The Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse Experiment (CATE) will use scientists, students and volunteers to take images of the solar corona using 68 identical telescopes, software and instrument packages along the 2,500-mile path of totality. CATE partners include National Solar Observatory scientists, university faculty and students, high school students, and professional and amateur astronomers. NASA funded CATE educational components including training undergraduates and volunteers on solar imaging software and equipment. The National Science Foundation and corporations including DayStar, MathWorks, Celestron and ColorMaker funded equipment. Undergraduates participated in summer research experiences to build their capacity for gathering eclipse data, and subsequently trained volunteers across the U.S. Aligned to NASA education goals, CATE goals range from providing an authentic research experience for students and lifelong learners, to making state-of-the-art solar coronal observations, to increasing scientific literacy of the public. While project investigators are examining the wealth of scientific data that will come from CATE, evaluators are examining impacts on participants. Through mixed methods, evaluators are examining outcomes related to changes in volunteers' knowledge, skills and attitudes. Additionally, the study will examine how citizen science astronomy using CATE equipment will continue after the eclipse to sustain project impacts. Preliminary findings for undergraduates indicate that they are gaining knowledge and skills related to studying solar coronal phenomena, conducting rigorous scientific research, and interfacing with the public to conduct outreach. Preliminary findings for citizen scientists indicate a high level of engagement in the research, and that they are gaining new knowledge and skills related to solar
Nenga, Sandi Kawecka
Public discourse suggests that volunteer work will transform youth into productive citizens by connecting youth to their communities. However, the meaning and practice of "community" is rarely defined or investigated. Using interview and observation data from a study of 47 volunteers aged 15-23, I argue that there are three different types of…
Barmby, Pauline; Gallagher, S. C.; Cami, J.
A poster from the 2011 Western Conference on Science Education, describing the use of citizen science project Galaxy Zoo in a non-majors astronomy course. Lots more on this topic at https://www.zooniverse.org/education
Beginning as a research project to help scientists communicate, the Web has transformed into a ubiquitous medium. As the sciences continue to transform, new techniques are needed to analyze the vast amounts of data being produced by large experiments. The advent of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey increased throughput of astronomical data, giving rise to Citizen Science projects such as Galaxy Zoo. The Web is no longer exclusively used by researchers, but rather, a place where anyone can share information, or even, partake in citizen science projects. As the Web continues to evolve, new and open technologies enable web applications to become more sophisticated. Scientific toolsets may now target the Web as a platform, opening an application to a wider audience, and potentially citizen scientists. With the latest browser technologies, scientific data may be consumed and visualized, opening the browser as a new platform for scientific analysis.
Kasperowski, Dick; Hillman, Thomas
In the past decade, some areas of science have begun turning to masses of online volunteers through open calls for generating and classifying very large sets of data. The purpose of this study is to investigate the epistemic culture of a large-scale online citizen science project, the Galaxy Zoo, that turns to volunteers for the classification of images of galaxies. For this task, we chose to apply the concepts of programs and antiprograms to examine the 'essential tensions' that arise in relation to the mobilizing values of a citizen science project and the epistemic subjects and cultures that are enacted by its volunteers. Our premise is that these tensions reveal central features of the epistemic subjects and distributed cognition of epistemic cultures in these large-scale citizen science projects.
Jollymore, Ashlee; Haines, Morgan J; Satterfield, Terre; Johnson, Mark S
Citizen science, where citizens play an active role in the scientific process, is increasingly used to expand the reach and scope of scientific research while also achieving engagement and educational goals. Despite the emergence of studies exploring data outcomes of citizen science, the process and experience of engaging with citizens and citizen-lead groups through participatory science is less explored. This includes how citizen perspectives alter data outcomes, a critical upshot given prevalent mistrust of citizen versus scientist data. This study uses a citizen science campaign investigating watershed impacts on water quality to interrogate the nature and implications of citizen involvement in producing scientifically and societally relevant data. Data representing scientific outcomes are presented alongside a series of vignettes that offer context regarding how, why, and where citizens engaged with the project. From these vignettes, six specific lessons are examined towards understanding how integration of citizen participation alters data outcomes relative to 'professional' science. In particular, elements of participant social identity (e.g., their motivation for participation), and contextual knowledge (e.g., of the research program itself) can shape participation and resulting data outcomes. Such scientific outcomes are particularly relevant given continued concerns regarding the quality of citizen data, which could hinder scientific acceptance of citizen sciences. Importantly, the potential for meaningful engagement with citizen and participants within citizen groups - given significant capacity within the community - represents a substantial and under-realized opportunity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Flower, Emily; Jones, Darryl; Bernede, Lilia
The acceptance and application of citizen science has risen over the last 10 years, with this rise likely attributed to an increase in public awareness surrounding anthropogenic impacts affecting urban ecosystems. Citizen science projects have the potential to expand upon data collected by specialist researchers as they are able to gain access to previously unattainable information, consequently increasing the likelihood of an effective management program. The primary objective of this research was to develop guidelines for a successful regional-scale citizen science project following a critical analysis of 12 existing citizen science case studies. Secondly, the effectiveness of these guidelines was measured through the implementation of a citizen science project, Koala Quest, for the purpose of estimating the presence of koalas in a fragmented landscape. Consequently, this research aimed to determine whether citizen-collected data can augment traditional science research methods, by comparing and contrasting the abundance of koala sightings gathered by citizen scientists and professional researchers. Based upon the guidelines developed, Koala Quest methodologies were designed, the study conducted, and the efficacy of the project assessed. To combat the high variability of estimated koala populations due to differences in counting techniques, a national monitoring and evaluation program is required, in addition to a standardised method for conducting koala population estimates. Citizen science is a useful method for monitoring animals such as the koala, which are sparsely distributed throughout a vast geographical area, as the large numbers of volunteers recruited by a citizen science project are capable of monitoring a similarly broad spatial range.
Aguado Sanchez, Carlos; Blomer, Jakob; Buncic, Predrag; Ellis, John; Harutyunyan, Artem; Marquina, Miguel; Mato, Pere; Schulz, Holger; Segal, Ben; Sharma, Archana; Skands, Peter; Chen Gang; Wu Jie; Wu Wenjing; Garcia Quintas, David; Grey, Francois; Lombrana Gonzalez, Daniel; Rantala, Jarno; Weir, David; Yadav, Rohit
Computing for the LHC, and for HEP more generally, is traditionally viewed as requiring specialized infrastructure and software environments, and therefore not compatible with the recent trend in v olunteer computing , where volunteers supply free processing time on ordinary PCs and laptops via standard Internet connections. In this paper, we demonstrate that with the use of virtual machine technology, at least some standard LHC computing tasks can be tackled with volunteer computing resources. Specifically, by presenting volunteer computing resources to HEP scientists as a v olunteer cloud , essentially identical to a Grid or dedicated cluster from a job submission perspective, LHC simulations can be processed effectively. This article outlines both the technical steps required for such a solution and the implications for LHC computing as well as for LHC public outreach and for participation by scientists from developing regions in LHC research.
Bonney, Rick; Phillips, Tina B; Ballard, Heidi L; Enck, Jody W
Over the past 20 years, thousands of citizen science projects engaging millions of participants in collecting and/or processing data have sprung up around the world. Here we review documented outcomes from four categories of citizen science projects which are defined by the nature of the activities in which their participants engage - Data Collection, Data Processing, Curriculum-based, and Community Science. We find strong evidence that scientific outcomes of citizen science are well documented, particularly for Data Collection and Data Processing projects. We find limited but growing evidence that citizen science projects achieve participant gains in knowledge about science knowledge and process, increase public awareness of the diversity of scientific research, and provide deeper meaning to participants' hobbies. We also find some evidence that citizen science can contribute positively to social well-being by influencing the questions that are being addressed and by giving people a voice in local environmental decision making. While not all citizen science projects are intended to achieve a greater degree of public understanding of science, social change, or improved science -society relationships, those projects that do require effort and resources in four main categories: (1) project design, (2) outcomes measurement, (3) engagement of new audiences, and (4) new directions for research. © The Author(s) 2015.
For several decades, a variety of Canadian academic and nonacademic programs have enabled young Canadians to undertake international practicums through volunteer and work abroad programs. More than 65 000 Canadians have participated in such programs over the last half-century. During the past decade, ...
Castejon, F.; Tarancon, A.
Researchers deal with increasingly difficult, complex issues that require more resources and tools. In addition to strictly technical problems, they are also required to produce research that is understood, at least in part, by the public and to be able to convey what are almost always difficult ideas and concepts the frontiers of knowledge. It rarely happens, but sometimes it is possible to solve several problems at the same time. As we will see throughout the article, Volunteer Computing, when properly handled, is able to supply computing power the scientific community and also serve as a window to science in the homes of citizens. (Author) 5 refs
Senabre, Enric; Ferran-Ferrer, Nuria; Perelló, Josep
This article describes and analyzes the collaborative design of a citizen science research project through co-creation. Three groups of secondary school students and a team of scientists conceived three experiments on human behavior and social capital in urban and public spaces. The study goal is to address how interdisciplinary work and attention…
Moore, Joseph; Gay, P. L.; Hogan, K.; Lintott, C.; Impey, C.; Watson, C.
While fully online citizen science projects like Galaxy Zoo and Moon Zoo are able to garner participation by tens to hundreds of thousands of people, this success pales next to the number of people who use Facebook. With a population well over half a billion, Facebook is, at the time of this writing, the largest single online community. As an experiment in social science-engagement, we have created Facebook fan pages for Zooniverse science tasks, social-sharing apps for Moon Zoo and Galaxy Zoo, and a novel galaxy-related citizen science project all within Facebook. In this poster we present early analysis on how these engagements attract both old and new users, and how users choose to share and interact through these pages.
Kim Van Vliet
Full Text Available The Internet and smart phone technologies have opened up new avenues for collaboration among scientists around the world. These technologies have also expanded citizen science opportunities and public participation in scientific research (PPSR. Here we discuss citizen science, what it is, who does it, and the variety of projects and methods used to increase scientific knowledge and scientific literacy. We describe a number of different types of citizen-science projects. These greatly increase the number of people involved, helping to speed the pace of data analysis and allowing science to advance more rapidly. As a result of the numerous advantages of citizen-science projects, these opportunities are likely to expand in the future and increase the rate of novel discoveries.
Eames, Malcolm; Mortensen, Jonas Egmose; Adebowale, Maria
This project briefing gives a short overview of the Citizens Science for Sustainability (SuScit) Project.......This project briefing gives a short overview of the Citizens Science for Sustainability (SuScit) Project....
Bela, Györgyi; Peltola, Taru; Young, Juliette C; Balázs, Bálint; Arpin, Isabelle; Pataki, György; Hauck, Jennifer; Kelemen, Eszter; Kopperoinen, Leena; Van Herzele, Ann; Keune, Hans; Hecker, Susanne; Suškevičs, Monika; Roy, Helen E; Itkonen, Pekka; Külvik, Mart; László, Miklós; Basnou, Corina; Pino, Joan; Bonn, Aletta
The number of collaborative initiatives between scientists and volunteers (i.e., citizen science) is increasing across many research fields. The promise of societal transformation together with scientific breakthroughs contributes to the current popularity of citizen science (CS) in the policy domain. We examined the transformative capacity of citizen science in particular learning through environmental CS as conservation tool. We reviewed the CS and social-learning literature and examined 14 conservation projects across Europe that involved collaborative CS. We also developed a template that can be used to explore learning arrangements (i.e., learning events and materials) in CS projects and to explain how the desired outcomes can be achieved through CS learning. We found that recent studies aiming to define CS for analytical purposes often fail to improve the conceptual clarity of CS; CS programs may have transformative potential, especially for the development of individual skills, but such transformation is not necessarily occurring at the organizational and institutional levels; empirical evidence on simple learning outcomes, but the assertion of transformative effects of CS learning is often based on assumptions rather than empirical observation; and it is unanimous that learning in CS is considered important, but in practice it often goes unreported or unevaluated. In conclusion, we point to the need for reliable and transparent measurement of transformative effects for democratization of knowledge production. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.
Despite the fact that immigration has played an important role in transforming Canada into an ethno-culturally diverse and economically prosperous nation, immigrants themselves are often criticised as passive citizens. This study attempts to deconstruct this myth by investigating the volunteering experiences of Chinese immigrants in Vancouver. The…
Recent developments in digital technologies and the rise of the Internet have created new opportunities for citizen science. One of these has been the development of online citizen science games where complex research problems have been re-imagined as online multiplayer computer games. Some of the most successful examples of these can be found within the biological sciences, for example, Foldit, Phylo and EteRNA. These games offer scientists the opportunity to crowdsource research problems, and to engage with those outside the research community. Games also enable those without a background in science to make a valid contribution to research, and may also offer opportunities for informal science learning.
Hines, Megan; Benson, Abigail; Govoni, David; Masaki, Derek; Poore, Barbara; Simpson, Annie; Tessler, Steven
What U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) programs use citizen science? How can projects be best designed while meeting policy requirements? What are the most effective volunteer recruitment methods? What data should be collected to ensure validation and how should data be stored? What standard protocols are most easily used by volunteers? Can data from multiple projects be integrated to support new research or existing science questions? To help answer these and other questions, the USGS Community of Data Integration (CDI) supported the development of the Citizen Science Working Group (CSWG) in August 2011 and funded the working group’s proposal to hold a USGS Citizen Science Workshop in fiscal year 2012. The stated goals for our workshop were: raise awareness of programs and projects in the USGS that incorporate citizen science, create a community of practice for the sharing of knowledge and experiences, provide a forum to discuss the challenges of—and opportunities for—incorporating citizen science into USGS projects, and educate and support scientists and managers whose projects may benefit from public participation in science.To meet these goals, the workshop brought together 50 attendees (see appendix A for participant details) representing the USGS, partners, and external citizen science practitioners from diverse backgrounds (including scientists, managers, project coordinators, and technical developers, for example) to discuss these topics at the Denver Federal Center in Colorado on September 11–12, 2012. Over two and a half days, attendees participated in four major plenary sessions (Citizen Science Policy and Challenges, Engaging the Public in Scientific Research, Data Collection and Management, and Technology and Tools) comprised of 25 invited presentations and followed by structured discussions for each session designed to address both prepared and ad hoc "big questions." A number of important community support and infrastructure needs were identified
researching know-how and deploying it, i.e. needs 'citizen geo-scientists' to maintain the human niche. (B) Regarding knowledge-based societies: The rapidly increasing human knowledge base accelerates the scientific-technical revolution. Its industrial-societal implementation confronts societies with numerous change processes. Their speed and scope is a risk as well as the mutual interferences of different change processes that often only get obvious within everyday societal doings. This vigour of change requires robust two-way linkages between research and technological development on one side and societal activities on the other side. Research and development undertaken in cooperation with citizen scientists would improve such linkages, e.g. through increased transparency of research and development or strengthening the sense of belonging of people for their environments. Citizen scientists are a resource, because they are complementary partner to the professional researcher. On one side citizen scientists provide experiences that are rooted in everyday practices and on the other side they facilitate uptake of new practices. Both features are needed in societies that face anthropogenic global change. Summarizing, geoethics affiliates geosciences and 'citizen science' in a particular relationship, i.e. 'citizen geo-science', which is beneficial for knowledge-based societies that are functioning under conditions of anthropogenic global change.  http://www.geoethics.org/ (accessed: 8th November 2016) Disclaimer: The views expressed engage the author only, not the employer.
Aerial remote sensing conducted by volunteer pilots acting as citizen scientists is providing high-quality data to help understand reasons behind outbreaks of toxic algal blooms in nation's waterways and coastlines. The toxic water can be detrimental to national economy, human health, clean drinking water, fishing industry, and water sports. We will show how general aviation pilots around the country are contributing to this NASA citizen science initiative.
Palermo, Eduardo; Laut, Jeffrey; Nov, Oded; Cappa, Paolo; Porfiri, Maurizio
Citizen science enables volunteers to contribute to scientific projects, where massive data collection and analysis are often required. Volunteers participate in citizen science activities online from their homes or in the field and are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Here, we investigated the possibility of integrating citizen science tasks within physical exercises envisaged as part of a potential rehabilitation therapy session. The citizen science activity entailed environmental mapping of a polluted body of water using a miniature instrumented boat, which was remotely controlled by the participants through their physical gesture tracked by a low-cost markerless motion capture system. Our findings demonstrate that the natural user interface offers an engaging and effective means for performing environmental monitoring tasks. At the same time, the citizen science activity increases the commitment of the participants, leading to a better motion performance, quantified through an array of objective indices. The study constitutes a first and necessary step toward rehabilitative treatments of the upper limb through citizen science and low-cost markerless optical systems.
Full Text Available Citizen science enables volunteers to contribute to scientific projects, where massive data collection and analysis are often required. Volunteers participate in citizen science activities online from their homes or in the field and are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Here, we investigated the possibility of integrating citizen science tasks within physical exercises envisaged as part of a potential rehabilitation therapy session. The citizen science activity entailed environmental mapping of a polluted body of water using a miniature instrumented boat, which was remotely controlled by the participants through their physical gesture tracked by a low-cost markerless motion capture system. Our findings demonstrate that the natural user interface offers an engaging and effective means for performing environmental monitoring tasks. At the same time, the citizen science activity increases the commitment of the participants, leading to a better motion performance, quantified through an array of objective indices. The study constitutes a first and necessary step toward rehabilitative treatments of the upper limb through citizen science and low-cost markerless optical systems.
Senabre, Enric; Ferran Ferrer, Núria; Perelló, Josep, 1974-
This article describes and analyzes the collaborative design of a citizen science research project through cocreation. Three groups of secondary school students and a team of scientists conceived three experiments on human behavior and social capital in urban and public spaces. The study goal is to address how interdisciplinary work and attention to social concerns and needs, as well as the collective construction of research questions, can be integrated into scientific research. The 95 stude...
Full Text Available Since 2012, three organizations advancing the work of citizen science practitioners have arisen in different regions: The primarily US-based but globally open Citizen Science Association (CSA, the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA, and the Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA. These associations are moving rapidly to establish themselves and to develop inter-association collaborations. We consider the factors driving this emergence and the significance of this trend for citizen science as a field of practice, as an area of scholarship, and for the culture of scientific research itself.
Full Text Available Citizen science is an important way of engaging a broad range of audiences in science inquiry by participating in research that asks novel questions and unearths new knowledge and new questioning. Though citizen science projects are quite diverse in their scientific pursuits, all projects share the common element of involving volunteers directly in some aspect of science inquiry. Thus, it is essential for citizen science projects to determine their participants’ capacity to learn and successfully perform science inquiry skills, such as making scientific observations, collecting and analyzing data, and sharing findings. Such skill gains are essential to (a ensure high quality data that can be used in meaningful scientific research, and (b achieve broader goals such as developing a participant’s identity as a contributor to science. However, we do not yet fully understand how improvement in participants’ inquiry skills through citizen science advances our knowledge of public engagement with science. In this essay, we offer embedded assessment as an effective method to capture participant skill gains, and encourage citizen science leaders, evaluators, and researchers to develop authentic methods that address the complexities of measuring skill development within the context of citizen science.
Voluntary services and the word ‘volunteer’ have been discursively highlighted as something ‘new’ in China in the last few years. The large number of volunteers involved in relief work following the 5/12 Sichuan earthquakes, in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and in the 2010 Shanghai Expo are examples
Arielle Waldstein Parsons
Full Text Available Citizen science approaches are of great interest for their potential to efficiently and sustainably monitor wildlife populations on both public and private lands. Here we present two studies that worked with volunteers to set camera traps for ecological surveys. The photographs recorded by these citizen scientists were archived and verified using the eMammal software platform, providing a professional grade, vouchered database of biodiversity records. Motivated by managers’ concern with perceived high bear activity, our first example enlisted the help of homeowners in a short-term study to compare black bear activity inside a National Historic Site with surrounding private land. We found similar levels of bear activity inside and outside the NHS, and regional comparisons suggest the bear population is typical. Participants benefited from knowing their local bear population was normal and managers refocused bear management given this new information. Our second example is a continuous survey of wildlife using the grounds of a nature education center that actively manages habitat to maintain a grassland prairie. Center staff incorporated the camera traps into educational programs, involving visitors with camera setup and picture review. Over two years and 5,968 camera-nights this survey has collected 41,393 detections of 14 wildlife species. Detection rates and occupancy were higher in open habitats compared to forest, suggesting that the maintenance of prairie habitat is beneficial to some species. Over 500 volunteers of all ages participated in this project over two years. Some of the greatest benefits have been to high school students, exemplified by a student with autism who increased his communication and comfort level with others through field work with the cameras. These examples show how, with the right tools, training and survey design protocols, citizen science can be used to answer a variety of applied management questions while
Mattijssen, T.J.M.; Terluin, I.J.
This study examines the relation between ecological citizen science and social engagement with nature, with a specific focus on the role of research projects in which volunteers take part in inventories of nature. We gathered information from interviews with coordinators of such projects. Our study
Citizen scientists have many communication tools available, including listservs, blogs, websites, and online discussion groups. What is the role of traditional publications such as newsletters or journals in this new environment? This presentation will summarize lessons learned from the 20-year history of The Volunteer Monitor newsletter, a national publication that provides a networking and information-sharing forum for citizen scientists engaged in water quality monitoring. The presenter, who has been the editor of The Volunteer Monitor since 1990, will emphasize practical tips for editors or prospective editors. Topics will include defining the publication's mission and target audience, obtaining submissions, communicating with authors, and applying basic journalistic techniques to enhance the usefulness and readability of articles.
Full Text Available The success of citizen science in producing important and unique data is attracting interest from scientists and resource managers. Nonetheless, questions remain about the credibility of citizen science data. Citizen science programs desire to meet the same standards of credibility as academic science, but they usually work within a different context, for example, training and managing significant numbers of volunteers with limited resources. We surveyed the credibility-building strategies of 30 citizen science programs that monitor environmental aspects of the California coast. We identified a total of twelve strategies: Three that are applied during training and planning; four that are applied during data collection; and five that are applied during data analysis and program evaluation. Variation in the application of these strategies by program is related to factors such as the number of participants, the focus on group or individual work, and the time commitment required of volunteers. The structure of each program and available resources require program designers to navigate tradeoffs in the choices of their credibility strategies. Our results illustrate those tradeoffs and provide a framework for the necessary discussions between citizen science programs and potential users of their data—including scientists and decision makers—about shared expectations for credibility and practical approaches for meeting those expectations. This article has been corrected here: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/cstp.91
Full Text Available The acceptance and application of citizen science has risen over the last 10 years, with this rise likely attributed to an increase in public awareness surrounding anthropogenic impacts affecting urban ecosystems. Citizen science projects have the potential to expand upon data collected by specialist researchers as they are able to gain access to previously unattainable information, consequently increasing the likelihood of an effective management program. The primary objective of this research was to develop guidelines for a successful regional-scale citizen science project following a critical analysis of 12 existing citizen science case studies. Secondly, the effectiveness of these guidelines was measured through the implementation of a citizen science project, Koala Quest, for the purpose of estimating the presence of koalas in a fragmented landscape. Consequently, this research aimed to determine whether citizen-collected data can augment traditional science research methods, by comparing and contrasting the abundance of koala sightings gathered by citizen scientists and professional researchers. Based upon the guidelines developed, Koala Quest methodologies were designed, the study conducted, and the efficacy of the project assessed. To combat the high variability of estimated koala populations due to differences in counting techniques, a national monitoring and evaluation program is required, in addition to a standardised method for conducting koala population estimates. Citizen science is a useful method for monitoring animals such as the koala, which are sparsely distributed throughout a vast geographical area, as the large numbers of volunteers recruited by a citizen science project are capable of monitoring a similarly broad spatial range.
Jordan, Rebecca C; Gray, Steven A; Howe, David V; Brooks, Wesley R; Ehrenfeld, Joan G
Citizen-science programs are often touted as useful for advancing conservation literacy, scientific knowledge, and increasing scientific-reasoning skills among the public. Guidelines for collaboration among scientists and the public are lacking and the extent to which these citizen-science initiatives change behavior is relatively unstudied. Over two years, we studied 82 participants in a three-day program that included education about non-native invasive plants and collection of data on the occurrence of those plants. Volunteers were given background knowledge about invasive plant ecology and trained on a specific protocol for collecting invasive plant data. They then collected data and later gathered as a group to analyze data and discuss responsible environmental behavior with respect to invasive plants. We tested whether participants without experience in plant identification and with little knowledge of invasive plants increased their knowledge of invasive species ecology, participation increased knowledge of scientific methods, and participation affected behavior. Knowledge of invasive plants increased on average 24%, but participation was insufficient to increase understanding of how scientific research is conducted. Participants reported increased ability to recognize invasive plants and increased awareness of effects of invasive plants on the environment, but this translated into little change in behavior regarding invasive plants. Potential conflicts between scientific goals, educational goals, and the motivation of participants must be considered during program design. ©2011 Society for Conservation Biology.
Newman, G.; Crall, A.; Laituri, M.; Graham, J.; Stohlgren, T.; Moore, J.C.; Kodrich, K.; Holfelder, K.A.
Citizen science programs are emerging as an efficient way to increase data collection and help monitor invasive species. Effective invasive species monitoring requires rigid data quality assurances if expensive control efforts are to be guided by volunteer data. To achieve data quality, effective online training is needed to improve field skills and reach large numbers of remote sentinel volunteers critical to early detection and rapid response. The authors evaluated the effectiveness of online static and multimedia tutorials to teach citizen science volunteers (n = 54) how to identify invasive plants; establish monitoring plots; measure percent cover; and use Global Positioning System (GPS) units. Participants trained using static and multimedia tutorials provided less (p quality, and overall program effectiveness. ?? Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Nuclear energy, stem cell technology, GMOs: the more science advances, the more society seems to resist. But are we really watching a death struggle between opposing forces, as so many would have it? Can today’s complex technical policy decisions coincide with the needs of a participatory democracy? Are the two sides even equipped to talk to each other? Beyond Technocracy: Science, Politics and Citizens answers these questions with clarity and vision. Drawing upon a broad range of data and events from the United States and Europe, and noting the blurring of the expert/lay divide in the knowledge base, the book argues that these conflicts should not be dismissed as episodic, or the outbursts of irrationality and ignorance, but recognized as a critical opportunity to discuss the future in which we want to live.
Brien, Sinead Carroll
Many students in the United States, particularly girls, have lost interest in science by the time they reach high school and do not pursue higher degrees or careers in science. Several science education researchers have found that the ways in which youth see themselves and position themselves in relation to science can influence whether they pursue science studies and careers. I suggest that participation in a citizen science program, which I define as a program in which girls interact with professional scientists and collect data that contributes to scientific research, could contribute to changing girls' perceptions of science and scientists, and promote their science identity work. I refer to science identity as self-recognition and recognition by others that one thinks scientifically and does scientific work. I examined a case study to document and analyze the relationship between girls' participation in a summer citizen science project and their development of science identity. I observed six girls between the ages of 16 and 18 during the Milkweed and Monarch Project, taking field notes on focal girls' interactions with other youth, adults, and the scientist, conducted highly-structured interviews both pre-and post- girls' program participation, and interviewed the project scientist and educator. I qualitatively analyzed field notes and interview responses for themes in girls' discussion of what it meant to think scientifically, roles they took on, and how they recognized themselves as thinking scientifically. I found that girls who saw themselves as thinking scientifically during the program seemed to demonstrate shifts in their science identity. The aspects of the citizen science program that seemed to most influence shifts in these girls' science identities were 1) the framing of the project work as "real science, 2) that it involved ecological field work, and 3) that it created a culture that valued data and scientific work. However, some of the girls only
Lahoz, William; Schneider, Philipp; Castell, Nuria
Citizen Science activities concern general public engagement in scientific research activities when citizens actively contribute to science either with their intellectual effort or surrounding knowledge or with their tools and resources. The advent of technologies such as the Internet and smartphones, and the growth in their usage, has significantly increased the potential benefits from Citizen Science activities. Citizen Science observations from low-cost sensors, smartphones and Citizen Observatories, provide a novel and recent development in platforms for observing the Earth System, with the opportunity to extend the range of observational platforms available to society to spatio-temporal scales (10-100s m; 1 hr or less) highly relevant to citizen needs. The potential value of Citizen Science is high, with applications in science, education, social aspects, and policy aspects, but this potential, particularly for citizens and policymakers, remains largely untapped. Key areas where Citizen Science data start to have demonstrable benefits include GEOSS Societal Benefit Areas such as Health and Weather. Citizen Science observations have many challenges, including simulation of smaller spatial scales, noisy data, combination with traditional observational methods (satellite and in situ data), and assessment, representation and visualization of uncertainty. Within these challenges, that of the assessment and representation of uncertainty and its communication to users is fundamental, as it provides qualitative and/or quantitative information that influences the belief users will have in environmental information. This presentation will discuss the challenges in assessment and representation of uncertainty in Citizen Science observations, its communication to users, including the use of visualization, and the perception of this uncertainty information by users of Citizen Science observations.
Kretschmann, A.; Drum, A.; Rubsam, J.; Watras, C. J.; Cellar-Rossler, A.
Historical data indicate that surface water levels in northern Wisconsin are fluctuating more now than they did in the recent past. In the northern highland lake district of Vilas County, Wisconsin, concern about record low lake levels in 2008 spurred local citizens and lake associations to form a lake level monitoring network comprising citizen scientists. The network is administered by the North Lakeland Discovery Center (NLDC, a local NGO) and is supported by a grant from the Citizen Science Monitoring Program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). With technical guidance from limnologists at neighboring UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station, citizen scientists have installed geographic benchmarks and staff gauges on 26 area lakes. The project engages citizen and student science participants including homeowners, non-profit organization member-participants, and local schools. Each spring, staff gauges are installed and referenced to fixed benchmarks after ice off by NLDC and dedicated volunteers. Volunteers read and record staff gauges on a weekly basis during the ice-free season; and maintain log books recording lake levels to the nearest 0.5 cm. At the end of the season, before ice on, gauges are removed and log books are collected by the NLDC coordinator. Data is compiled and submitted to a database management system, coordinated within the Wisconsin Surface Water Integrated Monitoring System (SWIMS), a statewide information system managed by the WDNR in Madison. Furthermore, NLDC is collaborating with the SWIMS database manager to develop data entry screens based on records collected by citizen scientists. This program is the first of its kind in Wisconsin to utilize citizen scientists to collect lake level data. The retention rate for volunteers has been 100% over the three years since inception, and the program has expanded from four lakes in 2008 to twenty-six lakes in 2011. NLDC stresses the importance of long-term monitoring and the
In the modern era, NASA SMD missions and facilities are producing data at a rate too great for the science community to maximally utilize. While software can help, what is really needed is additional eyes, hands, and minds - help we can find in the form of citizen scientist volunteers. The CosmoQuest virtual research facility has demonstrated through published research results that classroom students and the public can, with proper training and support from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), fill roles more traditionally filled by university students. The research question behind CosmoQuest's creation was simple: if students and the public are provided a properly scaffolded experience that mirrors that of researchers, will they come and perform as well as our students? and can they rise up to be research collaborators? In creating CosmoQuest, we started with a core of citizen science portals, educational materials for both students and life-long learners, and collaboration areas. These three primary focuses mirror the research, courses, and collaboration spaces that form the foundation of a university department. We then went on to add the features that make a center stand out - we added seminars in the form of Google Hangouts on Air, planetarium content through our Science on the Half Sphere program, and even the chance to vicariously attend conferences through live blogging by our team members. With this design for a virtual research facility, the answer to our foundational question has been a resounding yes; the public can aid us in doing science provided they are properly trained. To meet the needs of our population we have developed four areas of engagement: research, education, media, and community.
Nona Bakerman, Maya; Buxner, Sanlyn; Bracey, Georgia; Gugliucci, Nicole
The exponential proliferation of astronomy data has resulted in the need to develop new ways to analyze data. Recent efforts to engage the public in the discussion of the importance of science has led to projects that are aimed at letting them have hands-on experiences. Citizen science in astronomy, which has followed the model of citizen science in other scientific fields, has increased in the number and type of projects in the last few years and poses captivating ways to engage the public in science.The primary feature of this study was citizen science users’ motivations and activities related to engaging in astronomy citizen science projects. We report on participants’ interview responses related to their motivations, length and frequency of engagement, and reasons for leaving the project. From May to October 2014, 32 adults were interviewed to assess their motivations and experiences with citizen science. In particular, we looked at if and how motivations have changed for those who have engaged in the projects in order to develop support for and understandparticipants of citizen science. The predominant reasons participants took part in citizen science were: interest, helping, learning or teaching, and being part of science. Everyone interviewed demonstrated an intrinsic motivation to do citizen science projects.Participants’ reasons for ending their engagement on any given day were: having to do other things, physical effects of the computer, scheduled event that ended, attention span or tired, computer or program issues. A small fraction of the participants also indicated experiencing negative feedback. Out of the participants who no longer took part in citizen science projects, some indicated that receiving negative feedback was their primary reason and others reported the program to be frustrating.Our work is helping us to understand participants who engage in online citizen science projects so that researchers can better design projects to meet their
Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Kuchner, Marc; Schneider, Adam; Meisner, Aaron; Gagné, Jonathan; Filippazzo, Joeseph; Trouille, Laura; Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Collaboration; Jacqueline Faherty
In February of 2017 our team launched a new citizen science project entitled Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 to scan the cosmos for fast moving stars, brown dwarfs, and even planets. This Zooniverse website, BackyardWorlds.org, invites anyone with a computer or smartphone to flip through WISE images taken over a several year baseline and mark any point source that appears to move. This “blinking technique” is the same that Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto with over 80 years ago. In the first few days of our program we recruited over 30,000 volunteers. After 3/4 of a year with the program we have completed 30% of the sky and our participants have identified several hundred candidate movers. These include (1) over 20 candidate Y-type brown dwarfs, (2) a handful of new co-moving systems containing a previously unidentified low mass object and a known nearby star, (3) over 100 previously missed M dwarfs, (4) and more than 200 candidate L and T brown dwarfs, many of which occupy outlier positions on reduced proper motion diagrams. Our first publication credited four citizen scientists as co-authors. The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project is both scientifically fruitful and empowering for any mind across the globe that has ever wanted to participate in a discovery-driven astronomy research project.
Beza, Eskender; Steinke, Jonathan; Etten, Van Jacob; Reidsma, Pytrik; Fadda, Carlo; Mittra, Sarika; Mathur, Prem; Kooistra, Lammert
As the sustainability of agricultural citizen science projects depends on volunteer farmers who contribute their time, energy and skills, understanding their motivation is important to attract and retain participants in citizen science projects. The objectives of this study were to assess 1)
Beza, E.A.; Steinke, Jonathan; Etten, van Jacob; Reidsma, P.; Fadda, Carlo; Mittra, Sarika; Mathur, Prem; Kooistra, L.
As the sustainability of agricultural citizen science projects depends on volunteer farmers who contribute their time, energy and skills, understanding their motivation is important to attract and retain participants in citizen science projects. The objectives of this study were to assess 1)
Dixon, Don; Jayasinghe, Tharindu; Povich, Matthew S.
We present preliminary results from the first citizen-science search for infrared stellar-wind bow shock candidates. This search uses the Milky Way project, hosted by the Zooniverse, an online platform with over 1 million volunteer citizen scientists. Milky Way Project volunteers examine 77,000 randomly-distributed Spitzer image cutouts at varying zoom levels. Volunteers mark the infrared arc of potential bow shock candidates as well as the star likely driving the nebula. We produce lists of candidates from bow shocks flagged by multiple volunteers, which after merging and final visual review form the basis for our catalog. Comparing our new catalog to a recently-published catalog of 709 infrared bow shock candidates identified by a small team of (primarily undergraduate) researchers will allow us to assess the effectiveness of citizen science for this type of search and should yield a more complete catalog. Planned studies using these large catalogs will improve constraints on the mass-loss rates for the massive stars that create these bow shock nebulae. Mass-loss rates are highly uncertain but are a critical component of evolutionary models for massive stars. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under grants CAREER-1454334, AST-1411851 (RUI) and AST-1412845.
Online citizen science projects ask members of the public to donate spare time on their personal computers to process large datasets. A critical challenge for these projects is volunteer recruitment and retention. Many of these projects use Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), a piece of middleware, to support their operations. This poster analyzes volunteer motivations in two large, BOINC-based astronomy projects, Einstein@Home and Milkyway@Home. Volunteer opinions are addressed to assess whether and how competitive elements, such as credit and ranking systems, motivate volunteers. Findings from a study of project volunteers, comprising surveys (n=2,031) and follow-up interviews (n=21), show that altruism is the main incentive for participation because volunteers consider scientific research to be critical for humans. Multiple interviewees also revealed a passion for extrinsic motivations, i.e. those that involve recognition from other people, such as opportunities to become co-authors of publications or to earn financial benefits. Credit and ranking systems motivate nearly half of interviewees. By analyzing user motivations in astronomical BOINC projects, this research provides scientists with deeper understandings about volunteer communities and various types of volunteers. Building on these findings, scientists can develop different strategies, for example, awarding volunteers badges, to recruit and retain diverse volunteers, and thus enhance long-term user participation in astronomical BOINC projects.
Romano, C.; Gay, P.; Owens, R.; Burlea, G.
Citizen science projects must undergo usability testing and optimization if they are to meet their stated goals. This presentation will include video of usability tests conducted upon citizen science websites. Usability testing is essential to the success of online interaction, however, citizen science projects have just begun to include this critical activity. Interaction standards in citizen science lag behind those of commercial interests, and published research on this topic is limited. Since online citizen science is by definition, an exchange of information, a clear understanding of how users experience an online project is essential to informed decision-making. Usability testing provides that insight. Usability testing collects data via direct observation of a person while she interacts with a digital product, such as a citizen science website. The test participant verbalizes her thoughts while using the website or application; the moderator follows the participant and captures quantitative measurement of the participant's confidence of success as she advances through the citizen science project. Over 15 years of usability testing, we have observed that users who do not report a consistent sense of progress are likely to abandon a website after as few as three unrewarding interactions. Since citizen science is also a voluntary activity, ensuring seamless interaction for users is mandatory. Usability studies conducted on citizen science websites demonstrate that project teams frequently underestimate a user's need for context and ease of use. Without usability testing, risks to online citizen science projects include high bounce rate (users leave the website without taking any action), abandonment (of the website, tutorials, registration), misunderstanding instructions (causing disorientation and erroneous conclusions), and ultimately, underperforming projects.
Asorey, H.; Balaguera-Rojas, A.; Martínez-Méndez, A.; Núñez, L. A.; Peña-Rodríguez, J.; Salgado-Meza, P.; Sarmiento-Cano, C.; Suárez-Durán, M.
Exploration and searching for life in other stellar systems have shown that its development and sustainability depend of very specific environment conditions. Due to that, preservation of the equilibrium of this conditions in our planet is very important, because small changes on it can generate high repercussions in its habitability. This work shows some preliminary results from an environmental monitoring network (RACIMO, Red Ambiental Ciudadana de Monitoreo) conformed by automatic meteorologic stations located on seven high-schools at metropolitan zone of Bucaramanga, Colombia. Data recorded by monitoring network are stored in an open web repository which can be accessed by citizens from any place with internet connection. These stations called UVAs, were developed under creative commons license, that is to say, software, hardware and data free, besides these can be built by students due to its flexibility. The UVAs are modular and re-programmable, that is, any sensor can be added to the stations and then re-configure its firmware remotely. Besides, UVAs work in automatic way, after the first setup, they will be self-sufficient and won't depend of human intervention. The data, of each UVA, are recorded with a temporal synchrony and then are upload at central repository by means of WiFi, ethernet or GSM connection. The stations can be power supplied by a solar system or the electrical grid. Currently, UVA record variables such as: pressure, temperature, humidity, irradiance, iluminance, ambient noise, rain, cloudiness, CO2 and NO2 concentration, lighting, seismic movements and its geographic position. On other hand, a calibration system has been developed to validate the data recorded by RACIMO. This project, started from an astroclimate an exoplanets habitability conditions, became an independent citizen science project to rise awareness about the very particular conditions enjoyed in our Earth planet.
Kruse, K.; Knickmeier, K.; Thiel, M.; Gatta, M.
"Searching for plastic garbage" is an international Citizen Science project that aims to participate school students in the public discussion on the topic "plastic pollution in the ocean". For this, young people apply various research methods, evaluate their data, communicate and publish their results and investigate solutions solving this problem. The project will be carried out in Chile and Germany at the same time, which allows the participating students to share and compare their results and discuss their ideas with an international partner. This takes place on the website www.save-ocean.org. The project promotes intercultural and scientific skills of the students. They get insights into scientific research, get into another culture and experiences plastic pollution as an important global problem. Since May 2015, 450 pupils aged 10 to 15 years and 20 teachers in Germany and Chile have explored the plastic garbage on beaches. Where are the largest plastic garbage deposits? Which items of plastic are mostly found in Germany and Chile? Or where does this garbage comes from? These and other research questions are being answered by an international network between students, teachers and scientists. After completing the first Citizen Science pilot study successfully in summer 2015, the entire German and Chilean coast will be explored in spring 2016 by around 2500 participating school students. The project "Searching for plastic garbage" is the first international Citizen Science project that is a cooperation between the ocean:lab of Kiel Science Factory and the "Cientificos de la Basura", a project of the department of marine biology at University Catolica del Norte in Coquimbo, Chile. The project is supported by the Cluster of Excellence "The Future Ocean", the Leibniz Institute for Science Education and Mathematics (IPN), the Ministry of School and Professional Education of Land Schleswig-Holstein and the University Catolica del Norte in Coquimbo, Chile
Parrish, J. K.
Citizen science promises fine grain, broad extent data collected over decadal time scales, with co-benefits including increased scientific literacy and civic engagement. But does it only deliver non-standardized, unverifiable data collected episodically by individuals with little-to-no training? How do you know which projects to trust? What are the attributes of a scientifically sound citizen science project? The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) is a 15 year old citizen science project currently involving ~800 participants from northern California north to Kotzebue, Alaska and west to the Commander Islands, Russia. After a single 5-hour training delivered in-community by an expert, volunteers have the knowledge and skill sets to accurately survey a coastal site for beached bird carcasses, which they will be able to identify to species correctly ~85% of the time. Data are collected monthly, and some volunteers remain with the program for years, contributing hundreds, even thousands, of survey hours. COASST trainings, data collection materials, and data entry web portal all reinforce 'evidence first, deduction second,' a maxim that allows volunteers to learn, and gives on-staff experts the ability to independently verify all birds found. COASST data go directly into science, as part of studies as diverse as fishery entanglement, historic native uses of seabirds as food sources, and the impacts of sudden shifts in upwelling; as well as into resource management, as part of decisions on fishing regulations, waterfowl hunting limits, and ESA-listed species management. Like professional science, COASST features a specific sampling design linked to questions of interest, verifiable data, statistical analysis, and peer-reviewed publication. In addition, COASST features before-and-after testing of volunteer knowledge, independent verification of all deductive data, and recruitment and retention strategies linked to geographic community norms. As a result
Smith, A.; Lynn, S.; Lintott, C.; Simpson, R.
The Zooniverse (zooniverse.org) began in 2007 with the launch of Galaxy Zoo, a project in which more than 175,000 people provided shape analyses of more than 1 million galaxy images sourced from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. These galaxy 'classifications', some 60 million in total, have since been used to produce more than 50 peer-reviewed publications based not only on the original research goals of the project but also because of serendipitous discoveries made by the volunteer community. Based upon the success of Galaxy Zoo the team have gone on to develop more than 25 web-based citizen science projects, all with a strong research focus in a range of subjects from astronomy to zoology where human-based analysis still exceeds that of machine intelligence. Over the past 6 years Zooniverse projects have collected more than 300 million data analyses from over 1 million volunteers providing fantastically rich datasets for not only the individuals working to produce research from their project but also the machine learning and computer vision research communities. The Zooniverse platform has always been developed to be the 'simplest thing that works' implementing only the most rudimentary algorithms for functionality such as task allocation and user-performance metrics - simplifications necessary to scale the Zooniverse such that the core team of developers and data scientists can remain small and the cost of running the computing infrastructure relatively modest. To date these simplifications have been appropriate for the data volumes and analysis tasks being addressed. This situation however is changing: next generation telescopes such as the Large Synoptic Sky Telescope (LSST) will produce data volumes dwarfing those previously analyzed. If citizen science is to have a part to play in analyzing these next-generation datasets then the Zooniverse will need to evolve into a smarter system capable for example of modeling the abilities of users and the complexities of
Bourdarios, Claire; The ATLAS collaboration
The ATLAS collaboration has recently setup a number of citizen science projects which have a strong IT component and could not have been envisaged without the growth of general public computing resources and network connectivity: event simulation through volunteer computing, algorithms improvement via Machine Learning challenges, event display analysis on citizen science platforms, use of open data, etc. Most of the interactions with volunteers are handled through message boards, but specific outreach material was also developed, giving an enhanced visibility to the ATLAS software and computing techniques, challenges and community. In this talk the Atlas Computing Agora (ACA) web platform will be presented as well as some of the specific material developed for some of the projects.
Recent discoveries of cool brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood and microlensing surveys both point to an undiscovered population of brown dwarfs and rogue planets in the solar neighborhood. We propose to develop and sustain a novel website that enables a unique and powerful citizen-science based search for these and other high-proper-motion objects at 3.5 and 4.6 microns. Through this search, we have an opportunity to discover new ultracool Y dwarfs, crucial links between star formation and planet formation, and also the Sun's nearest neighbors-potentially a system closer than Proxima Centauri. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission (WISE) is nominally sensitive enough to detect a 250 K brown dwarf to > 6 pc and even a Jupiter analog to > 0.6 pc. However, high proper motion objects like these can easily be confused with variable stars, electronic noise, latent images, optical ghosts, cosmic ray hits, and so on in the WISE archive. Computer-based searches for high-proper motion objects falter in dense star fields, necessitating visual inspection all candidates. Our citizen science project, called "Backyard Worlds: Planet 9", remedies this problem by engaging volunteers to visually inspect WISE and NEOWISE images. Roughly 104,000 participants have already begun using a preliminary version of the site to examine time-resolved co-adds of unWISE-processed images, four epochs spanning 2010 to 2014. They have already performed more than 3.6 million classifications of these images since the site's launch on February 15, 2017. Besides seeking new brown dwarfs and nearby stars, this site is also the most sensitive all-sky WISE-based search for a planet orbiting the Sun beyond Pluto (sometimes called Planet Nine). Preliminary analysis data from the site has resulted in the discovery of 13 brown dwarf candidates including 6 T dwarfs. We obtained a spectrum of one of these candidates and published it in Astrophysical Journal Letters, with four citizen scientists
Van Oudheusden, Michiel; Van Hoyweghen, Ine
We are presently witnessing a global explosion of citizen science initiatives covering a wide range of topics, from counting hummingbirds to actively researching new medical treatments, to the use of smartphones to measuring radioactivity in the environment. European policymakers and societal stakeholders hail citizen science as a means of (re)building trust in science, which may in turn lead to “more democratic research based on evidence and informed decision-making” and more responsible inn...
Roelfsema, Chris; Thurstan, Ruth; Beger, Maria; Dudgeon, Christine; Loder, Jennifer; Kovacs, Eva; Gallo, Michele; Flower, Jason; Gomez Cabrera, K-le; Ortiz, Juan; Lea, Alexandra; Kleine, Diana
Subtropical reefs provide an important habitat for flora and fauna, and proper monitoring is required for conservation. Monitoring these exposed and submerged reefs is challenging and available resources are limited. Citizen science is increasing in momentum, as an applied research tool and in the variety of monitoring approaches adopted. This paper aims to demonstrate an ecological assessment and mapping approach that incorporates both top-down (volunteer marine scientists) and bottom-up (divers/community) engagement aspects of citizen science, applied at a subtropical reef at Point Lookout, Southeast Queensland, Australia. Marine scientists trained fifty citizen scientists in survey techniques that included mapping of habitat features, recording of substrate, fish and invertebrate composition, and quantifying impacts (e.g., occurrence of substrate damage, presence of litter). In 2014 these volunteers conducted four seasonal surveys along semi-permanent transects, at five sites, across three reefs. The project presented is a model on how citizen science can be conducted in a marine environment through collaboration of volunteer researchers, non-researchers and local marine authorities. Significant differences in coral and algal cover were observed among the three sites, while fluctuations in algal cover were also observed seasonally. Differences in fish assemblages were apparent among sites and seasons, with subtropical fish groups observed more commonly in colder seasons. The least physical damage occurred in the most exposed sites (Flat Rock) within the highly protected marine park zones. The broad range of data collected through this top-down/bottom-up approach to citizen science exemplifies the projects' value and application for identifying ecosystem trends or patterns. The results of the project support natural resource and marine park management, providing a valuable contribution to existing scientific knowledge and the conservation of local reefs.
Kuchner, Marc J.; Silverberg, Steven M.; Bans, Alissa S.; Bhattacharjee, Shambo; Kenyon, Scott J.; Debes, John H.; Currie, Thayne; Garcia, Luciano; Jung, Dawoon; Lintott, Chris; McElwain, Michael; Padgett, Deborah L.; Rebull, Luisa M.; Wisniewski, John P.; Nesvold, Erika
The Disk Detective citizen science project aims to find new stars with 22 μm excess emission from circumstellar dust using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. Initial cuts on the AllWISE catalog provide an input catalog of 277,686 sources. Volunteers then view images of each source online in 10 different bands to identify false positives (galaxies, interstellar matter, image artifacts, etc.). Sources that survive this online vetting are followed up with spectr...
Newman, G.; Crall, A.; Laituri, M.; Graham, J.; Stohlgren, T.; Moore, J.C.; Kodrich, K.; Holfelder, K.A.
Citizen science programs are emerging as an efficient way to increase data collection and help monitor invasive species. Effective invasive species monitoring requires rigid data quality assurances if expensive control efforts are to be guided by volunteer data. To achieve data quality, effective online training is needed to improve field skills and reach large numbers of remote sentinel volunteers critical to early detection and rapid response. The authors evaluated the effectiveness of online static and multimedia tutorials to teach citizen science volunteers (n = 54) how to identify invasive plants; establish monitoring plots; measure percent cover; and use Global Positioning System (GPS) units. Participants trained using static and multimedia tutorials provided less (p plant cover estimates between static (??10%) and multimedia (??13%) participants did not differ (p =.86 and.08, respectively) from those of professionals (??9%). Trained volunteers struggled with plot setup and GPS skills. Overall, the online approach used did not influence conferred field skills and abilities. Traditional or multimedia online training augmented with more rigorous, repeated, and hands-on, in-person training in specialized skills required for more difficult tasks will likely improve volunteer abilities, data quality, and overall program effectiveness. ?? Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Carvalho, Anabela; Doyle, Julie
How is "participation" ascribed meaning and practised in science and environment communication? And how are citizen voices articulated, invoked, heard, marginalised or silenced in those processes? Citizen Voices takes its starting point in the so-called dialogic or participatory turn in scientific and environmental governance in which practices claiming to be based on principles of participation, dialogue and citizen involvement have proliferated. The book goes beyond the buzzword of "participation" in order to give empirically rich, theoretically informed and critical accounts of how citizen participation is understood and enacted in mass mediation and public engagement practices. A diverse series of studies across Europe and the US are presented, providing readers with empirical insights into the articulation of citizen voices in different national, cultural and institutional contexts. Building bridges across media and communication studies, science and technology studies, environmental studies and urban pl...
The community of practice includes agencies from across the federal government who convene to discuss ideas, activities, barriers, and ethics related to citizen science and crowdsourcing including scientific research, data management, and open innovation.
Land-Zandstra, Anne M; Devilee, Jeroen L A; Snik, Frans; Buurmeijer, Franka; van den Broek, Jos M
Citizen science provides researchers means to gather or analyse large datasets. At the same time, citizen science projects offer an opportunity for non-scientists to be part of and learn from the scientific process. In the Dutch iSPEX project, a large number of citizens turned their smartphones into actual measurement devices to measure aerosols. This study examined participants' motivation and perceived learning impacts of this unique project. Most respondents joined iSPEX because they wanted to contribute to the scientific goals of the project or because they were interested in the project topics (health and environmental impact of aerosols). In terms of learning impact, respondents reported a gain in knowledge about citizen science and the topics of the project. However, many respondents had an incomplete understanding of the science behind the project, possibly caused by the complexity of the measurements. © The Author(s) 2015.
Kotovirta, V.; Toivanen, T.; Tergujeff, R.; Hame, T.; Molinier, M.
Citizen science is a promising way to increase temporal and spatial coverages of in-situ data, and to aid in data processing and analysis. In this paper, we present how citizen science can be used together with Earth observation, and demonstrate its value through three pilot projects focusing on forest biomass analysis, data management in emergencies and water quality monitoring. We also provide recommendations and ideas for follow-up activities. In the forest biomass analysis pilot, in the state of Durango (Mexico), local volunteers make in-situ forest inventory measurements with mobile devices. The collected data is combined with Landsat-8 imagery to derive forest biomass map of the area. The study area includes over 390 permanent sampling plots that will provide reference data for concept validation and verification. The emergency data management pilot focuses in the Philippines, in the areas affected by the typhoons Haiyan in November 2013 and Hagupit in December 2014. Data collected by emergency workers and citizens are combined with satellite data (Landsat-8, VHR if available) to intensify the disaster recovery activities and the coordination efforts. Simple processes for citizens, nongovernmental organisations and volunteers are developed to find and utilize up to date and freely available satellite imagery for coordination purposes and for building new not-for-profit services in disaster situations. In the water quality monitoring pilot, citizens around the Baltic Sea area contribute to the algae situation awareness by collecting algae observations using a mobile application. In-situ observations are compared with surface algal bloom products based on the satellite imagery, e.g. Aqua MODIS images with 500 meter resolution. As an outcome, the usability of the citizen observations together with satellite data in the algae monitoring will be evaluated.
Swanson, Alexandra; Kosmala, Margaret; Lintott, Chris; Packer, Craig
Citizen science has the potential to expand the scope and scale of research in ecology and conservation, but many professional researchers remain skeptical of data produced by nonexperts. We devised an approach for producing accurate, reliable data from untrained, nonexpert volunteers. On the citizen science website www.snapshotserengeti.org, more than 28,000 volunteers classified 1.51 million images taken in a large-scale camera-trap survey in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Each image was circulated to, on average, 27 volunteers, and their classifications were aggregated using a simple plurality algorithm. We validated the aggregated answers against a data set of 3829 images verified by experts and calculated 3 certainty metrics-level of agreement among classifications (evenness), fraction of classifications supporting the aggregated answer (fraction support), and fraction of classifiers who reported "nothing here" for an image that was ultimately classified as containing an animal (fraction blank)-to measure confidence that an aggregated answer was correct. Overall, aggregated volunteer answers agreed with the expert-verified data on 98% of images, but accuracy differed by species commonness such that rare species had higher rates of false positives and false negatives. Easily calculated analysis of variance and post-hoc Tukey tests indicated that the certainty metrics were significant indicators of whether each image was correctly classified or classifiable. Thus, the certainty metrics can be used to identify images for expert review. Bootstrapping analyses further indicated that 90% of images were correctly classified with just 5 volunteers per image. Species classifications based on the plurality vote of multiple citizen scientists can provide a reliable foundation for large-scale monitoring of African wildlife. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.
Turner, Rebecca; Price, A.; Henden, A.; Stencel, R.; Kloppenborg, B.
Citizen Sky is a multi-year, NSF-funded, citizen science project focusing on the bright variable star, epsilon Aurigae. Citizen Sky goes beyond simple observing to include a major data analysis component. The goal is to introduce the participant to the full scientific process from background research to paper writing for a peer-reviewed journal. The first year of the project, 2009-10, was dedicated to developing project infrastructure, educating participants about epsilon Aurigae, and training these participants to observe the star and report their data. Looking forward, years two and three of the project will focus on assembling teams of participants to work on their own analysis and research. Results will be published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of the AAVSO. This project has been made possible by the National Science Foundation.
Glynn, P. D.; Jones, J. W.; Liu, S. B.; Shapiro, C. D.; Jenter, H. L.; Hogan, D. M.; Govoni, D. L.; Poore, B. S.
We describe a conceptual framework for Citizen Science that can be applied to improve the understanding and management of natural resources and environments. For us, Citizen Science represents an engagement from members of the public, usually volunteers, in collaboration with paid professionals and technical experts to observe and understand natural resources and environments for the benefit of science and society. Our conceptual framework for Citizen Science includes crowdsourcing of observations (or sampling). It considers a wide range of activities, including volunteer and professional monitoring (e.g. weather and climate variables, water availability and quality, phenology, biota, image capture and remote sensing), as well as joint fact finding and analyses, and participatory mapping and modeling. Spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of the biophysical processes that control natural resources and environments are taken into account within this conceptual framework, as are the availability, scaling and diversity of tools and efforts that are needed to properly describe these biophysical processes. Opportunities are sought within the framework to properly describe, QA/QC, archive, and make readily accessible, the large amounts of information and traceable knowledge required to better understand and manage natural resources and environments. The framework also considers human motivational needs, primarily through a modern version of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. We examine several USGS-based Citizen Science efforts within the context of our framework, including the project called "iCoast - Did the Coast Change?", to understand the utility of the framework, its costs and benefits, and to offer concrete examples of how to expand and sustain specific projects. We make some recommendations that could aid its implementation on a national or larger scale. For example, implementation might be facilitated (1) through greater engagement of paid professionals, and (2
Hirshon, B.; Chapman, C. R.; Edmonds, J.; Goldstein, J.; Hallau, K. G.; Solomon, S. C.; Vanhala, H.; Weir, H. M.; Messenger Education; Public Outreach (Epo) Team
How MESSENGER Meshes Simulations and Games with Citizen Science In the film The Last Starfighter, an alien civilization grooms their future champion—a kid on Earth—using a video game. As he gains proficiency in the game, he masters the skills he needs to pilot a starship and save their civilization. The NASA MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Team is using the same tactic to train citizen scientists to help the Science Team explore the planet Mercury. We are building a new series of games that appear to be designed primarily for fun, but that guide players through a knowledge and skill set that they will need for future science missions in support of MESSENGER mission scientists. As players score points, they gain expertise. Once they achieve a sufficiently high score, they will be invited to become participants in Mercury Zoo, a new program being designed by Zooniverse. Zooniverse created Galaxy Zoo and Moon Zoo, programs that allow interested citizens to participate in the exploration and interpretation of galaxy and lunar data. Scientists use the citizen interpretations to further refine their exploration of the same data, thereby narrowing their focus and saving precious time. Mercury Zoo will be designed with input from the MESSENGER Science Team. This project will not only support the MESSENGER mission, but it will also add to the growing cadre of informed members of the public available to help with other citizen science projects—building on the concept that engaged, informed citizens can help scientists make new discoveries. The MESSENGER EPO Team comprises individuals from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE); Center for Educational Resources (CERES) at Montana State University (MSU) - Bozeman; National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE); Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL); National Air and Space Museum (NASM); Science
Butler, D. M.; Cavalier, D.; Potter, S.; Wagner, R.; Wegner, K.; Hammonds, J.
Through two grants, a partnership among SciStarter, ECO-Schools, the GLOBE Program, and Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists has recruited, trained, and equipped over 100 US schools, youth groups and other citizen scientists to take several environmental measurements - surface soil moisture and temperature, precipitation, and clouds. Implementation by some has begun but many more will start implementation in the fall. These local measurements may be compared with data from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), and other satellite missions. The measurement protocols of GLOBE specify how these data are collected so as to produce reliable data that are intercomparable across space and time. GLOBE also provides the information infrastructure for storing these data and making them openly available. This presentation will examine the initial results of this effort in terms of participation, student and professional data use, and educational benefits.
Mitchell, Nicola; Triska, Maggie; Liberatore, Andrea; Ashcroft, Linden; Weatherill, Richard; Longnecker, Nancy
A common feature of many citizen science projects is the collection of data by unpaid contributors with the expectation that the data will be used in research. Here we report a teaching strategy that combined citizen science with inquiry-based learning to offer first year university students an authentic research experience. A six-year partnership with the Australian phenology citizen science program ClimateWatch has enabled biology students from the University of Western Australia to contribute phenological data on plants and animals, and to conduct the first research on unvalidated species datasets contributed by public and university participants. Students wrote scientific articles on their findings, peer-reviewed each other's work and the best articles were published online in a student journal. Surveys of more than 1500 students showed that their environmental engagement increased significantly after participating in data collection and data analysis. However, only 31% of students agreed with the statement that "data collected by citizen scientists are reliable" at the end of the project, whereas the rate of agreement was initially 79%. This change in perception was likely due to students discovering erroneous records when they mapped data points and analysed submitted photographs. A positive consequence was that students subsequently reported being more careful to avoid errors in their own data collection, and making greater efforts to contribute records that were useful for future scientific research. Evaluation of our project has shown that by embedding a research process within citizen science participation, university students are given cause to improve their contributions to environmental datasets. If true for citizen scientists in general, enabling participants as well as scientists to analyse data could enhance data quality, and so address a key constraint of broad-scale citizen science programs.
Crall, Alycia W.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Young, Nicholas E.; Panke, Brendon; Renz, Mark; Stohlgren, Thomas
Citizen science is commonly cited as an effective approach to expand the scale of invasive species data collection and monitoring. However, researchers often hesitate to use these data due to concerns over data quality. In light of recent research on the quality of data collected by volunteers, we aimed to demonstrate the extent to which citizen science data can increase sampling coverage, fill gaps in species distributions, and improve habitat suitability models compared to professionally generated data sets used in isolation. We combined data sets from professionals and volunteers for five invasive plant species (Alliaria petiolata, Berberis thunbergii, Cirsium palustre, Pastinaca sativa, Polygonum cuspidatum) in portions of Wisconsin. Volunteers sampled counties not sampled by professionals for three of the five species. Volunteers also added presence locations within counties not included in professional data sets, especially in southern portions of the state where professional monitoring activities had been minimal. Volunteers made a significant contribution to the known distribution, environmental gradients sampled, and the habitat suitability of P. cuspidatum. Models generated with professional data sets for the other four species performed reasonably well according to AUC values (>0.76). The addition of volunteer data did not greatly change model performance (AUC > 0.79) but did change the suitability surface generated by the models, making them more realistic. Our findings underscore the need to merge data from multiple sources to improve knowledge of current species distributions, and to predict their movement under present and future environmental conditions. The efficiency and success of these approaches require that monitoring efforts involve multiple stakeholders in continuous collaboration via established monitoring networks.
Cunha, Davi G F; Marques, Jonatas F; Resende, Juliana C DE; Falco, Patrícia B DE; Souza, Chrislaine M DE; Loiselle, Steven A
The potential impacts of citizen science initiatives are increasing across the globe, albeit in an imbalanced manner. In general, there is a strong element of trial and error in most projects, and the comparison of best practices and project structure between different initiatives remains difficult. In Brazil, the participation of volunteers in environmental research is limited. Identifying the factors related to citizen science projects' success and longevity within a global perspective can contribute for consolidating such practices in the country. In this study, we explore past and present projects, including a case study in Brazil, to identify the spatial and temporal trends of citizen science programs as well as their best practices and challenges. We performed a bibliographic search using Google Scholar and considered results from 2005-2014. Although these results are subjective due to the Google Scholar's algorithm and ranking criteria, we highlighted factors to compare projects across geographical and disciplinary areas and identified key matches between project proponents and participants, project goals and local priorities, participant profiles and engagement, scientific methods and funding. This approach is a useful starting point for future citizen science projects, allowing for a systematic analysis of potential inconsistencies and shortcomings in this emerging field.
Data sharing in citizen science is just as challenging as it is for any other type of science, except that there are more parties involved, with more diverse needs and interests. This talk provides an overview of the challenges and current efforts to advance data sharing in citizen science, and suggests refocusing data management activities on supporting the needs of multiple audiences. Early work on data sharing in citizen science advocated applying the standards and practices of academia, which can only address the needs of one of several audiences for citizen science data, and academics are not always the primary audience. Practitioners still need guidance on how to better share data other key parties, such as participants and policymakers, and which data management practices to prioritize for addressing the needs of multiple audiences. The benefits to the project of investing scarce resources into data products and dissemination strategies for each target audience still remain variable, unclear, or unpredictable. And as projects mature and change, the importance of data sharing activities and audiences are likely to change as well. This combination of multiple diverse audiences, shifting priorities, limited resources, and unclear benefits creates a perfect storm of conditions to suppress data sharing. Nonetheless, many citizen science projects make the effort, with exemplars showing substantial returns on data stewardship investments, and international initiatives are underway to bolster the data sharing capacity of the field. To improve the state of data sharing in citizen science, strategic use of limited resources suggests prioritizing data management activities that support the needs of multiple audiences. These may include better transparency about data access and usage, and standardized reporting of broader impacts from secondary data users, to both reward projects and incentivize further data sharing.
Kuchner, Marc J.
The Disk Detective project is scouring the data archive from the WISE all-sky survey to find new debris disks and protoplanetary disks-the dusty dens where exoplanets form and dwell. Volunteers on this citizen science website have already performed 1.6 million classifications, searching a catalog 8x the size of any published WISE survey. We follow up candidates using ground based telescopes in California, Arizona, Chile, Hawaii, and Argentina. We ultimately expect to increase the pool of known debris disks by approx. 400 and triple the solid angle in clusters of young stars examined with WISE, providing a unique new catalog of isolated disk stars, key planet-search targets, and candidate advanced extraterrestrial civilizations. Come to this talk to hear the news about our latest dusty discoveries and the trials and the ecstasy of launching a new citizen science project. Please bring your laptop or smartphone if you like!
Kelling, Steve; Fink, Daniel; La Sorte, Frank A; Johnston, Alison; Bruns, Nicholas E; Hochachka, Wesley M
Data from well-designed experiments provide the strongest evidence of causation in biodiversity studies. However, for many species the collection of these data is not scalable to the spatial and temporal extents required to understand patterns at the population level. Only data collected from citizen science projects can gather sufficient quantities of data, but data collected from volunteers are inherently noisy and heterogeneous. Here we describe a 'Big Data' approach to improve the data quality in eBird, a global citizen science project that gathers bird observations. First, eBird's data submission design ensures that all data meet high standards of completeness and accuracy. Second, we take a 'sensor calibration' approach to measure individual variation in eBird participant's ability to detect and identify birds. Third, we use species distribution models to fill in data gaps. Finally, we provide examples of novel analyses exploring population-level patterns in bird distributions.
Wiggins, Andrea; Bonney, Rick; LeBuhn, Gretchen; Parrish, Julia K; Weltzin, Jake F
Citizen science involves a range of practices involving public participation in scientific knowledge production, but outcomes evaluation is complicated by the diversity of the goals and forms of citizen science. Publications and citations are not adequate metrics to describe citizen-science productivity. We address this gap by contributing a science products inventory (SPI) tool, iteratively developed through an expert panel and case studies, intended to support general-purpose planning and evaluation of citizen-science projects with respect to science productivity. The SPI includes a collection of items for tracking the production of science outputs and data practices, which are described and illustrated with examples. Several opportunities for further development of the initial inventory are highlighted, as well as potential for using the inventory as a tool to guide project management, funding, and research on citizen science.
Wiggins, Andrea; Bonney, Rick; LeBuhn, Gretchen; Parrish, Julia K.; Weltzin, Jake F.
Citizen science involves a range of practices involving public participation in scientific knowledge production, but outcomes evaluation is complicated by the diversity of the goals and forms of citizen science. Publications and citations are not adequate metrics to describe citizen-science productivity. We address this gap by contributing a science products inventory (SPI) tool, iteratively developed through an expert panel and case studies, intended to support general-purpose planning and evaluation of citizen-science projects with respect to science productivity. The SPI includes a collection of items for tracking the production of science outputs and data practices, which are described and illustrated with examples. Several opportunities for further development of the initial inventory are highlighted, as well as potential for using the inventory as a tool to guide project management, funding, and research on citizen science.
Wiggins, Andrea; Bonney, Rick; LeBuhn, Gretchen; Parrish, Julia K; Weltzin, Jake F
Abstract Citizen science involves a range of practices involving public participation in scientific knowledge production, but outcomes evaluation is complicated by the diversity of the goals and forms of citizen science. Publications and citations are not adequate metrics to describe citizen-science productivity. We address this gap by contributing a science products inventory (SPI) tool, iteratively developed through an expert panel and case studies, intended to support general-purpose planning and evaluation of citizen-science projects with respect to science productivity. The SPI includes a collection of items for tracking the production of science outputs and data practices, which are described and illustrated with examples. Several opportunities for further development of the initial inventory are highlighted, as well as potential for using the inventory as a tool to guide project management, funding, and research on citizen science. PMID:29867254
Cardamone, Carolin; Cobb, Bethany E.
Over the last decade, web-based “citizen science” projects such as the Zooniverse have allowed volunteers and professional scientists to work together for the advancement of science. While much attention has been paid to the benefits to science from these new projects, less attention has been paid to their impact on the participants and, in particular, to the projects’ potential to impact students who might engage in these projects through coursework. We report on a study engaging students in introductory astronomy classes at the George Washington University and Wheelock College in an assignment in which each student individually contributed to a “physics” or “space” citizen science project of their choice, and groups of students worked together to understand and articulate the scientific purpose of a citizen science project to which they all contributed. Over the course of approximately four weeks, the students kept logs of their individual contributions to the project, and recorded a brief reflection on each of their visits (noting, for example, interesting or confusing things they might encounter along the way). The project culminated with each group delivering a creative presentation that demonstrated their understanding of both the science goals of the project and the value of their own contributions to the project. In this talk, we report on the experience of the students with the project and on an assessment of the students’ attitudes toward science and knowledge of the process of science completed before the introduction of the assignment and again at its conclusion.
Richardson, Matthew; Grier, Jennifer; Gay, Pamela; Lehan, Cory; Buxner, Sanlyn; CosmoQuest Team
CosmoQuest is a virtual research facility focused on engaging people - citizen scientists - from across the world in authentic research projects designed to enhance our knowledge of the cosmos around us. Using image data acquired by NASA missions, our citizen scientists are first trained to identify specific features within the data and then requested to identify those features across large datasets. Responses submitted by the citizen scientists are then stored in our database where they await for analysis and eventual publication by CosmoQuest staff and collaborating professional research scientists.While it is clear that the driving power behind our projects are the eyes and minds of our citizen scientists, it is CosmoQuest’s custom software, Citizen Science Builder (CSB), that enables citizen science to be accomplished. On the front end, CosmoQuest’s CSB software allows for the creation of web-interfaces that users can access to perform image annotation through both drawing tools and questions that can accompany images. These tools include: using geometric shapes to identify regions within an image, tracing image attributes using freeform line tools, and flagging features within images. Additionally, checkboxes, dropdowns, and free response boxes may be used to collect information. On the back end, this software is responsible for the proper storage of all data, which allows project staff to perform periodic data quality checks and track the progress of each project. In this poster we present these available tools and resources and seek potential collaborations.
We report on the accomplishments of the HiRISE EPO program over the last two and a half years of science operations. We have focused primarily on delivering high impact science opportunities through our various participatory science and citizen science websites. Uniquely, we have invited students from around the world to become virtual HiRISE team members by submitting target suggestions via our HiRISE Quest Image challenges using HiWeb the team's image suggestion facility web tools. When images are acquired, students analyze their returned images, write a report and work with a HiRISE team member to write a image caption for release on the HiRISE website (http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu). Another E/PO highlight has been our citizen scientist effort, HiRISE Clickworkers (http://clickworkers.arc.nasa.gov/hirise). Clickworkers enlists volunteers to identify geologic features (e.g., dunes, craters, wind streaks, gullies, etc.) in the HiRISE images and help generate searchable image databases. In addition, the large image sizes and incredible spatial resolution of the HiRISE camera can tax the capabilities of the most capable computers, so we have also focused on enabling typical users to browse, pan and zoom the HiRISE images using our HiRISE online image viewer (http://marsoweb.nas.nasa.gov/HiRISE/hirise_images/). Our educational materials available on the HiRISE EPO web site (http://hirise.seti.org/epo) include an assortment of K through college level, standards-based activity books, a K through 3 coloring/story book, a middle school level comic book, and several interactive educational games, including Mars jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, word searches and flash cards.
Henden, Arne A.
Paid professional astronomers are a new phenomenon - most of astronomical history has been written by amateurs. Modern technology has again leveled the playing field, with quality equipment, computers, software and the Internet giving amateurs the ability to match or exceed the data quality and quantity achievable by professionals. The Internet in particular has come into play, with crowd-sourcing through projects like Zooniverse, worldwide installation of private robotic observatories, and rapid dissemination of information leading the way.The future only shows more of these collaborative activities ahead, as all proposed surveys will require significant input from citizen scientists in order to achieve their goals. How the public is currently helping professional astronomers, how researchers can get involved, and some of the future opportunities will be presented.
Slater, S. J.; Mankowski, T.; Slater, T. F.; CenterAstronomy; Physics Education Research Caper Team
A particularly successful effort to engage the public in science has been to move the nearly countless galaxies imaged by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to citizen scientists in a project known widely as Galaxy Zoo (URL; http://www.galaxyzoo.org). To everyone’s surprise, the unexpectedly large participation in the website has caused the data set, numbering over a million images, to be classified multiple times, quicker than the project leader anticipated, and continues to boast a high hit count on the website (15 classifications per second). Within 24 hours of launch, the site was receiving 70,000 classifications an hour, and more than 50 million classifications were received by the project during its first year, from almost 150,000 people. In a parallel effort, the Galaxy Zoo forum was created to handle the flood of emails that occurred alongside the flood of classifications, the team hoping that it would encourage the participants to handle each others' questions. By examining the motivations, methods and appeal of Galaxy Zoo to the participating public, other models of citizen science might be purposefully formulated to take advantage of the success exhibited in Galaxy Zoo. In addition, we want to understand the reasons people engage in science in informal settings in order to better enhance teaching methods in formal settings. Although in the past citizen science has primarily been used as a data collection method, there are many new opportunities contained in citizen science motivations and methods that we can use in future applications. This new and innovative method of online citizen science creates data for researchers of galaxies, but there is a parallel set of underlying data that has not yet been deeply analyzed: the motivations and underlying themes within the population of citizen scientists that could lead us to improve future citizen science projects. To address this, we pursued an investigation of the underlying reasons for the success of Galaxy Zoo
Everett, Glyn; Geoghegan, Hilary
Natural history has a long tradition in the UK, dating back to before Charles Darwin. Developing from a principally amateur pursuit, natural history continues to attract both amateur and professional involvement. Within the context of citizen science and public engagement, we examine the motivations behind citizen participation in the national survey activities of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme, looking at: people's experiences of the surveys as 'project-based leisure'; their motivations for taking part and barriers to continued participation; where they feature on our continuum of engagement; and whether participation in an OPAL survey facilitated their movement between categories along this continuum. The paper focuses on a less-expected but very significant outcome regarding the participation of already-engaged amateur naturalists in citizen science. Our main findings relate to: first, how committed amateur naturalists (already-engaged) have also enjoyed contributing to OPAL and the need to respect and work with their interest to encourage broader and deeper involvement; and second, how new (previously-unengaged) and relatively new participants (casually-engaged) have gained confidence, renewed their interests, refocussed their activities and/or gained validation from participation in OPAL. Overall, we argue that engagement with and enthusiasm for the scientific process is a motivation shared by citizens who, prior to participating in the OPAL surveys, were previously-unengaged, casually-engaged or already-engaged in natural history activities. Citizen science has largely been written about by professional scientists for professional scientists interested in developing a project of their own. This study offers a qualitative example of how citizen science can be meaningful to participants beyond what might appear to be a public engagement data collection exercise.
Yolanda F. Wiersma
Full Text Available The amateur birding community has a long and proud tradition of contributing to bird surveys and bird atlases. Coordinated activities such as Breeding Bird Atlases and the Christmas Bird Count are examples of "citizen science" projects. With the advent of technology, Web 2.0 sites such as eBird have been developed to facilitate online sharing of data and thus increase the potential for real-time monitoring. However, as recently articulated in an editorial in this journal and elsewhere, monitoring is best served when based on a priori hypotheses. Harnessing citizen scientists to collect data following a hypothetico-deductive approach carries challenges. Moreover, the use of citizen science in scientific and monitoring studies has raised issues of data accuracy and quality. These issues are compounded when data collection moves into the Web 2.0 world. An examination of the literature from social geography on the concept of "citizen sensors" and volunteered geographic information (VGI yields thoughtful reflections on the challenges of data quality/data accuracy when applying information from citizen sensors to research and management questions. VGI has been harnessed in a number of contexts, including for environmental and ecological monitoring activities. Here, I argue that conceptualizing a monitoring project as an experiment following the scientific method can further contribute to the use of VGI. I show how principles of experimental design can be applied to monitoring projects to better control for data quality of VGI. This includes suggestions for how citizen sensors can be harnessed to address issues of experimental controls and how to design monitoring projects to increase randomization and replication of sampled data, hence increasing scientific reliability and statistical power.
Welvaert, Marijke; Caley, Peter
Citizen science and crowdsourcing have been emerging as methods to collect data for surveillance and/or monitoring activities. They could be gathered under the overarching term citizen surveillance . The discipline, however, still struggles to be widely accepted in the scientific community, mainly because these activities are not embedded in a quantitative framework. This results in an ongoing discussion on how to analyze and make useful inference from these data. When considering the data collection process, we illustrate how citizen surveillance can be classified according to the nature of the underlying observation process measured in two dimensions-the degree of observer reporting intention and the control in observer detection effort. By classifying the observation process in these dimensions we distinguish between crowdsourcing, unstructured citizen science and structured citizen science. This classification helps the determine data processing and statistical treatment of these data for making inference. Using our framework, it is apparent that published studies are overwhelmingly associated with structured citizen science, and there are well developed statistical methods for the resulting data. In contrast, methods for making useful inference from purely crowd-sourced data remain under development, with the challenges of accounting for the unknown observation process considerable. Our quantitative framework for citizen surveillance calls for an integration of citizen science and crowdsourcing and provides a way forward to solve the statistical challenges inherent to citizen-sourced data.
Smith, Ben; Mader, Jared
Modern science learning requires the use of digital tools and a shift in teaching philosophy and pedagogy. The backbone to this shift rests in a yet unaddressed skill: digital citizenship. The authors discuss the Digital Citizen standard where "students (will) recognize the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities of living, learning, and…
Etten, van Jacob; Beza, Eskender; Calderer, Lluís; Duijvendijk, van Kees; Fadda, Carlo; Fantahun, Basazen; Kidane, Yosef Gebrehawaryat; Gevel, van de Jeske; Gupta, Arnab; Mengistu, Dejene Kassahun
Rapid climatic and socio-economic changes challenge current agricultural R&D capacity. The necessary quantum leap in knowledge generation should build on the innovation capacity of farmers themselves. A novel citizen science methodology, triadic comparisons of technologies or tricot, was
Full Text Available Theoretically, this article seeks to broaden the conceptualization of ignorance within STS by drawing on a line of theory developed in the philosophy and anthropology of education to argue that ignorance can be productively conceptualized as a state of possibility and that doing so can enable more democratic forms of citizen science. In contrast to conceptualizations of ignorance as a lack, lag, or manufactured product, ignorance is developed here as both the opening move in scientific inquiry and the common ground over which that inquiry proceeds. Empirically, the argument is developed through an ethnographic description of Scroggins' participation in a failed citizen science project at a DIYbio laboratory. Supporting the empirical case are a review of the STS literature on expertise and a critical examination of the structures of participation within two canonical citizen science projects. Though onerous, through close attention to how people transform one another during inquiry, increasingly democratic forms of citizen science, grounded in the commonness of ignorance, can be put into practice.
Citizens in Lewes, DE monitor local waterways by collecting physical and chemical data and checking for harmful algal blooms since 1991 through the University of Delaware Citizen Monitoring Program (UD CMP). This effort has produced lengthy time series for some sites dating back to 1991, as well as an engaged cohort of local citizens interested in coastal and estuarine processes. Though their primary goal is to monitor for conditions that could potentially be harmful to human and aquatic health, we saw an opportunity to reach out and expand their efforts by asking these citizens to sample the zooplankton community, providing more ecological context for their data. Over the past year, we have worked to engage this group through a series of talks and trainings. We explained the basics of zooplankton dynamics in our region, recruited volunteers to collect zooplankton at their sites, and worked with them to analyze their data. This small pilot project exemplifies the dual benefits of citizen science programs: collecting credible data while provided people with non-science backgrounds a chance to learn science through a hands-on project. The interactions with researchers and opportunities to work with real data offer citizens the one of the most robust science experiences, going beyond those provided by attending lab open houses or listening to talks.
Nguyen, Son Tung; Minkman, Ellen; Rutten, Martine
Citizen science is being increasingly used in the context of environmental research, thus there are needs to evaluate cognitive ability of humans in classifying environmental features. With the focus on land cover, this study explores the extent to which citizen science can be applied in sensing and measuring the environment that contribute to the creation and validation of land cover data. The Day Basin in Vietnam was selected to be the study area. Different methods to examine humans' ability to classify land cover were implemented using different information sources: ground based photos - satellite images - field observation and investigation. Most of the participants were solicited from local people and/or volunteers. Results show that across methods and sources of information, there are similar patterns of agreement and disagreement on land cover classes among participants. Understanding these patterns is critical to create a solid basis for implementing human sensors in earth observation. Keywords: Land cover, classification, citizen science, Landsat 8
Haines-Stiles, G.; Abdalati, W.; Akuginow, E.
Citizen science and crowdsourcing can literally save lives, whether responding to natural or human-caused disasters, and their effectiveness is all the more enhanced when volunteer observers collaborate with professional researchers. The NSF-funded THE CROWD & THE CLOUD public television series premiered on PBS stations in April 2017, and is hosted by former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati: it continues streaming at CrowdAndCloud.org. Its four episodes feature examples directly relevant to this session, vividly demonstrating the power and potential of "Citizen Science in the Digital Age." In "Citizens + Scientists" a peer-reviewed journal article, authored by a respected MD but based on Bucket Brigade citizen science data on air quality surrounding oil and gas developments, features prominently in New York State's ban on fracking. In the wake of the Flint disaster, Virginia Tech scientists support community monitoring of lead in Philadelphia's drinking water. Citizens begin to appreciate the arcane scientific and technical details of EPA's Lead and Copper Rule, and STEM is seen to be of vital, daily significance. In "Even Big Data Starts Small" OpenStreetMap volunteers digitize satellite data to help first responders following the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake, and Public Lab members—enthusiastic Makers and Millennials—fly modified off-the-shelf cameras beneath balloons and kites to track the BP oil spill, continuing their environmental watchdog work up through the present. CoCoRaHS observers (the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network) submit high quality data that has come to be trusted by NOAA's NWS and other federal agencies, enhancing flash flood warnings while project volunteers begin to appreciate the extreme variabity of local weather. Today's citizen science is much more than birds, bees and butterflies, although all those are also being protected by volunteered citizen data that helps shape state and federal conservation policies
Méndez, B. J. H.
In recent years, several space science research projects have enlisted the help of large numbers of non-professional volunteers, ``citizen scientists'', to aid in performing tasks that are critical to a project, but require more person-time (or computing time) than a small professional research team can practically perform themselves. Examples of such projects include SETI@home, which uses time from volunteers computers to process radio-telescope observation looking for signals originating from extra-terrestrial intelligences; Clickworkers, which asks volunteers to review images of the surface of Mars to identify craters; Spacewatch, which used volunteers to review astronomical telescopic images of the sky to identify streaks made by possible Near Earth Asteroids; and Stardust@home, which asks volunteers to review ``focus movies'' taken of the Stardust interstellar dust aerogel collector to search for possible impacts from interstellar dust particles. We shall describe these and other similar projects and discuss lessons learned from carrying out such projects, including the educational opportunities they create.
Dennis, Emily B; Morgan, Byron J T; Brereton, Tom M; Roy, David B; Fox, Richard
Citizen scientists are increasingly engaged in gathering biodiversity information, but trade-offs are often required between public engagement goals and reliable data collection. We compared population estimates for 18 widespread butterfly species derived from the first 4 years (2011-2014) of a short-duration citizen science project (Big Butterfly Count [BBC]) with those from long-running, standardized monitoring data collected by experienced observers (U.K. Butterfly Monitoring Scheme [UKBMS]). BBC data are gathered during an annual 3-week period, whereas UKBMS sampling takes place over 6 months each year. An initial comparison with UKBMS data restricted to the 3-week BBC period revealed that species population changes were significantly correlated between the 2 sources. The short-duration sampling season rendered BBC counts susceptible to bias caused by interannual phenological variation in the timing of species' flight periods. The BBC counts were positively related to butterfly phenology and sampling effort. Annual estimates of species abundance and population trends predicted from models including BBC data and weather covariates as a proxy for phenology correlated significantly with those derived from UKBMS data. Overall, citizen science data obtained using a simple sampling protocol produced comparable estimates of butterfly species abundance to data collected through standardized monitoring methods. Although caution is urged in extrapolating from this U.K. study of a small number of common, conspicuous insects, we found that mass-participation citizen science can simultaneously contribute to public engagement and biodiversity monitoring. Mass-participation citizen science is not an adequate replacement for standardized biodiversity monitoring but may extend and complement it (e.g., through sampling different land-use types), as well as serving to reconnect an increasingly urban human population with nature. © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Biology published
Full Text Available Citizen science is growing as a field of research with contributions from diverse disciplines, promoting innovation in science, society, and policy. Inter- and transdisciplinary discussions and critical analyses are needed to use the current momentum to evaluate, demonstrate, and build on the advances that have been made in the past few years. This paper synthesizes results of discussions at the first international citizen science conference of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA in 2016 in Berlin, Germany, and distills major points of the discourse into key recommendations. To enhance innovation in science, citizen science needs to clearly demonstrate its scientific benefit, branch out across disciplines, and foster active networking and new formats of collaboration, including true co-design with participants. For fostering policy advances, it is important to embrace opportunities for policy-relevant monitoring and policy development and to work with science funders to find adequate avenues and evaluation tools to support citizen science. From a society angle it is crucial to engage with societal actors in various formats that suit participants and to evaluate two-way learning outcomes as well as to develop the transformative role of science communication. We hope that these key perspectives will promote citizen science progress at the science-society-policy interface.
Citizen science projects involve the public with scientists in collaborative research. Information and communication technologies for citizen science can enable massive virtual collaborations based on voluntary contributions by diverse participants. As the popularity of citizen science increases, scientists need a more thorough understanding of…
Full Text Available Earth observation is diversifying, and now includes new types of systems, such as citizen observatories, unmanned aerial vehicles and wireless sensor networks. However, the Copernicus Programme vision of a seamless chain from satellite data to usable information in the hands of decision makers is still largely unrealized, and remote sensing science lacks a conceptual framework to explain why. This paper reviews the literatures on citizen science, citizen observatories and conceptualization of remote sensing systems. It then proposes a Conceptual Framework for Earth Observation which can be used in a new Earth observation science to explain blockages in the chain from collecting data to disseminating information in any Earth observation system, including remote sensing systems. The framework differs from its predecessors by including social variables as well as technological and natural ones. It is used here, with evidence from successful citizen science projects, to compare the factors that are likely to influence the effectiveness of satellite remote sensing systems and citizen observatories. The paper finds that constraints on achieving the seamless “Copernicus Chain” are not solely technical, as assumed in the new Space Strategy for Europe, but include social constraints too. Achieving the Copernicus Chain will depend on the balance between: (a the ‘forward’ momentum generated by the repetitive functioning of each component in the system, as a result of automatic operation or human institutions, and by the efficiency of interfaces between components; and (b the ‘backward’ flow of information on the information needs of end users. Citizen observatories will face challenges in components which for satellite remote sensing systems are: (a automatic or straightforward, e.g., sensor design and launch, data collection, and data products; and (b also challenging, e.g., data processing. Since citizen observatories will rely even more on
Parker, A.; Dosemagen, S.
As a collaborative and open approach to science, citizen science has the potential make science more actionable, applicable, and usable, especially when designed with scientists, communities and decision-makers as partners. In response to recent interest in citizen science from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology provided EPA with advice and recommendations on how to integrate citizen science into the core work of EPA. The Council's 28 members—representatives of academia; business and industry; nongovernmental organizations; and state, local and tribal governments—identifies citizen science as an invaluable opportunity for EPA to strengthen public support for EPA's mission and the best approach for the Agency to connect with the public on environmental protection. The report recommends that EPA embrace citizen science as a core tenet of environmental protection, invest in citizen science for communities, partners, and the Agency, enable the use of citizen science data at the Agency, integrate citizen science into the full range of work of EPA. This presentation will outline principles and strategy for integrating citizen science into science and policy at the national level, increasing the usability of citizen science data for decision-making and policy, and leveraging citizen science for environmental protection.
Full Text Available As citizen science inherently relies upon unpaid contributors, providing a positive experience for participants is critical. This case study describes the use of social media to support participants of the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey and examines the group’s interactions in its first year through the lens of a community of practice. Communities of practice can provide forums for learning, which is an important outcome of participation by environmental volunteers. Social media can provide the setting for an online community of practice that can support dispersed groups of volunteers and requires little daily input from administrators. While the NZ Garden Bird Survey runs for only nine days annually in June–July, this Facebook group continued to be active and attract new members throughout the year. In the first year of its existence, the group grew to 1,275 members who generated nearly 75,000 interactions (posts, comments, likes, and shares. The group was used to share enthusiasm, ideas, and knowledge about New Zealand’s garden birds. A wide range of birding expertise, from novice to expert, was displayed. The group’s interactions include shared interests, contributed stories, and collective learning. This paper documents our experiences setting up and administering this group and provides advice for citizen science programs that want to use social media to support a community of practice.
Sprinks, James Christopher; Wardlaw, Jessica; Houghton, Robert; Bamford, Steven; Marsh, Stuart
The European FP7 iMars project has developed tools and 3D models of the Martian surface through the co-registration of NASA and ESA mission data dating from the Viking missions of the 1970s to the present day, for a much more comprehensive interpretation of the geomorphological and climatic processes that have taken and do take place. We present the Citizen Science component of the project, 'Mars in Motion', created through the Zooniverse's Panoptes framework to allow volunteers to look for and identify changes on the surface of Mars over time. 'Mars in Motion', as with many other current citizen science platforms of a planetary or other disciplinary focus, has been developed to compliment the results of automated data mining analysis software, both by validation through the creation of training data and by adding context - gathering more in-depth data on the type and metrics of change initially detected.Through the analysis of initial volunteer results collected in the second half of 2016, the accuracy and ability of untrained participants to identify geomorphological changes is considered, as well as the impact of their position in the system. Volunteer contribution, either as a filter for poor quality imagery pre-algorithm, validation of algorithmic analysis, or adding context to pre-detected change, and their awareness and interpretation of its importance, can directly influence engagement with the platform and therefore ultimately its success. Understanding the effect of the volunteer and software's role in the system on both the results of and engagement with planetary science citizen science platforms will be an important lesson for the future, especially as the next generation of planetary missions will likely collect data orders of magnitude greater in volume. To deal with the data overload, it is likely that human or software solutions alone will not be sufficient, and that a combination of the two working together in a complimentary system that combines
Nelms, S E; Coombes, C; Foster, L C; Galloway, T S; Godley, B J; Lindeque, P K; Witt, M J
Growing evidence suggests that anthropogenic litter, particularly plastic, represents a highly pervasive and persistent threat to global marine ecosystems. Multinational research is progressing to characterise its sources, distribution and abundance so that interventions aimed at reducing future inputs and clearing extant litter can be developed. Citizen science projects, whereby members of the public gather information, offer a low-cost method of collecting large volumes of data with considerable temporal and spatial coverage. Furthermore, such projects raise awareness of environmental issues and can lead to positive changes in behaviours and attitudes. We present data collected over a decade (2005-2014 inclusive) by Marine Conservation Society (MCS) volunteers during beach litter surveys carried along the British coastline, with the aim of increasing knowledge on the composition, spatial distribution and temporal trends of coastal debris. Unlike many citizen science projects, the MCS beach litter survey programme gathers information on the number of volunteers, duration of surveys and distances covered. This comprehensive information provides an opportunity to standardise data for variation in sampling effort among surveys, enhancing the value of outputs and robustness of findings. We found that plastic is the main constituent of anthropogenic litter on British beaches and the majority of traceable items originate from land-based sources, such as public littering. We identify the coast of the Western English Channel and Celtic Sea as experiencing the highest relative litter levels. Increasing trends over the 10-year time period were detected for a number of individual item categories, yet no statistically significant change in total (effort-corrected) litter was detected. We discuss the limitations of the dataset and make recommendations for future work. The study demonstrates the value of citizen science data in providing insights that would otherwise not be
Rieke, Matthes; Stasch, Christoph; Autermann, Christian; de Wall, Arne; Remke, Albert; Wulffius, Herwig; Jirka, Simon
Measures affecting traffic flows in urban areas, e.g. changing the configuration of traffic lights, are often causing emotional debates by citizens who are affected by these measures. Up to now, citizens are usually not involved in traffic planning and the evaluation of the decisions that were taken. The enviroCar project provides an open platform for collecting and analyzing car sensor data with GPS position data. On the hardware side, enviroCar relies on using Android smartphones and OBD-II Bluetooth adapters. A Web server component collects and aggregates the readings from the cars, anonymizes them and publishes the data as open data which scientists, public administrations or other third parties can utilize for further analysis. In this work, we provide a general overview on the enviroCar project and present a project in a mid-size city in Germany. The city's administration utilized the enviroCar platform with the help of a traffic system consultancy for including citizens in the evaluation process of different traffic light configurations along major traffic axes. Therefore, a public campaign was started including local workshops to engage the citizens. More than 150 citizens were actively collecting more about 9.500 tracks including about 2.5 million measurements. Dedicated evaluation results for the different traffic axes were computed based on the collected data set. Because the data is publicly available as open data, others may prove and reproduce the evaluation results contributing to an objective discussion of traffic planning measures. In summary, the project illustrates how Citizen Science methods and technologies improve traffic planning and related discussions.
Full Text Available The impact of a rapidly changing climate on the biosphere is an urgent area of research for mitigation policy and management. Plant phenology is a sensitive indicator of climate change and regulates the seasonality of carbon, water, and energy fluxes between the land surface and the climate system, making it an important tool for studying biosphere–atmosphere interactions. To monitor plant phenology at regional and continental scales, automated near-surface cameras are being increasingly used to supplement phenology data derived from satellite imagery and data from ground-based human observers. We used imagery from a network of phenology cameras in a citizen science project called Season Spotter to investigate whether information could be derived from these images beyond standard, color-based vegetation indices. We found that engaging citizen science volunteers resulted in useful science knowledge in three ways: first, volunteers were able to detect some, but not all, reproductive phenology events, connecting landscape-level measures with field-based measures. Second, volunteers successfully demarcated individual trees in landscape imagery, facilitating scaling of vegetation indices from organism to ecosystem. And third, volunteers’ data were used to validate phenology transition dates calculated from vegetation indices and to identify potential improvements to existing algorithms to enable better biological interpretation. As a result, the use of citizen science in combination with near-surface remote sensing of phenology can be used to link ground-based phenology observations to satellite sensor data for scaling and validation. Well-designed citizen science projects targeting improved data processing and validation of remote sensing imagery hold promise for providing the data needed to address grand challenges in environmental science and Earth observation.
Simons, A. L.
The Global Sensor Web (GSW) is an effort to provide an infrastructure for the collection, sharing and visualizing sensor data from around the world. Over the past three years the GSW has been developed and tested as a standardized platform for citizen science. The most developed of the citizen science projects built onto the GSW has been Distributed Electronic Cosmic-ray Observatory (DECO), which is an Android application designed to harness a global network of mobile devices, to detect the origin and behavior of the cosmic radiation. Other projects which can be readily built on top of GSW as a platform are also discussed. A cosmic-ray track candidate captured on a cell phone camera.
Damgaard, Sidse; Mølmer, Klaus; Sherson, Jacob
Progress in the field of quantum computation is hampered by daunting technical challenges. Here we present an alternative approach to solving these by enlisting the aid of computer players around the world. We have previously examined a quantum computation architecture involving ultracold atoms in optical lattices and strongly focused tweezers of light. In The Quantum Computer Game (see http://www.scienceathome.org/), we have encapsulated the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for the problem in a graphical user interface allowing for easy user input. Players can then search the parameter space with real-time graphical feedback in a game context with a global high-score that rewards short gate times and robustness to experimental errors. The game which is still in a demo version has so far been tried by several hundred players. Extensions of the approach to other models such as Gross-Pitaevskii and Bose-Hubbard are currently under development. The game has also been incorporated into science education at high-school and university level as an alternative method for teaching quantum mechanics. Initial quantitative evaluation results are very positive. AU Ideas Center for Community Driven Research, CODER.
Goodale, T. A.
Overview This paper presentation shares findings from a granted funded project that sought to expand teacher content knowledge and pedagogy within the fields of marine science and coastal resource management through the implementation of classroom citizen science projects. A secondary goal was to increase middle and high school student interest and participation in marine science and natural resources research. Background A local science & engineering fair has seen a rapid decline in secondary student participants in the past four years. Research has demonstrated that when students are a part of a system of knowledge production (citizen science) they become much more aware, involved and conscious of scientific concepts compared to traditional school laboratory and nature of science activities. This project's primary objectives were to: (a) enhance teacher content expertise in marine science, (b) enrich teacher professional learning, (c) support citizen science classroom projects and inspire student activism and marine science engagement. Methods Project goals were addressed through classroom and meaningful outdoor educational experiences that put content knowledge into field based practices. Teachers learned to apply thier expanded content knowlege through classroom citizen science projects that focus on marine resource conservation issues such as fisheries management, water quality, turtle nesting and biodiversity of coastal ecosystems. These projects would eventually become potential topics of citizen science research topics for their students to pursue. Upon completion of their professional development, participants were urged to establish student Marine Science clubs with the goal of mentoring student submissions into the local science fair. Supplemental awards were possible for the students of project participants. Findings Based on project measures participants significantly increased their knowledge and awareness of presented material marine science and
Langley, Shaun A; Messina, Joseph P; Moore, Nathan
Volunteered geographic information (VGI) has strong potential to be increasingly valuable to scientists in collaboration with non-scientists. The abundance of mobile phones and other wireless forms of communication open up significant opportunities for the public to get involved in scientific research. As these devices and activities become more abundant, questions of uncertainty and error in volunteer data are emerging as critical components for using volunteer-sourced spatial data. Here we present a methodology for using VGI and assessing its sensitivity to three types of error. More specifically, this study evaluates the reliability of data from volunteers based on their historical patterns. The specific context is a case study in surveillance of tsetse flies, a health concern for being the primary vector of African Trypanosomiasis. Reliability, as measured by a reputation score, determines the threshold for accepting the volunteered data for inclusion in a tsetse presence/absence model. Higher reputation scores are successful in identifying areas of higher modeled tsetse prevalence. A dynamic threshold is needed but the quality of VGI will improve as more data are collected and the errors in identifying reliable participants will decrease. This system allows for two-way communication between researchers and the public, and a way to evaluate the reliability of VGI. Boosting the public's ability to participate in such work can improve disease surveillance and promote citizen science. In the absence of active surveillance, VGI can provide valuable spatial information given that the data are reliable.
Helen E Roy
Full Text Available Recently there has been increasing focus on monitoring pollinating insects, due to concerns about their declines, and interest in the role of volunteers in monitoring pollinators, particularly bumblebees, via citizen science.The Big Bumblebee Discovery was a one-year citizen science project run by a partnership of EDF Energy, the British Science Association and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology which sought to assess the influence of the landscape at multiple scales on the diversity and abundance of bumblebees. Timed counts of bumblebees (Bombus spp.; identified to six colour groups visiting focal plants of lavender (Lavendula spp. were carried out by about 13 000 primary school children (7-11 years old from over 4000 schools across the UK. 3948 reports were received totalling 26 868 bumblebees. We found that while the wider landscape type had no significant effect on reported bumblebee abundance, the local proximity to flowers had a significant effect (fewer bumblebees where other flowers were reported to be >5m away from the focal plant. However, the rate of mis-identifcation, revealed by photographs uploaded by participants and a photo-based quiz, was high.Our citizen science results support recent research on the importance of local flocal resources on pollinator abundance. Timed counts of insects visiting a lure plant is potentially an effective approach for standardised pollinator monitoring, engaging a large number of participants with a simple protocol. However, the relatively high rate of mis-identifications (compared to reports from previous pollinator citizen science projects highlights the importance of investing in resources to train volunteers. Also, to be a scientifically valid method for enquiry, citizen science data needs to be sufficiently high quality, so receiving supporting evidence (such as photographs would allow this to be tested and for records to be verified.
Full Text Available I used the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to examine how crowdsourcing is used as a new form of citizen science that provides real time assessments of health-related exposures. Assessing risks of an oil spill, or disasters more generally, is a challenge complicated by the situated nature of knowledge-generation that results in differential perceptions and responses. These processes are critical in the case of the British Petroleum spill in the Gulf Coast since the identification of risks promises to have ramifications for multiple social actors, as well as the health status and long-term resilience of communities in the area. Qualitative interviews, ethnographic observations, and video data were collected with local social movement organizations, grassroots groups, spill workers, fisherman, local residents, scientists, and government representatives within five months of the spill. Findings suggest that crowdsourcing is a new form of citizen science reflecting a transition from lay mapping to an online data gathering system that allows a broader range of participation and the detection of a broader range of impacts. Outcomes of this research promise to help demonstrate and theorize how citizen science relates to risk assessment processes and affects disaster recovery and long-term response.
Kokori, A.; Tsiaras, A.
Previous research on Citizen Science projects agree that Citizen Science (CS) would serve as a way of both increasing levels of public understanding of science and public participation in scientific research. Historically, the concept of CS is not new, it dates back to the 20th century when citizens where making skilled observations, particularly in archaeology, ecology, and astronomy. Recently, the idea of CS has been improved due to technological progress and the arrival of Internet. The phrase "astronomy from the chair" that is being used in the literature highlights the extent of the convenience for analysing observational data. Citizen science benefits a variety of communities, such as scientific researchers, volunteers and STEM educators. Participating in CS projects is not only engaging the volunteers with the research goals of a science team, but is also helping them learning more about specialised scientific topics. In the case of astronomy, typical examples of CS projects are gathering observational data or/and analysing them. The Holomon Photometric Software (HOPS) is a user-friendly photometric software for exoplanets, with graphical representations, statistics, models, options are brought together into a single package. It was originally developed to analyse observations of transiting exoplanets obtained from the Holomon Astronomical Station of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Here, we make the case that this software can be used as part of a CS project in analysing transiting exoplanets and producing light-curves. HOPS could contribute to the scientific data analysis but it could be used also as an educational tool for learning and visualizing photometry analyses of transiting exoplanets. Such a tool could be proven very efficient in the context of public participation in the research. In recent successful representative examples such as Galaxy Zoo professional astronomers cooperating with CS discovered a group of rare galaxies by using
Eric, B. Wolf; Poore, Barbara S.; Caro, Holly K.; Matthews, Greg D.
Since 1994, citizen volunteers have helped the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) improve its topographic maps. Through the Earth Science Corps program, citizens were able to "adopt a quad" and collect new information and update existing map features. Until its conclusion in 2001, as many as 300 volunteers annotated paper maps which were incorporated into the USGS topographic-map revision process.
Grimm, Robert, Jr.; Dietz, Nathan; Spring, Kimberly; Arey, Kelly; Foster-Bey, John
In an effort to better understand the attitudes and behaviors of young people in America around volunteering, service-learning and other forms of community involvement, the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau and Independent Sector, conducted the Youth Volunteering and Civic Engagement…
DeGroot, R. M.; Sumy, D. F.; Benthien, M. L.
The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN, quakecatcher.net) is a collaborative, citizen-science initiative to develop the world's largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network through the utilization of sensors in laptops and smartphones or small microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers attached to internet-connected computers. The volunteer computers monitor seismic motion and other vibrations and send the "triggers" in real-time to the QCN server hosted at the University of Southern California. The QCN servers sift through these signals and determine which ones represent earthquakes and which ones represent cultural noise. Data collected by the Quake-Catcher Network can contribute to better understanding earthquakes, provide teachable moments for students, and engage the public with authentic science experiences. QCN partners coordinate sensor installations, develop QCN's scientific tools and engagement activities, and create next generation online resources. In recent years, the QCN team has installed sensors in over 225 K-12 schools and free-choice learning institutions (e.g. museums) across the United States and Canada. One of the current goals of the program in the United States is to establish several QCN stations in K-12 schools around a local museum hub as a means to provide coordinated and sustained educational opportunities leading up to the yearly Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill, to encourage citizen science, and enrich STEM curriculum. Several school districts and museums throughout Southern California have been instrumental in the development of QCN. For educators QCN fulfills a key component of the Next Generation Science Standards where students are provided an opportunity to utilize technology and interface with authentic scientific data and learn about emerging programs such as the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system. For example, Sunnylands Center in Rancho Mirage, CA leads Coachella Valley Hub, which serves 31 K-12 schools, many of
Caren B. Cooper
Full Text Available Human activities, such as mining, forestry, and agriculture, strongly influence processes in natural systems. Because conservation has focused on managing and protecting wildlands, research has focused on understanding the indirect influence of these human activities on wildlands. Although a conservation focus on wildlands is critically important, the concept of residential area as an ecosystem is relatively new, and little is known about the potential of such areas to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. As urban sprawl increases, it becomes urgent to construct a method to research and improve the impacts of management strategies for residential landscapes. If the cumulative activities of individual property owners could help conserve biodiversity, then residential matrix management could become a critical piece of the conservation puzzle. "Citizen science" is a method of integrating public outreach and scientific data collection locally, regionally, and across large geographic scales. By involving citizen participants directly in monitoring and active management of residential lands, citizen science can generate powerful matrix management efforts, defying the "tyranny of small decisions" and leading to positive, cumulative, and measurable impacts on biodiversity.
Price, Charles Aaron
Citizen Science projects offer opportunities for non-scientists to take part in scientific research. Scientific results from these projects have been well documented. However, there is limited research about how these projects affect their volunteer participants. In this study, I investigate how participation in an online, collaborative astronomical citizen science project can be associated with the scientific literacy of its participants. Scientific literacy is measured through three elements: attitude towards science, belief in the nature of science and competencies associated with learning science. The first two elements are measured through a pre-test given to 1,385 participants when they join the project and a post-test given six months later to 125 participants. Attitude towards science was measured using nine Likert-items custom designed for this project and beliefs in the nature of science were measured using a modified version of the Nature of Science Knowledge scale. Responses were analyzed using the Rasch Rating Scale Model. Competencies are measured through analysis of discourse occurring in online asynchronous discussion forums using the Community of Inquiry framework, which describes three types of presence in the online forums: cognitive, social and teaching. Results show that overall attitudes did not change, p = .225. However, there was significant change towards attitudes about science in the news (positive) and scientific self efficacy (negative), p impact on some aspects of scientific literacy. Using the Rasch Model allowed us to uncover effects that may have otherwise been hidden. Future projects may want to include social interactivity between participants and also make participants specifically aware of how they are contributing to the entire scientific process.
Full Text Available Tourism is of growing economical importance to many nations, in particular for developing countries. Although tourism is an important economic vehicle for the host country, its continued growth has led to on-going concerns about its environmental sustainability. Coastal and marine tourism can directly affect the environment through direct and indirect tourist activities. For these reasons tourism sector needs practical actions of sustainability. Several studies have shown how education minimizes the impact on and is proactive for, preserving the natural resources. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of a citizen science program to improve the environmental education of the volunteers, by means of questionnaires provided to participants to a volunteer-based Red Sea coral reef monitoring program (STEproject. Fifteen multiple-choice questions evaluated the level of knowledge on the basic coral reef biology and ecology and the awareness on the impact of human behaviour on the environment. Volunteers filled in questionnaires twice, once at the beginning, before being involved in the project and again at the end of their stay, after several days participation in the program. We found that the participation in STEproject significantly increased both the knowledge of coral reef biology and ecology and the awareness of human behavioural impacts on the environment, but was more effective on the former. We also detected that tourists with a higher education level have a higher initial level of environmental education than less educated people and that the project was more effective on divers than snorkelers. This study has emphasized that citizen science projects have an important and effective educational value and has suggested that tourism and diving stakeholders should increase their commitment and efforts to these programs.
Branchini, Simone; Meschini, Marta; Covi, Claudia; Piccinetti, Corrado; Zaccanti, Francesco; Goffredo, Stefano
Tourism is of growing economical importance to many nations, in particular for developing countries. Although tourism is an important economic vehicle for the host country, its continued growth has led to on-going concerns about its environmental sustainability. Coastal and marine tourism can directly affect the environment through direct and indirect tourist activities. For these reasons tourism sector needs practical actions of sustainability. Several studies have shown how education minimizes the impact on and is proactive for, preserving the natural resources. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of a citizen science program to improve the environmental education of the volunteers, by means of questionnaires provided to participants to a volunteer-based Red Sea coral reef monitoring program (STEproject). Fifteen multiple-choice questions evaluated the level of knowledge on the basic coral reef biology and ecology and the awareness on the impact of human behaviour on the environment. Volunteers filled in questionnaires twice, once at the beginning, before being involved in the project and again at the end of their stay, after several days participation in the program. We found that the participation in STEproject significantly increased both the knowledge of coral reef biology and ecology and the awareness of human behavioural impacts on the environment, but was more effective on the former. We also detected that tourists with a higher education level have a higher initial level of environmental education than less educated people and that the project was more effective on divers than snorkelers. This study has emphasized that citizen science projects have an important and effective educational value and has suggested that tourism and diving stakeholders should increase their commitment and efforts to these programs PMID:26200660
Branchini, Simone; Meschini, Marta; Covi, Claudia; Piccinetti, Corrado; Zaccanti, Francesco; Goffredo, Stefano
Tourism is of growing economical importance to many nations, in particular for developing countries. Although tourism is an important economic vehicle for the host country, its continued growth has led to on-going concerns about its environmental sustainability. Coastal and marine tourism can directly affect the environment through direct and indirect tourist activities. For these reasons tourism sector needs practical actions of sustainability. Several studies have shown how education minimizes the impact on and is proactive for, preserving the natural resources. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of a citizen science program to improve the environmental education of the volunteers, by means of questionnaires provided to participants to a volunteer-based Red Sea coral reef monitoring program (STEproject). Fifteen multiple-choice questions evaluated the level of knowledge on the basic coral reef biology and ecology and the awareness on the impact of human behaviour on the environment. Volunteers filled in questionnaires twice, once at the beginning, before being involved in the project and again at the end of their stay, after several days participation in the program. We found that the participation in STEproject significantly increased both the knowledge of coral reef biology and ecology and the awareness of human behavioural impacts on the environment, but was more effective on the former. We also detected that tourists with a higher education level have a higher initial level of environmental education than less educated people and that the project was more effective on divers than snorkelers. This study has emphasized that citizen science projects have an important and effective educational value and has suggested that tourism and diving stakeholders should increase their commitment and efforts to these programs.
M. James C. Crabbe
Full Text Available This paper explores the application of citizen science to help generation of scientific data and capacity-building, and so underpin scientific ideas and policy development in the area of coral reef management, on the coral reefs of Jamaica. From 2000 to 2008, ninety Earthwatch volunteers were trained in coral reef data acquisition and analysis and made over 6,000 measurements on fringing reef sites along the north coast of Jamaica. Their work showed that while recruitment of small corals is returning after the major bleaching event of 2005, larger corals are not necessarily so resilient and so need careful management if the reefs are to survive such major extreme events. These findings were used in the development of an action plan for Jamaican coral reefs, presented to the Jamaican National Environmental Protection Agency. It was agreed that a number of themes and tactics need to be implemented in order to facilitate coral reef conservation in the Caribbean. The use of volunteers and citizen scientists from both developed and developing countries can help in forging links which can assist in data collection and analysis and, ultimately, in ecosystem management and policy development.
Albers, B.; de Lange, N.; Xu, S.
Environmental monitoring and ecological studies detect and visualize changes of the environment over time. Some agencies are committed to document the development of conservation and status of geotopes and geosites, which is time-consuming and cost-intensive. Citizen science and crowd sourcing are modern approaches to collect data and at the same time to raise user awareness for environmental changes. Citizen scientists can take photographs of point of interests (POI) with smartphones and the PAN App, which is presented in this article. The user is navigated to a specific point and is then guided with an augmented reality approach to take a photo in a specific direction. The collected photographs are processed to time-lapse videos to visualize environmental changes. Users and experts in environmental agencies can use this data for long-term documentation.
Best, M.; Hoeberechts, M.; Mangin, A.; Oggioni, A.; Orcutt, J. A.; Parrish, J.; Pearlman, J.; Piera, J.; Tagliolato, P.
The ocean represents over 70% of our planet's surface area, over 90% of the living space. Humans are not marine creatures, we therefore have fundamentally not built up knowledge of the ocean in the same way we have on land. The more we learn about the ocean, the more we understand it is the regulatory engine of our planet…How do we catch up? Answers to this question will need to come from many quarters; A powerful and strategic option to complement existing observation programs and infrastructure is Citizen Science. There has been significant and relevant discussion of the importance of Citizen Science to citizens and stakeholders. The missing effective question is sometimes what is the potential of citizen science for scientists? The answers for both scientists and society are: spatial coverage, remote locations, temporal coverage, event response, early detection of harmful processes, sufficient data volume for statistical analysis and identification of outliers, integrating local knowledge, data access in exchange for analysis (e.g. with industry) and cost-effective monitoring systems. Citizens can be involved in: instrument manufacture and maintenance, instrument deployment/sample collection, data collection and transmission, data analysis, data validation/verification, and proposals of new topics of research. Such opportunities are balanced by concern on the part of scientists about the quality, the consistency and the reliability of citizen observations and analyses. Experience working with citizen science groups continues to suggest that with proper training and mentoring, these issues can be addressed, understanding both benefits and limitations. How to do it- implementation and maintenance of citizen science: How to recruit, engage, train, and maintain Citizen Scientists. Data systems for acquisition, assessment, access, analysis, and visualisation of distributed data sources. Tools/methods for acquiring observations: Simple instruments, Smartphone Apps
McKinley, Duncan C.; Miller-Rushing, Abraham J.; Ballard, Heidi L.; Bonney, Rick; Brown, Hutch; Evans, Daniel M.; French, Rebecca A.; Parrish, Julia K.; Phillips, Tina B.; Ryan, Sean F.; Shanley, Lea A.; Shirk, Jennifer L.; Stepenuck, Kristine F.; Weltzin, Jake F.; Wiggins, Andrea; Boyle, Owen D.; Briggs, Russell D.; Chapin, Stuart F.; Hewitt, David A.; Preuss, Peter W.; Soukup, Michael A.
Citizen science has made substantive contributions to science for hundreds of years. More recently, it has contributed to many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has influenced natural resource management and environmental protection decisions and policies across the nation. Over the last 10 years, citizen science—participation by the public in a scientific project—has seen explosive growth in the United States, particularly in ecology, the environmental sciences, and related fields of inquiry. In this report, we explore the current use of citizen science in natural resource and environmental science and decision making in the United States and describe the investments organizations might make to benefit from citizen science.
Koch, Julian; Stisen, Simon
Citizen science opens new pathways that can complement traditional scientific practice. Intuition and reasoning often make humans more effective than computer algorithms in various realms of problem solving. In particular, a simple visual comparison of spatial patterns is a task where humans are often considered to be more reliable than computer algorithms. However, in practice, science still largely depends on computer based solutions, which inevitably gives benefits such as speed and the possibility to automatize processes. However, the human vision can be harnessed to evaluate the reliability of algorithms which are tailored to quantify similarity in spatial patterns. We established a citizen science project to employ the human perception to rate similarity and dissimilarity between simulated spatial patterns of several scenarios of a hydrological catchment model. In total, the turnout counts more than 2500 volunteers that provided over 43000 classifications of 1095 individual subjects. We investigate the capability of a set of advanced statistical performance metrics to mimic the human perception to distinguish between similarity and dissimilarity. Results suggest that more complex metrics are not necessarily better at emulating the human perception, but clearly provide auxiliary information that is valuable for model diagnostics. The metrics clearly differ in their ability to unambiguously distinguish between similar and dissimilar patterns which is regarded a key feature of a reliable metric. The obtained dataset can provide an insightful benchmark to the community to test novel spatial metrics.
Kullenberg, Christopher; Kasperowski, Dick
Context The concept of citizen science (CS) is currently referred to by many actors inside and outside science and research. Several descriptions of this purportedly new approach of science are often heard in connection with large datasets and the possibilities of mobilizing crowds outside science to assists with observations and classifications. However, other accounts refer to CS as a way of democratizing science, aiding concerned communities in creating data to influence policy and as a way of promoting political decision processes involving environment and health. Objective In this study we analyse two datasets (N = 1935, N = 633) retrieved from the Web of Science (WoS) with the aim of giving a scientometric description of what the concept of CS entails. We account for its development over time, and what strands of research that has adopted CS and give an assessment of what scientific output has been achieved in CS-related projects. To attain this, scientometric methods have been combined with qualitative approaches to render more precise search terms. Results Results indicate that there are three main focal points of CS. The largest is composed of research on biology, conservation and ecology, and utilizes CS mainly as a methodology of collecting and classifying data. A second strand of research has emerged through geographic information research, where citizens participate in the collection of geographic data. Thirdly, there is a line of research relating to the social sciences and epidemiology, which studies and facilitates public participation in relation to environmental issues and health. In terms of scientific output, the largest body of articles are to be found in biology and conservation research. In absolute numbers, the amount of publications generated by CS is low (N = 1935), but over the past decade a new and very productive line of CS based on digital platforms has emerged for the collection and classification of data. PMID:26766577
Citizen science projects offer opportunities for non-scientists to take part in scientific research. While their contribution to scientific data collection has been well documented, there is limited research on changes that may occur to their volunteer participants. In this study, we investigated (1) how volunteers’ attitudes towards science and beliefs in the nature of science changed over six months of participation in an astronomy-themed citizen science project and (2) how the level of project participation accounted for these changes. To measure attitudes towards science and beliefs about the nature of science, identical pre- and post-tests were used. We used pre-test data from 1,375 participants and post-test data collected from 175 participants. Responses were analyzed using the Rasch Rating Scale Model. The pre-test sample was used to create the Rasch scales for the two scientific literacy measures. For the pre/post-test comparisons, data from those who completed both tests were used. Fourteen participants who took the pre/post-tests were interviewed. Results show that overall scientific attitudes did not change, p = .812. However, we did find significant changes related towards two scientific attitude items about science in the news (positive change; p self-efficacy (negative change, p scale did not change much and this change was not related to any of our recorded project activity variables. The interviews suggest that the social aspect of the project is important to participants and the change in self-efficacy is not due to a lowering of esteem but rather a greater appreciation for what they have yet to learn.
Smith, A.; Lintott, C.; Bamford, S.; Fortson, L.
In July 2007 a team of astrophysicists created a web-based astronomy project called Galaxy Zoo in which members of the public were asked to classify galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey by their shape. Over the following year a community of more than 150,000 people classified each of the 1 million galaxies more than 50 times each. Four years later this community of 'citizen scientists' is more than 450,000 strong and is contributing their time and efforts to more than 10 Zooniverse projects each with its own science team and research case. With projects ranging from transcribing ancient greek texts (ancientlives.org) to lunar science (moonzoo.org) the challenges to the Zooniverse community have gone well beyond the relatively simple original Galaxy Zoo interface. Delivering a range of citizen science projects to a large web-based audience presents challenges on a number of fronts including interface design, data architecture/modelling and reduction techniques, web-infrastructure and software design. In this paper we will describe how the Zooniverse team (a collaboration of scientists, software developers and educators ) have developed tools and techniques to solve some of these issues.
Walker, C. E.; Pompea, S. M.
Citizen-science is a rewardingly inclusive way to bring awareness to the public on the disappearance of the starry night sky, its cause and solutions. Globe at Night (GaN) encourages citizen-scientists worldwide to record the brightness of the night sky. During ten-days per month of moonless evenings, children and adults match the appearance of a specific constellation with 7 star maps of progressively fainter stars found at www.globeatnight.org. They then submit their choice of star map in-situ using the "webapp" on a smart device. In eleven years of the program, over 160,000 observations from 180 countries have been contributed to a light pollution map. The GaN (open) database is a source of research projects. For example, students conducted research to understand the lesser long-nosed bats' avoidance of city center at night. With its analytical tools, Fieldscope will be a conduit for comparing GaN to other databases. On-the-fly mapping enables citizen-scientists to see observations immediately. There are 4 ways of taking measurements. The online app for data reporting is in 26 languages. STEM activities for young children and problem-based learning activities for older students were created to experience real-life scenarios: role-playing sea turtles hatching (misdirected by lights on shore) or analyzing an ISS image of Houston to estimate the wasted energy, cost and carbon footprint. In-situ and on-line workshops have been given on using GaN, as well as the activities. Our Facebook page exists to encourage dialogue and bring cutting edge news. To entice interest, we had monthly newsletters and serial podcasts starring the Dark Skies Crusader. GaN has been part of special campaigns like with the National Park Service, the National Geographic BioBlitz and Tucson in 2011. We have built a community of practitioners in various ways worldwide and have metrics on behavioral changes. To maintain the community and create new partnerships, we have teamed with Sci
Sensing capabilities, computing power, and data storage have grown rapidly and become increasingly ubiquitous. In 2012, the number of smartphones worldwide topped one billion, and it is expected to double by 2015. A growing segment of the population now has the ability to collect and share information instantly. Social media and crowdsourcing platforms help to amplify and focus online information sharing and collaboration. We have seen exiting uses of these new tools and approaches to foster broad public participation in scientific research, from classifying galaxies and collecting environmental data to collectively solving the structure of an AIDS-related enzyme through a protein-folding game. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), for example, is using social media and crowdsourcing to learn more about earthquakes. These techniques provide inexpensive and rapid data to augment and extend the capabilities provided by traditional monitoring techniques. A new report by the Wilson Center, Transforming Earthquake Detection and Science Through Citizen Seismology, describes these groundbreaking citizen science projects. These efforts include the Tweet Earthquake Dispatch, which uses an algorithm to provide seismologists with initial alerts of earthquakes felt around the globe via Twitter in less than two minutes. The report also examines the Quake Catcher Network, which equips the public with low-cost sensors to collect information on seismic activity, as well as Did You Feel It, which uses the Internet to survey individuals about their experiences in earthquakes, including location and extent of the damage. Projects like these, however, do not happen overnight. Citizen-based science projects at the federal level must navigate a web of practical, legal and policy considerations to make them a reality. Projects must take into account the limitations of the Privacy Act, advising people on how the information they contribute might be used and respecting fair information
Nemiroff, Robert J.; Bonnell, Jerry T.; Allen, Alice
Can popular astrophotography stimulate real astronomical discovery? Perhaps surprisingly, in some cases, the answer is yes. Several examples are given using the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) site as an example venue. One reason is angular -- popular wide and deep images sometimes complement professional images which typically span a more narrow field. Another reason is temporal -- an amateur is at the right place and time to take a unique and illuminating image. Additionally, popular venues can be informational -- alerting professionals to cutting-edge amateur astrophotography about which they might not have known previously. Methods of further encouraging this unusual brand of citizen science are considered.
Jisming-See, Shi-Wei; Brandon-Mong, Guo-Jie; Lim, Aik-Hean; Lim, Voon-Ching; Lee, Ping-Shin; Sing, Kong-Wah
Abstract Background Over the past 50 years, Southeast Asia has suffered the greatest losses of biodiversity of any tropical region in the world. Malaysia is a biodiversity hotspot in the heart of Southeast Asia with roughly the same number of mammal species, three times the number of butterfly species, but only 4% of the land area of Australia. Consequently, in Malaysia, there is an urgent need for biodiversity monitoring and also public engagement with wildlife to raise awareness of biodiversity loss. Citizen science is “on the rise” globally and can make valuable contributions to long-term biodiversity monitoring, but perhaps more importantly, involving the general public in science projects can raise public awareness and promote engagement. Butterflies are often the focus of citizen science projects due to their charisma and familiarity and are particularly valuable “ambassadors” of biodiversity conservation for public outreach. New information Here we present the data from our citizen science project, the first “Peninsular Malaysia Butterfly Count”. Participants were asked to go outdoors on June 6, 2015, and (non-lethally) sample butterfly legs for species identification through DNA barcoding. Fifty-seven citizens responded to our adverts and registered to take part in the butterfly count with many registering on behalf of groups. Collectively the participants sampled 220 butterfly legs from 26 mostly urban and suburban sampling localities. These included our university campus, a highschool, several public parks and private residences. On the basis of 192 usable DNA barcodes, 43 species were sampled by the participants. The most sampled species was Appias olferna, followed by Junonia orithya and Zizina otis. Twenty-two species were only sampled once, five were only sampled twice, and four were only sampled three times. Three DNA barcodes could not be assigned species names. The sampled butterflies revealed that widely distributed, cosmopolitan
Zevin, Michael; Gravity Spy
On September 14th 2015, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (aLIGO) made the first direct observation of gravitational waves and opened a new field of observational astronomy. However, being the most complicated and sensitve experiment ever undertaken in gravitational physics, aLIGO is susceptible to various sources of environmental and instrumental noise that hinder the search for more gravitational waves.Of particular concern are transient, non-Gaussian noise features known as glitches. Glitches can mimic true astrophysical gravitational waves, occur at a high enough frequency to be coherent between the two detectors, and generally worsen aLIGO's detection capabilities. The proper classification and charaterization of glitches is paramount in optimizing aLIGO's ability to detect gravitational waves. However, teaching computers to identify and morphologically classify these artifacts is exceedingly difficult.Human intuition has proven to be a useful tool in classifcation probelms such as this. Gravity Spy is an innovative, interdisciplinary project hosted by Zooniverse that combines aLIGO detector characterization, citizen science, machine learning, and social science. In this project, citizen scientists and computers will work together in a sybiotic relationship that leverages human pattern recognition and the ability of machine learning to process large amounts of data systematically: volunteers classify triggers from the aLIGO data steam that are constantly updated as aLIGO takes in new data, and these classifications are used to train machine learning algorithms which proceed to classify the bulk of aLIGO data and feed questionable glithces back to the users.In this talk, I will discuss the workflow and initial results of the Gravity Spy project with regard to aLIGO's future observing runs and highlight the potential of such citizen science projects in promoting nascent fields such as gravitational wave astrophysics.
van Vliet, Arnold J. H.; Bron, Wichertje A.; Mulder, Sara
In the scientific community, the importance of communication to society is often underestimated. Scientists and scientific organisations often lack the skills to organise such communication effectively. The Dutch citizen science phenology network Nature's Calendar has been successful in communicating to the general public via numerous newspaper articles, television appearances, presentations, websites and social media. We refer to these publications as societal publications. Due to active communication to mass media, we frequently reach millions of people. This communication helped us to involve thousands of volunteers in recording the timing of phenological events like the start of flowering, leaf unfolding and bird migration, but also several health-related events like hay fever symptoms and tick bites. In this paper, we analyse and present our experiences with the Nature's Calendar project regarding societal publications. Based on this analysis, we explain the importance of societal publications for citizen science projects and scientists in general, and we show how scientists can increase the newsworthiness of scientific information and what factors and activities can increase the chances of media paying attention to this news. We show that societal publications help phenological networks by facilitating the recruitment, retention and instruction of observers. Furthermore, they stimulate the generation of new ideas and partners that lead to an increase in knowledge, awareness and behavioural change of the general public or specific stakeholders. They make projects, and scientists involved, better known to the public and increase their credibility and authority. Societal publications can catalyse the production of new publications, thereby enforcing the previous mentioned points.
Citizen science can be more than simply crowdsourcing data. We demonstrated that paper prototyping was a feasible and useful technique for codesigning an application with members of the public. Furthermore, workshop feedback indicated a high level of support for citizen science, provided users gained simple, personalised feedback. Further research is required to determine how codesign processes influence subsequent participant recruitment and engagement in citizen science projects.
Fairclough, D V; Brown, J I; Carlish, B J; Crisafulli, B M; Keay, I S
Citizen science offers a potentially cost-effective way for researchers to obtain large data sets over large spatial scales. However, it is not used widely to support biological data collection for fisheries stock assessments. Overfishing of demersal fishes along 1,000 km of the west Australian coast led to restrictive management to recover stocks. This diminished opportunities for scientists to cost-effectively monitor stock recovery via fishery-dependent sampling, particularly of the recreational fishing sector. As fishery-independent methods would be too expensive and logistically-challenging to implement, a citizen science program, Send us your skeletons (SUYS), was developed. SUYS asks recreational fishers to voluntarily donate fish skeletons of important species from their catch to allow biological data extraction by scientists to produce age structures and conduct stock assessment analyses. During SUYS, recreational fisher involvement, sample sizes and spatial and temporal coverage of samples have dramatically increased, while the collection cost per skeleton has declined substantially. SUYS is ensuring sampling objectives for stock assessments are achieved via fishery-dependent collection and reliable and timely scientific advice can be provided to managers. The program is also encouraging public ownership through involvement in the monitoring process, which can lead to greater acceptance of management decisions.
Morais, Alessandra M. M.; Raddick, Jordan; Coelho dos Santos, Rafael D.
Recent technological advances allowed the creation and use of internet-based systems where many users can collaborate gathering and sharing information for specific or general purposes: social networks, e-commerce review systems, collaborative knowledge systems, etc. Since most of the data collected in these systems is user-generated, understanding of the motivations and general behavior of users is a very important issue. Of particular interest are citizen science projects, where users without scientific training are asked for collaboration labeling and classifying information (either automatically by giving away idle computer time or manually by actually seeing data and providing information about it). Understanding behavior of users of those types of data collection systems may help increase the involvement of the users, categorize users accordingly to different parameters, facilitate their collaboration with the systems, design better user interfaces, and allow better planning and deployment of similar projects and systems. Behavior of those users could be estimated through analysis of their collaboration track: registers of which user did what and when can be easily and unobtrusively collected in several different ways, the simplest being a log of activities. In this paper we present some results on the visualization and characterization of almost 150.000 users with more than 80.000.000 collaborations with a citizen science project - Galaxy Zoo I, which asked users to classify galaxies' images. Basic visualization techniques are not applicable due to the number of users, so techniques to characterize users' behavior based on feature extraction and clustering are used.
Scheuch, Martin; Panhuber, Tanja; Winter, Silvia; Kelemen-Finan, Julia; Bardy-Durchhalter, Manfred; Kapelari, Suzanne
Citizen science is a rapidly growing emerging field in science and it is gaining importance in education. Therefore, this study was conducted to document the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of biology teachers who participated in a citizen science project involving observation of wild bees and identification of butterflies. In this paper,…
Buxner, Sanlyn; Bracey, Georgia; Glushko, Anna; Bakerman, Maya; Gay, Pamela L.; CosmoQuest Team
The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility invites the public and classrooms to participate in NASA Science Mission Directorate related research that leads to publishable results and data catalogues. One of the main goals of the project is to support professional scientists in doing science and the general public--including parents, children, teachers, and students--in learning and doing science. Through the effort, the CosmoQuest team is developing a variety of supports and opportunities to support the doing and teaching of science. To inform our efforts, we have implemented a set of needs surveys to assess the needs of our different audiences. These surveys are being used to understand the interests, motivations, resources, challenges and demographics of our growing CosmoQuest community and others interested in engaging in citizen science projects. The surveys include those for teachers, parents, adult learners, planetarium professionals, subject matter experts (SMEs), and the general public. We will share the results of these surveys and discuss the implications of the results for broader education and outreach programs.
Hill, Andrew; Guralnick, Robert; Smith, Arfon; Sallans, Andrew; Rosemary Gillespie; Denslow, Michael; Gross, Joyce; Murrell, Zack; Tim Conyers; Oboyski, Peter; Ball, Joan; Thomer, Andrea; Prys-Jones, Robert; de Torre, Javier; Kociolek, Patrick; Fortson, Lucy
Legacy data from natural history collections contain invaluable and irreplaceable information about biodiversity in the recent past, providing a baseline for detecting change and forecasting the future of biodiversity on a human-dominated planet. However, these data are often not available in formats that facilitate use and synthesis. New approaches are needed to enhance the rates of digitization and data quality improvement. Notes from Nature provides one such novel approach by asking citizen scientists to help with transcription tasks. The initial web-based prototype of Notes from Nature is soon widely available and was developed collaboratively by biodiversity scientists, natural history collections staff, and experts in citizen science project development, programming and visualization. This project brings together digital images representing different types of biodiversity records including ledgers , herbarium sheets and pinned insects from multiple projects and natural history collections. Experts in developing web-based citizen science applications then designed and built a platform for transcribing textual data and metadata from these images. The end product is a fully open source web transcription tool built using the latest web technologies. The platform keeps volunteers engaged by initially explaining the scientific importance of the work via a short orientation, and then providing transcription "missions" of well defined scope, along with dynamic feedback, interactivity and rewards. Transcribed records, along with record-level and process metadata, are provided back to the institutions. While the tool is being developed with new users in mind, it can serve a broad range of needs from novice to trained museum specialist. Notes from Nature has the potential to speed the rate of biodiversity data being made available to a broad community of users.
Teng, William; Albayrak, Arif
Citizen science (or crowdsourcing) has drawn much high-level recent and ongoing interest and support. It is poised to be applied, beyond the by-now fairly familiar use of, e.g., Twitter for natural hazards monitoring, to science research, such as augmenting the validation of NASA earth science mission data. This interest and support is seen in the 2014 National Plan for Civil Earth Observations, the 2015 White House forum on citizen science and crowdsourcing, the ongoing Senate Bill 2013 (Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2015), the recent (August 2016) Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) call for public participation in its newly-established Citizen Science Domain Working Group, and NASA's initiation of a new Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program (along with its first citizen science-focused solicitation for proposals). Over the past several years, we have been exploring the feasibility of extracting from the Twitter data stream useful information for application to NASA precipitation research, with both "passive" and "active" participation by the twitterers. The Twitter database, which recently passed its tenth anniversary, is potentially a rich source of real-time and historical global information for science applications. The time-varying set of "precipitation" tweets can be thought of as an organic network of rain gauges, potentially providing a widespread view of precipitation occurrence. The validation of satellite precipitation estimates is challenging, because many regions lack data or access to data, especially outside of the U.S. and in remote and developing areas. Mining the Twitter stream could augment these validation programs and, potentially, help tune existing algorithms. Our ongoing work, though exploratory, has resulted in key components for processing and managing tweets, including the capabilities to filter the Twitter stream in real time, to extract location information, to filter for exact phrases, and to plot tweet distributions. The
Kridelbaugh, Donna M.
Citizen science is becoming even more accessible to the general public through technological advances in the development of mobile applications, facilitating information dissemination and data collection. With the advent of “big data,” many citizen-science projects designed to help researchers sift through piles of research data now exist entirely online, either in the form of playing a game or via other digital avenues. Recent trends in citizen science have also focused on “crowdsourcing” so...
Full Text Available Public participation theory assumes that empowering communities leads to enduring support for new initiatives. The New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy, approved in 2000, embraces this assumption and includes goals for community involvement in resolving threats to native flora and fauna. Over the last 20 years, community-based ecological restoration groups have proliferated, with between 600 and 4000 identified. Many of these groups control invasive mammals, and often include protection of native species and species reintroductions as goals. Such activities involve the groups in “wicked” problems with uncertain biological and social outcomes, plus technical challenges for implementing and measuring results. The solution might be to develop a citizen science approach, although this requires institutional support. We conducted a web-based audit of 50 community groups participating in ecological restoration projects in northern New Zealand. We found great variation in the quality of information provided by the groups, with none identifying strategic milestones and progress towards them. We concluded that, at best, many group members are accidental scientists rather than citizen scientists. Furthermore, the way community efforts are reflected in biodiversity responses is often unclear. The situation may be improved with a new approach to data gathering, training, and analyses.
The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a powerful tool for finding nearby brown dwarfs and searching for new planets in the outer solar system, especially with the incorporation of NEOWISE and NEOWISE Reactivation data. However, so far, searches for brown dwarfs in WISE data have yet to take advantage of the full depth of the WISE images. To efficiently search this unexplored space via visual inspection, we have launched anew citizen science project, called "Backyard Worlds: Planet 9," which asks volunteers to examine short animations composed of difference images constructed from time-resolved WISE co adds. We report the first new substellar object discovered by this project, WISEA J110125.95+540052.8, a T5.5 brown dwarf located approximately 34 pc from the Sun with a total proper motion of approx.0. "7/ yr. WISEA J110125.95+540052.8 has a WISE W2 magnitude of W2 = 15.37+/- 0.09; our sensitivity to this source demonstrates the ability of citizen scientists to identify moving objects via visual inspection that are 0.9 mag fainter than the W2 single-exposure sensitivity, a threshold that has limited prior motion-based brown dwarf searches with WISE.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Comparative genomics, or the study of the relationships of genome structure and function across different species, offers a powerful tool for studying evolution, annotating genomes, and understanding the causes of various genetic disorders. However, aligning multiple sequences of DNA, an essential intermediate step for most types of analyses, is a difficult computational task. In parallel, citizen science, an approach that takes advantage of the fact that the human brain is exquisitely tuned to solving specific types of problems, is becoming increasingly popular. There, instances of hard computational problems are dispatched to a crowd of non-expert human game players and solutions are sent back to a central server. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We introduce Phylo, a human-based computing framework applying "crowd sourcing" techniques to solve the Multiple Sequence Alignment (MSA problem. The key idea of Phylo is to convert the MSA problem into a casual game that can be played by ordinary web users with a minimal prior knowledge of the biological context. We applied this strategy to improve the alignment of the promoters of disease-related genes from up to 44 vertebrate species. Since the launch in November 2010, we received more than 350,000 solutions submitted from more than 12,000 registered users. Our results show that solutions submitted contributed to improving the accuracy of up to 70% of the alignment blocks considered. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that, combined with classical algorithms, crowd computing techniques can be successfully used to help improving the accuracy of MSA. More importantly, we show that an NP-hard computational problem can be embedded in casual game that can be easily played by people without significant scientific training. This suggests that citizen science approaches can be used to exploit the billions of "human-brain peta-flops" of computation that are spent every day playing games
Ansari, Rafat R.; Schubert, Terry
We present a new, low-cost approach, based on volunteer pilots conducting high-resolution aerial imaging, to help document the onset, growth, and outbreak of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and related water quality issues in central and western Lake Erie. In this model study, volunteer private pilots acting as citizen scientists frequently flew over 200 mi of Lake Erie coastline, its islands, and freshwater estuaries, taking high-quality aerial photographs and videos. The photographs were taken in the nadir (vertical) position in red, green, and blue (RGB) and near-infrared (NIR) every 5 s with rugged, commercially available built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) cameras. The high-definition (HD) videos in 1080p format were taken continuously in an oblique forward direction. The unobstructed, georeferenced, high-resolution images, and HD videos can provide an early warning of ensuing HAB events to coastal communities and freshwater resource managers. The scientists and academic researchers can use the data to compliment a collection of in situ water measurements, matching satellite imagery, and help develop advanced airborne instrumentation, and validation of their algorithms. This data may help develop empirical models, which may lead to the next steps in predicting a HAB event as some watershed observed events changed the water quality such as particle size, sedimentation, color, mineralogy, and turbidity delivered to the Lake site. This paper shows the efficacy and scalability of citizen science (CS) aerial imaging as a complimentary tool for rapid emergency response in HABs monitoring, land and vegetation management, and scientific studies. This study can serve as a model for monitoring/management of freshwater and marine aquatic systems.
Buytaert, W.; Zulkafi, Z.; Grainger, S.; Acosta, L.; Alemie, T.C.; Bastiaensen, J.; Bièvre, de B.; Bhusal, J.; Clark, J.; Dewulf, A.R.P.J.; Foggin, M.; Hannah, D.M.; Hergarten, C.; Isaeva, A.; Karpouzoglou, T.D.; Pandeya, B.; Paudel, D.; Sharma, K.; Steenhuis, T.S.; Tilahun, S.; Hecken, van G.; Zhumanova, M.
The participation of the general public in the research design, data collection and interpretation process together with scientists is often referred to as citizen science. While citizen science itself has existed since the start of scientific practice, developments in sensing technology, data
Grier, Jennifer A.; Gay, Pamela L.; Buxner, Sanlyn; Noel-Storr, Jacob; CosmoQuest Team
NASA Science Mission Directorate missions and research return more data than subject matter experts (SMEs - scientists and engineers) can effectively utilize. Citizen scientist volunteers represent a robust pool of energy and talent that SMEs can draw upon to advance projects that require the processing of large quantities of images, and other data. The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility has developed roles and pathways to engage SMEs in ways that advance the education of the general public while producing science results publishable in peer-reviewed journals, including through the CosmoQuest Facility Small Grants Program and CosmoAcademy. Our Facility Small Grants Program is open to SMEs to fund them to work with CosmoQuest and engage the public in analysis. Ideal projects have a specific and well-defined need for additional eyes and minds to conduct basic analysis and data collection (such as crater counting, identifying lineaments, etc.) Projects selected will undergo design and implementation as Citizen Science Portals, and citizen scientists will be recruited and trained to complete the project. Users regularly receive feedback on the quality of their data. Data returned will be analyzed by the SME and the CQ Science Team for joint publication in a peer-reviewed journal. SMEs are also invited to consider presenting virtual learning courses in the subjects of their choice in CosmoAcademy. The audience for CosmoAcademy are lifelong-learners and education professionals. Classes are capped at 10, 15, or 20 students. CosmoAcademy can also produce video material to archive seminars long-term. SMEs function as advisors in many other areas of CosmoQuest, including the Educator's Zone (curricular materials for K-12 teachers), Science Fair Projects, and programs that partner to produce material for podcasts and planetaria. Visit the CosmoQuest website at cosmoquest.org to learn more, and to investigate current opportunities to engage with us. CosmoQuest is funded
Walker, Constance E.
With half of the world's population now living in cities, many urban dwellers have never experienced the wonderment of pristinely dark skies and maybe never will. Light pollution is obscuring people's long-standing natural heritage to view stars. The GLOBE at Night program (www.globeatnight.org) is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by encouraging everyone everywhere to measure local levels of night sky brightness and contribute observations online to a world map. In the last 5 years, GLOBE at Night has been the most productive public light pollution monitoring campaign, collecting over 52,000 observations in a two-week period annually. This year, during the moonless two weeks in March, the campaign set a record high of over 17,800 measurements from people in 86 countries. Foundational resources are available to facilitate the public's participation in promoting dark skies awareness. The GLOBE at Night website explains clearly the simple-to-participate-in 5 step program and offers background information and interactive games on key concepts. The program has been expanded to include trainings of the general public, but especially educators in schools, museums and science centers, in unique ways. Education kits for dark skies awareness have been distributed at the training workshops. The kit includes material for a light shielding demonstration, a digital Sky Quality Meter and ``Dark Skies Rangers'' activities. The activities are on how unshielded light wastes energy, how light pollution affects wildlife and how you can participate in a citizen-science star-hunt like GLOBE at Night. In addition, projects are being developed for what to do with the data once it is taken. The GLOBE at Night data from different years can be compared to look for trends over time or with population density maps. The data can also be used to search for dark sky oases or to monitor lighting ordinance compliance. Most recently
Michelle L. Johnson; Lindsay K. Campbell; Erika S. Svendsen; Philip. Silva
Volunteer programs can benefit from a deeper understanding of the motivations and experiences of people engaged in citizen science. Research to date has studied motivations of citizen scientists and tree-planting volunteers. Less work has focused on tree-monitoring volunteers, a role that is rapidly increasing as more cities involve the public in monitoring the urban...
NASA's Science Mission Directorate has invested in several citizen scinece programs with the goal of addressing specific scientific goals which will lead to publishable results. For a complete list of these programs, go to https://science.nasa.gov/citizenscientists. In this paper, we will look at preliminary evalution of the impact of these programs, both in the production of scientific papers and the participation of the general public.
Ben Lamine, Emna; Di Franco, Antonio; Romdhane, Mohamed Salah; Francour, Patrice
Resource monitoring is a key issue in ecosystem management especially for marine protected areas (MPAs), where information on the composition and structure of fish assemblages is crucial to design a sound management plan. Data on fish assemblage are usually collected using Underwater Visual Censuses (UVC). However, fish assemblages monitoring in MPAs usually calls for considerable resources in terms of costs, time and technical/scientific skills. Financial resources and trained scientific divers may, however, not be available in certain geographical areas, that are thus understudied. Therefore, involving citizen volunteer divers in fish assemblage monitoring and adopting easy-to-use underwater visual census methods could be an effective way to collect crucial data. Citizen science can be used only if it can provide information that is consistent with that collected using standard scientific monitoring. Here, we aim to: 1) compare the consistency of results from a Standard scientific UVC (S-UVC) and an Easy-to-use UVC (E-UVC) method in assessing fish assemblage spatial variability, and 2) test the consistency of data collected by Scientific Divers (SD) and Scientifically-Trained Volunteer divers (STV), using E-UVC. We used, in two consecutive years, three Tunisian future Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and adjacent areas as case studies. E-UVC and S-UVC data were consistent in highlighting the same spatial patterns for the three MPAs (between MPAs and, inside and outside each one). No significant difference was recorded between data collected by SD or STV. Our results suggest that E-UVC can provide information representing simplified proxies for describing fish assemblages and can therefore be a valuable tool for fish monitoring by citizen divers in understudied areas. This evidence could foster citizen science as an effective tool to raise environmental awareness and involve stakeholders in resource management.
Rosenthal, I.; Byrnes, J.; Cavanaugh, K. C.; Haupt, A. J.; Trouille, L.; Bell, T. W.; Rassweiler, A.; Pérez-Matus, A.; Assis, J.
Researchers undertaking long term, large-scale ecological analyses face significant challenges for data collection and processing. Crowdsourcing via citizen science can provide an efficient method for analyzing large data sets. However, many scientists have raised questions about the quality of data collected by citizen scientists. Here we use Floating-Forests (http://floatingforests.org), a citizen science platform for creating a global time series of giant kelp abundance, to show that ensemble classifications of satellite data can ensure data quality. Citizen scientists view satellite images of coastlines and classify kelp forests by tracing all visible patches of kelp. Each image is classified by fifteen citizen scientists before being retired. To validate citizen science results, all fifteen classifications are converted to a raster and overlaid on a calibration dataset generated from previous studies. Results show that ensemble classifications from citizen scientists are consistently accurate when compared to calibration data. Given that all source images were acquired by Landsat satellites, we expect this consistency to hold across all regions. At present, we have over 6000 web-based citizen scientists' classifications of almost 2.5 million images of kelp forests in California and Tasmania. These results are not only useful for remote sensing of kelp forests, but also for a wide array of applications that combine citizen science with remote sensing.
Full Text Available Citizen science projects have the potential to advance science by increasing the volume and variety of data, as well as innovation. Yet this potential has not been fully realized, in part because citizen science data are typically not widely shared and reused. To address this and related challenges, we built CitSci.org (see www.citsci.org, a customizable platform that allows users to collect and generate diverse datasets. We hope that CitSci.org will ultimately increase discoverability and confidence in citizen science observations, encouraging scientists to use such data in their own scientific research.
Wang, Yiwei; Kaplan, Nicole; Newman, Greg; Scarpino, Russell
Citizen science projects have the potential to advance science by increasing the volume and variety of data, as well as innovation. Yet this potential has not been fully realized, in part because citizen science data are typically not widely shared and reused. To address this and related challenges, we built CitSci.org (see www.citsci.org), a customizable platform that allows users to collect and generate diverse datasets. We hope that CitSci.org will ultimately increase discoverability and confidence in citizen science observations, encouraging scientists to use such data in their own scientific research.
MacDonald, E. A.; Case, N. A.; Clayton, J. H.; Hall, M. K.; Heavner, M.; Lalone, N.; Patel, K. G.; Tapia, A.
A new, citizen science-based, aurora observing and reporting platform has been developed with the primary aim of collecting auroral observations made by the general public to further improve the modeling of the aurora. In addition, the real-time ability of this platform facilitates the combination of citizen science observations with auroral oval models to improve auroral visibility nowcasting. Aurorasaurus provides easily understandable aurora information, basic gamification, and real-time location-based notification of verified aurora activity to engage citizen scientists. The Aurorasaurus project is one of only a handful of space weather citizen science projects and can provide useful results for the space weather and citizen science communities. Early results are promising with over 2000 registered users submitting over 1000 aurora observations and verifying over 1700 aurora sightings posted on Twitter.
Full Text Available Road Watch in the Pass is a citizen-science project that engages local citizens in reporting wildlife observations along a 44-km stretch of Highway 3 through Crowsnest Pass in southwestern Alberta, Canada. The numbers of wildlife vehicle collisions and a recent proposal to expand the highway have raised concerns from both human safety and wildlife conservation perspectives. Through the use of a web-based GIS, interested citizens can contribute information that will be instrumental in making final decisions concerning measures to mitigate the effects of highway expansion. Currently, 58 people have contributed over 713 observations to Road Watch. We performed a preliminary comparison of 11 months of Road Watch observations and wildlife mortality data for the same time period to demonstrate that the use of citizen science not only augments more conventional approaches, but also results in the emergence of new knowledge and insights. A Kappa index of agreement of 14% indicates poor agreement between the data sets, highlighting that wildlife successfully cross the highway in areas not identified by the wildlife mortality data. This has important implications for design and mitigation efforts for Highway 3 and other roadways.
Fireballs in the Sky is an innovative Australian citizen science program that connects the public with the research of the Desert Fireball Network (DFN). This research aims to understand the early workings of the solar system, and Fireballs in the Sky invites people around the world to learn about this science, contributing fireball sightings via a user-friendly augmented reality mobile app. Tens of thousands of people have downloaded the app world-wide and participated in the science of meteoritics. The Fireballs in the Sky app allows users to get involved with the Desert Fireball Network research, supplementing DFN observations and providing enhanced coverage by reporting their own meteor sightings to DFN scientists. Fireballs in the Sky reports are used to track the trajectories of meteors - from their orbit in space to where they might have landed on Earth. Led by Phil Bland at Curtin University in Australia, the Desert Fireball Network (DFN) uses automated observatories across Australia to triangulate trajectories of meteorites entering the atmosphere, determine pre-entry orbits, and pinpoint their fall positions. Each observatory is an autonomous intelligent imaging system, taking 1000 by 36 megapixel all-sky images throughout the night, using neural network algorithms to recognize events. They are capable of operating for 12 months in a harsh environment, and store all imagery collected. We developed a completely automated software pipeline for data reduction, and built a supercomputer database for storage, allowing us to process our entire archive. The DFN currently stands at 50 stations distributed across the Australian continent, covering an area of 2.5 million square kilometers. Working with DFN's partners at NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, the team is expanding the network beyond Australia to locations around the world. Fireballs in the Sky allows a growing public base to learn about and participate in this exciting research.
Day, B. H.; Bland, P.; Sayers, R.
Fireballs in the Sky is an innovative Australian citizen science program that connects the public with the research of the Desert Fireball Network (DFN). This research aims to understand the early workings of the solar system, and Fireballs in the Sky invites people around the world to learn about this science, contributing fireball sightings via a user-friendly augmented reality mobile app. Tens of thousands of people have downloaded the app world-wide and participated in the science of meteoritics. The Fireballs in the Sky app allows users to get involved with the Desert Fireball Network research, supplementing DFN observations and providing enhanced coverage by reporting their own meteor sightings to DFN scientists. Fireballs in the Sky reports are used to track the trajectories of meteors - from their orbit in space to where they might have landed on Earth. Led by Phil Bland at Curtin University in Australia, the Desert Fireball Network (DFN) uses automated observatories across Australia to triangulate trajectories of meteorites entering the atmosphere, determine pre-entry orbits, and pinpoint their fall positions. Each observatory is an autonomous intelligent imaging system, taking 1000×36Megapixel all-sky images throughout the night, using neural network algorithms to recognize events. They are capable of operating for 12 months in a harsh environment, and store all imagery collected. We developed a completely automated software pipeline for data reduction, and built a supercomputer database for storage, allowing us to process our entire archive. The DFN currently stands at 50 stations distributed across the Australian continent, covering an area of 2.5 million km^2. Working with DFN's partners at NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, the team is expanding the network beyond Australia to locations around the world. Fireballs in the Sky allows a growing public base to learn about and participate in this exciting research.
Parrish, Julia K; Burgess, Hillary; Weltzin, Jake F; Fortson, Lucy; Wiggins, Andrea; Simmons, Brooke
Citizen science is a growing phenomenon. With millions of people involved and billions of in-kind dollars contributed annually, this broad extent, fine grain approach to data collection should be garnering enthusiastic support in the mainstream science and higher education communities. However, many academic researchers demonstrate distinct biases against the use of citizen science as a source of rigorous information. To engage the public in scientific research, and the research community in the practice of citizen science, a mutual understanding is needed of accepted quality standards in science, and the corresponding specifics of project design and implementation when working with a broad public base. We define a science-based typology focused on the degree to which projects deliver the type(s) and quality of data/work needed to produce valid scientific outcomes directly useful in science and natural resource management. Where project intent includes direct contribution to science and the public is actively involved either virtually or hands-on, we examine the measures of quality assurance (methods to increase data quality during the design and implementation phases of a project) and quality control (post hoc methods to increase the quality of scientific outcomes). We suggest that high quality science can be produced with massive, largely one-off, participation if data collection is simple and quality control includes algorithm voting, statistical pruning and/or computational modeling. Small to mid-scale projects engaging participants in repeated, often complex, sampling can advance quality through expert-led training and well-designed materials, and through independent verification. Both approaches - simplification at scale and complexity with care - generate more robust science outcomes.
van Vliet, Arnold J H; Bron, Wichertje A; Mulder, Sara
In the scientific community, the importance of communication to society is often underestimated. Scientists and scientific organisations often lack the skills to organise such communication effectively. The Dutch citizen science phenology network Nature's Calendar has been successful in communicating to the general public via numerous newspaper articles, television appearances, presentations, websites and social media. We refer to these publications as societal publications. Due to active communication to mass media, we frequently reach millions of people. This communication helped us to involve thousands of volunteers in recording the timing of phenological events like the start of flowering, leaf unfolding and bird migration, but also several health-related events like hay fever symptoms and tick bites. In this paper, we analyse and present our experiences with the Nature's Calendar project regarding societal publications. Based on this analysis, we explain the importance of societal publications for citizen science projects and scientists in general, and we show how scientists can increase the news worthiness of scientific information and what factors and activities can increase the chances of media paying attention to this news. We show that societal publications help phenological networks by facilitating the recruitment, retention and instruction of observers. Furthermore, they stimulate the generation of new ideas and partners that lead to an increase in knowledge, awareness and behavioural change of the general public or specific stakeholders. They make projects, and scientists involved, better known to the public and increase their credibility and authority. Societal publications can catalyse the production of new publications, thereby enforcing the previous mentioned points.
Hadj-Hammou, Jeneen; Loiselle, Steven; Ophof, Daniel; Thornhill, Ian
While the role of citizen science in engaging the public and providing large-scale datasets has been demonstrated, the nature of and potential for this science to supplement environmental monitoring efforts by government agencies has not yet been fully explored. To this end, the present study investigates the complementarity of a citizen science programme to agency monitoring of water quality. The Environment Agency (EA) is the governmental public body responsible for, among other duties, man...
Jones, T.; Parrish, J.; MacCready, P.; Peterson, W. T.; Bjorkstedt, E.; Bond, N. A.; Ballance, L. T.; Bowes, V.; Hipfner, J. M.; Lindquist, K.; Lindsey, J.; Nevins, H. M.; Burgess, H. K.; Robertson, R.; Roletto, J.; Wilson, L.; Joyce, T. W.; Harvey, J.
Citizen science data collection is a powerful tool for documenting mass mortality events, as they often occur without warning and can be extensive in space, precluding standard methods of data collection. The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) is one such citizen science program that specializes in the collection of information on beachcast seabird abundance and identity. Using the COASST dataset, in combination with federal monitoring data and novel modeling techniques, we investigated the 2014/15 mass mortality event of Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus), a small zooplanktivorous seabird, that occurred during the largest marine heatwave (MHW) ever recorded - the NE Pacific MHW of 2014-2016. Estimated at 275,000-530,000 birds, or 11% of the global adult population, and spanning 2,000 km of the North American Pacific coastline, this marine bird die-off is among the largest ever recorded. Carcass deposition followed an effective reduction in the energy content of zooplankton, coincident with the loss of cold-water foraging habitat caused by the intrusion of the NE Pacific MHW. Models examining interannual variability in effort-controlled carcass abundance (2001-2014) identified the biomass of lipid-poor zooplankton as the primary predictor of increased carcass abundance, suggesting that the relative abundance of smaller, lipid-poor zooplankton is a strong predictor of Cassin's Auklets overwinter survival. Furthermore, dispersing Cassin's Auklets were likely compressed into a nearshore band of upwelled water, and ultimately died from starvation following the shift in zooplankton composition associated with the onshore transport of the NE Pacific MHW. The information regarding the magnitude of this event, as well as its causal mechanism, comes as a direct result of rigorous data collection by citizen science volunteers, demonstrating that citizen science can, and does, contribute to our understanding of how climate change is altering marine
Sarah E. Council
Full Text Available The field of citizen science is exploding and offers not only a great way to engage the general public in science literacy through primary research, but also an avenue for teaching professionals to engage their students in meaningful community research experiences. Though this field is expanding, there are many hurdles for researchers and participants, as well as challenges for teaching professionals who want to engage their students. Here we highlight one of our projects that engaged many citizens in Raleigh, NC, and across the world, and we use this as a case study to highlight ways to engage citizens in all kinds of research. Through the use of numerous tools to engage the public, we gathered citizen scientists to study skin microbes and their associated odors, and we offer valuable ideas for teachers to tap into resources for their own students and potential citizen-science projects.
Wald, D. J.; Dewey, J. W.; Atkinson, G. M.; Worden, C. B.; Quitoriano, V. P. R.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) "Did You Feel It?" (DYFI) system, in operation since 1999, is an automated approach for rapidly collecting macroseismic intensity data from internet users' shaking and damage reports and generating intensity maps immediately following earthquakes felt around the globe. As with any citizen science project, a significant component of the DYFI system is public awareness and participation in the immediate aftermath of any widely felt earthquake, allowing the public and the USGS to exchange valuable post-earthquake information. The data collected are remarkably robust and useful, as indicated by the range of peer-reviewed literature that rely on these citizen-science intensity reports. A Google Scholar search results in 14,700 articles citing DYFI, a number of which rely exclusively on these data. Though focused on topics of earthquake seismology (including shaking attenuation and relationships with damage), other studies cover social media use in disasters, human risk perception, earthquake-induced landslides, rapid impact assessment, emergency response, and science education. DYFI data have also been analyzed for non-earthquake events, including explosions, aircraft sonic booms, and even bolides and DYFI is now one of the best data sources from which to study induced earthquakes. Yet, DYFI was designed primarily as an operational system to rapidly assess the effects of earthquakes for situational awareness. Oftentimes, DYFI data are the only data available pertaining to shaking levels for much of the United States. As such, DYFI provides site-specific constraints of the shaking levels that feed directly into ShakeMap; thus, these data are readily available to emergency managers and responders, the media, and the general public. As an early adopter of web-based citizen science and having worked out many kinks in the process, DYFI developers have provided guidance on many other citizen-science endeavors across a wide range of
In the Global Ozone (GO3) Project students measure ground-level ozone on a continuous basis and upload their results to a global network used by atmospheric scientists and schools. Students learn important concepts such as chemical measurement methods; instrumentation; calibration; data acquisition using computers; data quality; statistics; data analysis and graphing; posting of data to the web; the chemistry of air pollution; stratospheric ozone depletion and global climate change. Students collaborate with researchers and other students globally in the GO3 network. Wilson K-8 School is located in a suburban area in Pima County, Arizona. Throughout the year we receive high ozone alert days. Prior to joining the GO3 project, my students were unaware of air pollution alerts, risks and causes. In the past when Pima County issued alerts to the school, they were posted on signs around the school. No explanation was provided to the students and the signs were often left up for days. This discounted the potential health effects of the situation, resulting in the alerts effectively being ignored. The GO3 project is transforming both my students and our school community. Now my students are: Performing science research Utilizing technology and increasing their skills Collaborating in a responsible manner on the global GO3 social network Communicating their work to the community Issuing their own ozone alerts to their school Advocating for actions that will improve air quality My students participation in this citizen science project is creating a more cognizant and active community in regards to air pollution.
Vallabh, Priya; Lotz-Sisitka, Heila; O'Donoghue, Rob; Schudel, Ingrid
The ever-widening scope and range of global change and interconnected systemic risks arising from people-environment relationships (social-ecological risks) appears to be increasing concern among, and involvement of, citizens in an increasingly diversified number of citizen science projects responding to these risks. We examined the relationship between epistemic cultures in citizen science projects and learning potential related to matters of concern. We then developed a typology of purposes and a citizen science epistemic-cultures heuristic and mapped 56 projects in southern Africa using this framework. The purpose typology represents the range of knowledge-production purposes, ranging from laboratory science to social learning, whereas the epistemic-cultures typology is a relational representation of scientist and citizen participation and their approach to knowledge production. Results showed an iterative relationship between matters of fact and matters of concern across the projects; the nexus of citizens' engagement in knowledge-production activities varied. The knowledge-production purposes informed and shaped the epistemic cultures of all the sampled citizen science projects, which in turn influenced the potential for learning within each project. Through a historical review of 3 phases in a long-term river health-monitoring project, we found that it is possible to evolve the learning curve of citizen science projects. This evolution involved the development of scientific water monitoring tools, the parallel development of pedagogic practices supporting monitoring activities, and situated engagement around matters of concern within social activism leading to learning-led change. We conclude that such evolutionary processes serve to increase potential for learning and are necessary if citizen science is to contribute to wider restructuring of the epistemic culture of science under conditions of expanding social-ecological risk. © 2016 Society for
Dean, Angela J; Church, Emma K; Loder, Jenn; Fielding, Kelly S; Wilson, Kerrie A
Citizen science programs enable community involvement in scientific research. In addition to fostering greater science literacy, some citizen science programs aim to foster engagement in environmental issues. However, few data are available to indicate whether and how citizen science programs can achieve greater environmental engagement. We survey individuals choosing to attend one of seventeen reef citizen science events and examine the extent to which attendees reported three indicators of greater environmental engagement: (i) willingness to share information, (ii) increased support for marine conservation and citizen science, and (iii) intentions to adopt a new behavior. Most participants reported being willing to share information about reef conservation (91%) and described increased support for marine science and conservation (87%). Half of participants (51%) reported intentions to adopt a new conservation behavior. We found that key elements of the citizen science experience associated with these outcomes were learning about actions to protect reefs and coasts (procedural learning), experiencing surprise, and experiencing negative emotions about environmental problems. Excitement was also associated with positive outcomes, but only in participants who were less likely to see themselves as environmental, or were less frequent visitors to reefs and coasts. Importantly, the association between factual learning and environmental engagement outcomes was limited or negative. These findings suggest that the way citizen science experiences make people feel, may be more important for fostering future environmental engagement than factual-based learning. When designing citizen science programs for community members, these findings provide a reminder to not focus on provision of factual information alone, but to highlight environmental impacts while providing meaningful experiences and building environmental skills. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Shupe, Scott M
measurements taken with the help of trained volunteers. The results underscore the value of citizen science in freshwater research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
EPA researchers are planning a citizen science study called Smoke Sense to determine the extent to which exposure to wildland fire smoke affects health and productivity, and to develop health risk communication strategies that protect public health.
Barzyk, Timothy M; Huang, Hongtai; Williams, Ronald; Kaufman, Amanda; Essoka, Jonathan
Citizen science provides quantitative results to support environmental health assessments (EHAs), but standardized approaches do not currently exist to translate findings into actionable solutions. The emergence of low-cost portable sensor technologies and proliferation of publicly available datasets provides unparalleled access to supporting evidence; yet data collection, analysis, interpretation, visualization, and communication are subjective approaches that must be tailored to a decision-making audience capable of improving environmental health. A decade of collaborative efforts and two citizen science projects contributed to three lessons learned and a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that address the complexities of environmental health and interpersonal relations often encountered in citizen science EHAs. Each project followed a structured step-by-step process in order to compare and contrast methods and approaches. These lessons and FAQs provide advice to translate citizen science research into actionable solutions in the context of a diverse range of environmental health issues and local stakeholders.
Full Text Available Citizen science is an approach of public participation in scientific research which has gained significant momentum in recent years. This is particularly evident in biology and environmental sciences where input from citizen scientists has greatly increased the number of publicly available observation data. However, there are still challenges in effective networking, data sharing and securing data quality. EU BON project has analyzed the citizen science landscape in Europe with regards to biodiversity research and proposes several policy recommendations. One of the recommendations is a Pan-European citizen science gateway for biodiversity data with dedicated tools for data collection and management. The prototypes of the gateway components are part of the EU BON biodiversity portal and described in current report.
Vliet, van A.J.H.; Bron, W.A.; Mulder, S.
In the scientific community, the importance of communication to society is often underestimated. Scientists and scientific organisations often lack the skills to organise such communication effectively. The Dutch citizen science phenology network Nature’s Calendar has been successful in
Parkinson, John Everett; Yang, Sung-Yin; Kawamura, Iori; Byron, Gordon; Todd, Peter Alan; Reimer, James Davis
in midwinter, as well as low sample size and brief training owing to the course structure. Despite certain limitations of P. tuberculosa as a focal organism, the citizen science approach to color monitoring has promise, and we
Fogwill, C. J.; Turney, C. S.
Government funding is the cornerstone of modern science. But with declining investment in science across most of the Western World, a major challenge for society is where best to place what little resource we have. Which research questions should have the greatest priority? Nowhere are these issues more pressing than in the Antarctic, where bases have and continue to play host to 'big-science', multi-year programmes of research, locking up logistical support and costs. But in a warming world, the areas with the greatest effects of climate change aren't always near government research stations. With this in mind, in 2012 a plan was formed to visit Commonwealth Bay, a remote area off the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, where in 2010, an iceberg the size of Rhode Island, known as B09B, dramatically knocked a 60-mile long tongue of ice off the Mertz Glacier into the Southern Ocean, setting off a cascade of change. Inspired by the expeditions of the past, we advertised berths for sale to take citizen scientists south with us, harnessing their interest, experience and investment. People responded far and wide. We were oversubscribed, and the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014 was born. With the Russian-owned MV Akademik Shokalskiy as the expedition vessel, we set out south from the New Zealand port of Bluff in late November 2013. During our journey south and on the ice we undertook a number of scientific firsts for the region actively engaging the volunteer scientists on board in projects ranging from oceanography, biology, ecology, geology and glaciaology. The expedition demostrated how private funding could support targeted programmes of research and communicate it to the wider world. Small-science research can capture the public's imagination and also reap real scientific outputs. Although it is a funding model developed in the Antarctic a hundred years ago, the beauty is it can applied anywhere in the world.
Tregidgo, Daniel J.; West, Sarah E.; Ashmore, Mike R.
Citizen science is having increasing influence on environmental monitoring as its advantages are becoming recognised. However methodologies are often simplified to make them accessible to citizen scientists. We tested whether a recent citizen science survey (the OPAL Air Survey) could detect trends in lichen community composition over transects away from roads. We hypothesised that the abundance of nitrophilic lichens would decrease with distance from the road, while that of nitrophobic lichens would increase. The hypothesised changes were detected along strong pollution gradients, but not where the road source was relatively weak, or background pollution relatively high. We conclude that the simplified OPAL methodology can detect large contrasts in nitrogenous pollution, but it may not be able to detect more subtle changes in pollution exposure. Similar studies are needed in conjunction with the ever-growing body of citizen science work to ensure that the limitations of these methods are fully understood. -- Highlights: •We investigated the validity of a simplified citizen science methodology. •Lichen abundance data were used to indicate nitrogenous air pollution. •Significant changes were detected beside busy roads with low background pollution. •The methodology detected major, but not subtle, contrasts in pollution. •Sensitivity of citizen science methods to environmental change must be evaluated. -- A simplified lichen biomonitoring method used for citizen science can detect the impact of nitrogenous air pollution from local roads
Kuchner, Marc J.; McElwain, Michael; Padgett, Deborah L. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, Code 667 Greenbelt, MD 21230 (United States); Silverberg, Steven M.; Wisniewski, John P. [Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy The University of Oklahoma 440 W. Brooks St. Norman, OK 73019 (United States); Bans, Alissa S. [Valparaiso University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Neils Science Center, 1610 Campus Drive East, Valparaiso, IN 46383 (United States); Bhattacharjee, Shambo [International Space University 1 Rue Jean-Dominique Cassini F-67400 Illkirch-Graffenstaden (France); Kenyon, Scott J. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory 60 Garden Street Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Debes, John H. [Space Telescope Science Institute 3700 San Martin Dr. Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Currie, Thayne [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan 650 N A’ohokhu Place Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); García, Luciano [Observatorio Astronómico de Córdoba Universidad Nacional de Córdoba Laprida 854, X5000BGR, Córdoba (Argentina); Jung, Dawoon [Korea Aerospace Research Institute Lunar Exploration Program Office 169-84 Gwahak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34133 (Korea, Republic of); Lintott, Chris [Denys Wilkinson Building Keble Road Oxford, OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Rebull, Luisa M. [Infrared Processing and Analaysis Center Caltech M/S 314-6 1200 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Nesvold, Erika, E-mail: Marc.Kuchner@nasa.gov, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, E-mail: email@example.com, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, E-mail: email@example.com, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015-1305 (United States); Collaboration: Disk Detective Collaboration; and others
The Disk Detective citizen science project aims to find new stars with 22 μ m excess emission from circumstellar dust using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer ( WISE ) mission. Initial cuts on the AllWISE catalog provide an input catalog of 277,686 sources. Volunteers then view images of each source online in 10 different bands to identify false positives (galaxies, interstellar matter, image artifacts, etc.). Sources that survive this online vetting are followed up with spectroscopy on the FLWO Tillinghast telescope. This approach should allow us to unleash the full potential of WISE for finding new debris disks and protoplanetary disks. We announce a first list of 37 new disk candidates discovered by the project, and we describe our vetting and follow-up process. One of these systems appears to contain the first debris disk discovered around a star with a white dwarf companion: HD 74389. We also report four newly discovered classical Be stars (HD 6612, HD 7406, HD 164137, and HD 218546) and a new detection of 22 μ m excess around the previously known debris disk host star HD 22128.
Del Savio, Lorenzo; Prainsack, Barbara; Buyx, Alena
The establishment of databases for research in human microbiomics is dependent on the recruitment of sufficient numbers and diversity of participants. Factors that support or impede participant recruitment in studies of this type have not yet been studied. We report the results of a survey aimed at establishing the motivations of participants in the British Gut Project, a research project that relies on volunteers to provide samples and to help fund the project. The two most frequently reported motivations for participation were altruism and solidarity. Low education levels appeared to be a recruitment obstacle. More than half of our 151 respondents said they would participate in further citizen-science projects; 38% said they would not participate in a similar project if it was for-profit or in a project that did not release data sets in repositories accessible to scientists (30%). The desire to take part in research was reported as a key motivation for participation in the British Gut Project (BGP). Such prosocial motivations can be mobilized for the establishment of large data sets for research.Genet Med advance online publication 26 January 2017.
Parkinson, John Everett
Coral reef bleaching events are expected to become more frequent and severe in the near future as climate changes. The zoantharian Palythoa tuberculosa bleaches earlier than many scleractinian corals and may serve as an indicator species. Basic monitoring of such species could help to detect and even anticipate bleaching events, especially in areas where more sophisticated approaches that rely on buoy or satellite measurements of sea surface temperature are unavailable or too coarse. One simple and inexpensive monitoring method involves training volunteers to record observations of host color as a proxy for symbiosis quality. Here, we trained university students to take the ‘color fingerprint’ of a reef by assessing the color of multiple randomly selected colonies of P. tuberculosa at one time point in Okinawa Island, Japan. We tested the reliability of the students’ color scores and whether they matched expectations based on previous monthly monitoring of tagged colonies at the same locations. We also measured three traditional metrics of symbiosis quality for comparison: symbiont morphological condition, cell density, and chlorophyll a content. We found that P. tuberculosa color score, although highly correlated among observers, provided little predictive power for the other variables. This was likely due to inherent variation in colony color among generally healthy zoantharians in midwinter, as well as low sample size and brief training owing to the course structure. Despite certain limitations of P. tuberculosa as a focal organism, the citizen science approach to color monitoring has promise, and we outline steps that could improve similar efforts in the future.
Kuchner, Marc J.; McElwain, Michael; Padgett, Deborah L.; Silverberg, Steven M.; Wisniewski, John P.; Bans, Alissa S.; Bhattacharjee, Shambo; Kenyon, Scott J.; Debes, John H.; Currie, Thayne; García, Luciano; Jung, Dawoon; Lintott, Chris; Rebull, Luisa M.; Nesvold, Erika
The Disk Detective citizen science project aims to find new stars with 22 μ m excess emission from circumstellar dust using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer ( WISE ) mission. Initial cuts on the AllWISE catalog provide an input catalog of 277,686 sources. Volunteers then view images of each source online in 10 different bands to identify false positives (galaxies, interstellar matter, image artifacts, etc.). Sources that survive this online vetting are followed up with spectroscopy on the FLWO Tillinghast telescope. This approach should allow us to unleash the full potential of WISE for finding new debris disks and protoplanetary disks. We announce a first list of 37 new disk candidates discovered by the project, and we describe our vetting and follow-up process. One of these systems appears to contain the first debris disk discovered around a star with a white dwarf companion: HD 74389. We also report four newly discovered classical Be stars (HD 6612, HD 7406, HD 164137, and HD 218546) and a new detection of 22 μ m excess around the previously known debris disk host star HD 22128.
The Disk Detective citizen science project aims to find new stars with 22 micron excess emission from circumstellar dust using data from NASAs Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. Initial cuts on the AllWISE catalog provide an input catalog of 277,686 sources. Volunteers then view images of each source online in 10different bands to identify false positives (galaxies, interstellar matter, image artifacts, etc.). Sources that survive this online vetting are followed up with spectroscopy on the FLWO Tillinghast telescope. This approach should allow us to unleash the full potential of WISE for finding new debris disks and proto planetary disks. We announce a first list of 37 new disk candidates discovered by the project, and we describe our vetting and follow-up process. One of these systems appears to contain the first debris disk discovered around a star with a white dwarf companion: HD 74389. We also report four newly discovered classical Be stars (HD 6612, HD 7406, HD 164137,and HD 218546) and a new detection of 22 micron excess around the previously known debris disk host star HD 22128.
Cappa, Francesco; Laut, Jeffrey; Nov, Oded; Giustiniano, Luca; Porfiri, Maurizio
The use of crowds in research activities by public and private organizations is growing under different forms. Citizen science is a popular means of engaging the general public in research activities led by professional scientists. By involving a large number of amateur scientists, citizen science enables distributed data collection and analysis on a scale that would be otherwise difficult and costly to achieve. While advancements in information technology in the past few decades have fostered the growth of citizen science through online participation, several projects continue to fail due to limited participation. Such web-based projects may isolate the citizen scientists from the researchers. By adopting the perspective of social strategy, we investigate within a measure-manipulate-measure experiment if motivations to participate in a citizen science project can be positively influenced by a face-to-face interaction with the scientists leading the project. Such an interaction provides the participants with the possibility of asking questions on the spot and obtaining a detailed explanation of the citizen science project, its scientific merit, and environmental relevance. Social and cultural factors that moderate the effect brought about by face-to-face interactions on the motivations are also dissected and analyzed. Our findings provide an exploratory insight into a means for motivating crowds to participate in online environmental monitoring projects, also offering possible selection criteria of target audience. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Donna M. Kridelbaugh
Full Text Available Citizen science is becoming even more accessible to the general public through technological advances in the development of mobile applications, facilitating information dissemination and data collection. With the advent of “big data,” many citizen-science projects designed to help researchers sift through piles of research data now exist entirely online, either in the form of playing a game or via other digital avenues. Recent trends in citizen science have also focused on “crowdsourcing” solutions from the general public to help solve societal issues, often requiring nothing more than brainstorming and a computer to submit ideas. Online citizen science thus provides an excellent platform to expand the accessibility of experiential learning opportunities for a broad range of nonmajor science students at institutions with limited resources (e.g., community colleges. I created an activity for a general microbiology lecture to engage students in hands-on experiences via participation in online citizen-science projects. The objectives of the assignment were for students to: 1 understand that everyone can be a scientist; 2 learn to be creative and innovative in designing solutions to health and science challenges; and 3 further practice science communication skills with a written report. This activity is designed for introductory science courses with nonmajor science students who have limited opportunities to participate in undergraduate research experiences.
Thi Van Le, Khoa; Minkman, Ellen; Nguyen Thi Phuong, Thuy; Rutten, Martine; Bastiaanssen, Wim
Remote sensing and citizen science can be utilized to fulfill the gap of conventional monitoring methods. However, how to engage these techniques, principally taking advantage of local capacities and of globally accessible data for satisfying the continuous data requirements and uncertainties are exciting challenges. Previous studies in Vietnam showed that official documents regulated towards responding the vital need of upgrading national water monitoring infrastructures do not put the huge potentials of free satellite images and crowd-based data collection into account, this factor also limits publications related to these techniques. In this research, a new water monitoring approach will be developed friendly with areas suffering poor quality monitoring works. Particularly, algorithms respecting to the relationship between temperature, total suspended sediment (TSS), chlorophyll and information collected by sensors onboard Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 MSI satellites are built in the study area in Northern Vietnam; additionally, undergraduate student volunteers were sent to the sites with all the measurement activities are designed to coincide with the time when the study area captured by the satellites to compare the results. While conventional techniques are proving their irreplaceable role in the water monitoring network, the utilization of remote sensing techniques and citizen science in this study will demonstrate highly supportive values, saving monitoring costs and time; advantaging local human resources to science; providing an inclusive assessment of water quality changes along with land-use change in the study area, these approaches are excellent alternatives to meet the demand of real-time, continuous data nationwide.
Jordan, Rebecca; Gray, Steven; Sorensen, Amanda; Newman, Greg; Mellor, David; Newman, Greg; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy; LaDeau, Shannon; Biehler, Dawn; Crall, Alycia
Citizen science has generated a growing interest among scientists and community groups, and citizen science programs have been created specifically for conservation. We examined collaborative science, a highly interactive form of citizen science, which we developed within a theoretically informed framework. In this essay, we focused on 2 aspects of our framework: social learning and adaptive management. Social learning, in contrast to individual-based learning, stresses collaborative and generative insight making and is well-suited for adaptive management. Adaptive-management integrates feedback loops that are informed by what is learned and is guided by iterative decision making. Participants engaged in citizen science are able to add to what they are learning through primary data collection, which can result in the real-time information that is often necessary for conservation. Our work is particularly timely because research publications consistently report a lack of established frameworks and evaluation plans to address the extent of conservation outcomes in citizen science. To illustrate how our framework supports conservation through citizen science, we examined how 2 programs enacted our collaborative science framework. Further, we inspected preliminary conservation outcomes of our case-study programs. These programs, despite their recent implementation, are demonstrating promise with regard to positive conservation outcomes. To date, they are independently earning funds to support research, earning buy-in from local partners to engage in experimentation, and, in the absence of leading scientists, are collecting data to test ideas. We argue that this success is due to citizen scientists being organized around local issues and engaging in iterative, collaborative, and adaptive learning. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.
Kohler, M. D.; Clayton, R. W.; Heaton, T. H.; Bunn, J.; Guy, R.; Massari, A.; Chandy, K. M.
The Community Seismic Network is a dense accelerometer array deployed in the greater Los Angeles area and represents the future of densely instrumented urban cities where localized vibration measurements are collected continuously throughout the free-field and built environment. The hardware takes advantage of developments in the semiconductor industry in the form of inexpensive MEMS accelerometers that are each coupled with a single board computer. The data processing and archival architecture borrows from developments in cloud computing and network connectedness. The ability to deploy densely in the free field and in upper stories of mid/high-rise buildings is enabled by community hosts for sensor locations. To this end, CSN has partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and commercial and civic building owners to host sensors. At these sites, site amplification estimates from RMS noise measurements illustrate the lateral variation in amplification over length scales of 100 m or less, that correlate with gradients in the local geology such as sedimentary basins that abut crystalline rock foothills. This is complemented by high-resolution, shallow seismic velocity models obtained using an H/V method. In addition, noise statistics are used to determine the reliability of sites for ShakeMap and earthquake early warning data. The LAUSD and JPL deployments are examples of how situational awareness and centralized warning products such as ShakeMap and ShakeCast are enabled by citizen science participation. Several buildings have been instrumented with at least one triaxial accelerometer per floor, providing measurements for real-time structural health monitoring through local, customized displays. For real-time and post-event evaluation, the free-field and built environment CSN data and products illustrate the feasibility of order-of-magnitude higher spatial resolution mapping compared to what is currently
Tomasek, Terry Morton
The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the ways various stakeholders (CBW project developer/coordinator, elementary and middle school teachers, and 5th through 8th grade students) envisioned, implemented and engaged in the citizen science project, eBird/Classroom BirdWatch. A multiple case study mixed-methods research design was used to examine student engagement in the cognitive processes associated with scientific inquiry as part of citizen science participation. Student engagement was described based on a sense of autonomy, competence, relatedness and intrinsic motivation. A goal of this study was to expand the taxonomy of differences between authentic scientific inquiry and simple inquiry to include those inquiry tasks associated with participation in citizen science by describing how students engaged in this type of science. This research study built upon the existing framework of cognitive processes associated with scientific inquiry described by Chinn and Malhotra (2002). This research provides a systematic analysis of the scientific processes and related reasoning tasks associated with the citizen science project eBird and the corresponding curriculum Classroom BirdWatch . Data consisted of responses to surveys, focus group interviews, document analysis and individual interviews. I suggest that citizen science could be an additional form of classroom-based science inquiry that can promote more authentic features of scientific inquiry and engage students in meaningful ways.
Burgess, H. K.; Parrish, J.; Dolliver, J.; Metes, J.; Ballard, H. L.
Environmental challenges, from local water quality to the effects of global climate change, are overwhelming the mainstream science community. We need help. Citizen science offers one solution pathway - in the ideal, thousands of participants engaged in authentic science that delivers high quality information not otherwise obtainable. But in the real world, are citizen science data used? And more broadly: what are the interactions between citizen science and natural resource management in service of conserving or protecting system structure and function? The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) is a rigoros citizen science program focused on documenting patterns of beached bird and marine debris abundance on beaches along the coast of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Housed at the University of Washington, COASST partners directly with a wide range of local, tribal, state and federal agencies to effect positive change and a wide range of scientific, community and educational outcomes. Following from years of trial, error and adaptive management, we propose a "trust pathway" between citizen science and agencies that moves from an initial contact and multiple interaction types to eventual partnership and capacity sharing. Along the way are trust catalysts, including but not limited to: stakeholder engagement, data QA/QC, interactive data analysis, housing at an academic institution, and timely, repeated communication. In this presentation, we will discuss strategies and outcomes employed by COASST for fostering trust and successful partnerships, drawing on 20 years of program experience as well as reflections from a variety of partners and stakholdres.
Zheng, Hang; Hong, Yang; Long, Di; Jing, Hua
Surface water quality monitoring (SWQM) provides essential information for water environmental protection. However, SWQM is costly and limited in terms of equipment and sites. The global popularity of social media and intelligent mobile devices with GPS and photography functions allows citizens to monitor surface water quality. This study aims to propose a method for SWQM using social media platforms. Specifically, a WeChat-based application platform is built to collect water quality reports from volunteers, which have been proven valuable for water quality monitoring. The methods for data screening and volunteer recruitment are discussed based on the collected reports. The proposed methods provide a framework for collecting water quality data from citizens and offer a primary foundation for big data analysis in future research.
Newman, S. J.; Henderson, S.; Ward, D.
Project BudBurst is a citizen science project focused on monitoring plant phenology that resides at the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON, Inc). A central question for Project BudBurst and other national outreach programs is: what are the most effective means of engaging and connecting with diverse communities throughout the country? How can continental scale programs like NEON's Project BudBurst engage audiences in such a way as to be relevant at both the local and continental scales? Staff with Project BudBurst pursued partnerships with several continental scale organizations: the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National Park Service, and botanic gardens to address these questions. The distributed nature of wildlife refuges, national parks, and botanic gardens around the country provided the opportunity to connect with participants locally while working with leadership at multiple scales. Project BudBurst staff talked with hundreds of staff and volunteers prior to setting a goal of obtaining and developing resources for several Refuge Partners, a pilot National Park partner, and an existing botanic garden partner during 2011. We were especially interested in learning best practices for future partnerships. The partnership efforts resulted in resource development for 12 Refuge partners, a pilot National Park partner, and 2 botanic garden partners. Early on, the importance of working with national level leaders to develop ownership of the partner program and input about resource needs became apparent. Once a framework for the partnership program was laid out, it became critical to work closely with staff and volunteers on the ground to ensure needs were met. In 2012 we began to develop an online assessment to allow our current and potential partners to provide feedback about whether or not the partnership program was meeting their needs and how the program could be improved. As the year progressed, the timeline for resource development became more
Tregidgo, Daniel J; West, Sarah E; Ashmore, Mike R
Citizen science is having increasing influence on environmental monitoring as its advantages are becoming recognised. However methodologies are often simplified to make them accessible to citizen scientists. We tested whether a recent citizen science survey (the OPAL Air Survey) could detect trends in lichen community composition over transects away from roads. We hypothesised that the abundance of nitrophilic lichens would decrease with distance from the road, while that of nitrophobic lichens would increase. The hypothesised changes were detected along strong pollution gradients, but not where the road source was relatively weak, or background pollution relatively high. We conclude that the simplified OPAL methodology can detect large contrasts in nitrogenous pollution, but it may not be able to detect more subtle changes in pollution exposure. Similar studies are needed in conjunction with the ever-growing body of citizen science work to ensure that the limitations of these methods are fully understood. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mijling, Bas; Jiang, Qijun; de Jonge, Dave; Bocconi, Stefano
In many urban areas the population is exposed to elevated levels of air pollution. However, real-time air quality is usually only measured at few locations. These measurements provide a general picture of the state of the air, but they are unable to monitor local differences. New low-cost sensor technology is available for several years now, and has the potential to extend official monitoring networks significantly even though the current generation of sensors suffer from various technical issues.Citizen science experiments based on these sensors must be designed carefully to avoid generation of data which is of poor or even useless quality. This study explores the added value of the 2016 Urban AirQ campaign, which focused on measuring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Sixteen low-cost air quality sensor devices were built and distributed among volunteers living close to roads with high traffic volume for a 2-month measurement period. Each electrochemical sensor was calibrated in-field next to an air monitoring station during an 8-day period, resulting in R2 ranging from 0.3 to 0.7. When temperature and relative humidity are included in a multilinear regression approach, the NO2 accuracy is improved significantly, with R2 ranging from 0.6 to 0.9. Recalibration after the campaign is crucial, as all sensors show a significant signal drift in the 2-month measurement period. The measurement series between the calibration periods can be corrected for after the measurement period by taking a weighted average of the calibration coefficients.Validation against an independent air monitoring station shows good agreement. Using our approach, the standard deviation of a typical sensor device for NO2 measurements was found to be 7 µg m-3, provided that temperatures are below 30 °C. Stronger ozone titration on street sides causes an underestimation of NO2 concentrations, which 75 % of the time is less than 2.3 µg m-3.Our findings show that citizen science
Beza, Eskender; Steinke, Jonathan; van Etten, Jacob; Reidsma, Pytrik; Fadda, Carlo; Mittra, Sarika; Mathur, Prem; Kooistra, Lammert
As the sustainability of agricultural citizen science projects depends on volunteer farmers who contribute their time, energy and skills, understanding their motivation is important to attract and retain participants in citizen science projects. The objectives of this study were to assess 1) farmers' motivations to participate as citizen scientists and 2) farmers' mobile telephone usage. Building on motivational factors identified from previous citizen science studies, a questionnaire based methodology was developed which allowed the analysis of motivational factors and their relation to farmers' characteristics. The questionnaire was applied in three communities of farmers, in countries from different continents, participating as citizen scientists. We used statistical tests to compare motivational factors within and among the three countries. In addition, the relations between motivational factors and farmers characteristics were assessed. Lastly, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to group farmers based on their motivations. Although there was an overlap between the types of motivations, for Indian farmers a collectivistic type of motivation (i.e., contribute to scientific research) was more important than egoistic and altruistic motivations. For Ethiopian and Honduran farmers an egoistic intrinsic type of motivation (i.e., interest in sharing information) was most important. While fun has appeared to be an important egoistic intrinsic factor to participate in other citizen science projects, the smallholder farmers involved in this research valued 'passing free time' the lowest. Two major groups of farmers were distinguished: one motivated by sharing information (egoistic intrinsic), helping (altruism) and contribute to scientific research (collectivistic) and one motivated by egoistic extrinsic factors (expectation, expert interaction and community interaction). Country and education level were the two most important farmers' characteristics that
Full Text Available As the sustainability of agricultural citizen science projects depends on volunteer farmers who contribute their time, energy and skills, understanding their motivation is important to attract and retain participants in citizen science projects. The objectives of this study were to assess 1 farmers' motivations to participate as citizen scientists and 2 farmers' mobile telephone usage. Building on motivational factors identified from previous citizen science studies, a questionnaire based methodology was developed which allowed the analysis of motivational factors and their relation to farmers' characteristics. The questionnaire was applied in three communities of farmers, in countries from different continents, participating as citizen scientists. We used statistical tests to compare motivational factors within and among the three countries. In addition, the relations between motivational factors and farmers characteristics were assessed. Lastly, Principal Component Analysis (PCA was used to group farmers based on their motivations. Although there was an overlap between the types of motivations, for Indian farmers a collectivistic type of motivation (i.e., contribute to scientific research was more important than egoistic and altruistic motivations. For Ethiopian and Honduran farmers an egoistic intrinsic type of motivation (i.e., interest in sharing information was most important. While fun has appeared to be an important egoistic intrinsic factor to participate in other citizen science projects, the smallholder farmers involved in this research valued 'passing free time' the lowest. Two major groups of farmers were distinguished: one motivated by sharing information (egoistic intrinsic, helping (altruism and contribute to scientific research (collectivistic and one motivated by egoistic extrinsic factors (expectation, expert interaction and community interaction. Country and education level were the two most important farmers' characteristics
Stenhouse,Alan; Roetman,Philip; Grützner,Frank; Perry,Tahlia; Koh,Lian Pin
Field data collection by Citizen Scientists has been hugely assisted by the rapid development and spread of smart phones as well as apps that make use of the integrated technologies contained in these devices. We can improve the quality of the data by increasing utilisation of the device in-built sensors and improving the software user-interface. Improvements to data timeliness can be made by integrating directly with national and international biodiversity repositories, such as the Atlas of ...
Chase, Sarah K; Levine, Arielle
We present a framework of resource characteristics critical to the design and assessment of citizen science programs that monitor natural resources. To develop the framework we reviewed 52 citizen science programs that monitored a wide range of resources and provided insights into what resource characteristics are most conducive to developing citizen science programs and how resource characteristics may constrain the use or growth of these programs. We focused on 4 types of resource characteristics: biophysical and geographical, management and monitoring, public awareness and knowledge, and social and cultural characteristics. We applied the framework to 2 programs, the Tucson (U.S.A.) Bird Count and the Maui (U.S.A.) Great Whale Count. We found that resource characteristics such as accessibility, diverse institutional involvement in resource management, and social or cultural importance of the resource affected program endurance and success. However, the relative influence of each characteristic was in turn affected by goals of the citizen science programs. Although the goals of public engagement and education sometimes complimented the goal of collecting reliable data, in many cases trade-offs must be made between these 2 goals. Program goals and priorities ultimately dictate the design of citizen science programs, but for a program to endure and successfully meet its goals, program managers must consider the diverse ways that the nature of the resource being monitored influences public participation in monitoring. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.
Yacoubian, Hagop A.
In this article, I introduce a framework for guiding future citizens to think critically about nature of science (NOS) and "with" NOS as they engage in socioscientific decision making. The framework, referred to as the critical thinking--nature of science (CT-NOS) framework, explicates and targets both NOS as a learning objective and NOS…
Rachel A. Yoho
Full Text Available The biological sciences encompass topics considered controversial by the American public, such as evolution and climate change. We believe that the development of climate change education in the biology classroom is better informed by an understanding of the history of the teaching of evolution. A common goal for science educators should be to engender a greater respect for and appreciation of science among students while teaching specific content knowledge. Citizen science has emerged as a viable yet underdeveloped method for engaging students of all ages in key scientific issues that impact society through authentic data-driven scientific research. Where successful, citizen science may open avenues of communication and engagement with the scientific process that would otherwise be more difficult to achieve. Citizen science projects demonstrate versatility in education and the ability to test hypotheses by collecting large amounts of often publishable data. We find a great possibility for science education research in the incorporation of citizen science projects in curriculum, especially with respect to “hot topics” of socioscientific debate based on our review of the findings of other authors.
Costello, K.; Reilly, E.; Bracey, G.; Gay, P.
The highly engaging graphic comic Hanny and the Mystery of the Voorwerp is the focus of an eight-day educational unit geared to middle level students. Activities in the unit link national astronomy standards to the citizen science Zooniverse website through tutorials that lead to analysis of real data online. NASA resources are also included in the unit. The content of the session focused on the terminology and concepts - galaxy formation, types and characteristics of galaxies, use of spectral analysis - needed to classify galaxies. Use of citizen science projects as tools to teach inquiry in the classroom was the primary focus of the workshop. The session included a hands-on experiment taken from the unit, including a NASA spectral analysis activity called "What's the Frequency, Roy G Biv?" In addition, presenters demonstrated the galaxy classification tools found in the "Galaxy Zoo" project at the Zooniverse citizen science website.
Teacher-led inquiry into student learning is a promising method of formative assessment to gain insight into student achievement. NGSS-aligned K-12 Climate Science curricula taught with citizen science and teacher-led inquiry methods are described, along with results from a scientist-teacher collaboration survey.
Full Text Available Organisms provide some of the most sensitive indicators of climate change and evolutionary responses are becoming apparent in species with short generation times. Large datasets on genetic polymorphism that can provide an historical benchmark against which to test for recent evolutionary responses are very rare, but an exception is found in the brown-lipped banded snail (Cepaea nemoralis. This species is sensitive to its thermal environment and exhibits several polymorphisms of shell colour and banding pattern affecting shell albedo in the majority of populations within its native range in Europe. We tested for evolutionary changes in shell albedo that might have been driven by the warming of the climate in Europe over the last half century by compiling an historical dataset for 6,515 native populations of C. nemoralis and comparing this with new data on nearly 3,000 populations. The new data were sampled mainly in 2009 through the Evolution MegaLab, a citizen science project that engaged thousands of volunteers in 15 countries throughout Europe in the biggest such exercise ever undertaken. A known geographic cline in the frequency of the colour phenotype with the highest albedo (yellow was shown to have persisted and a difference in colour frequency between woodland and more open habitats was confirmed, but there was no general increase in the frequency of yellow shells. This may have been because snails adapted to a warming climate through behavioural thermoregulation. By contrast, we detected an unexpected decrease in the frequency of Unbanded shells and an increase in the Mid-banded morph. Neither of these evolutionary changes appears to be a direct response to climate change, indicating that the influence of other selective agents, possibly related to changing predation pressure and habitat change with effects on micro-climate.
Science Education Panel: The Academy has been undertaking several programmes for improving the state of science education in the country. ... Panels on Scientific Values and Women in Science: As part of the Academy initiatives on topics of importance to scientists, two new panels were set up by the Academy - on ...
Luetgert, J. H.; Oppenheimer, D. H.
The challenge for any system that uses volunteer help to do science is to dependably acquire quality data without unduly burdening the volunteer. The NetQuakes accelerograph and its data acquisition system were created to address the recognized need for more densely sampled strong ground motion recordings in urban areas to provide more accurate ShakeMaps for post-earthquake disaster assessment and to provide data for structural engineers to improve design standards. The recorder has 18 bit resolution with ±3g internal tri-axial MEMS accelerometers. Data are continuously recorded at 200 sps into a 1-2 week ringbuffer. When triggered, a miniSEED file is sent to USGS servers via the Internet. Data can also be recovered from the ringbuffer by a remote request through the NetQuakes servers. Following a power failure, the instrument can run for 36 hours using its internal battery. We rely upon cooperative citizens to host the dataloggers, provide power and Internet connectivity and perform minor servicing. Instrument and battery replacement are simple tasks that can be performed by hosts, thus reducing maintenance costs. Communication with the instrument to acquire data or deliver firmware is accomplished by file transfers using NetQuakes servers. The client instrument initiates all client-server interactions, so it safely resides behind a host's firewall. A connection to the host's LAN, and from there to the public Internet, can be made using WiFi to minimize cabling. Although timing using a cable to an external GPS antenna is possible, it is simpler to use the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to discipline the internal clock. This approach achieves timing accuracy substantially better than a sample interval. Since 2009, we have installed more than 140 NetQuakes instruments in the San Francisco Bay Area and have successfully integrated their data into the near real time data stream of the Northern California Seismic System. An additional 235 NetQuakes instruments have been
Jiguet, Frédéric; Devictor, Vincent; Julliard, Romain; Couvet, Denis
Volunteer-based standardized monitoring of birds has been widely implemented in Europe and North America. In France, a breeding bird survey is running since 1989 and offers keen birdwatchers to count spring birds annually during 5 min exactly on 10 fix points within a randomly selected square. The first goal of such breeding bird surveys is to measure temporal trends in order to detect possible species declines. Combining annual indices of species sharing ecological affinities or a protected/red list status further provides biodiversity indicators for policy makers. Because the sampling effort is similar among sites, and because the initial selection of monitored sites is random, the temporal trends can be considered representative of national trends, and spatial comparisons of the obtained metrics are possible. Species abundance, community richness but also community specialization and average trophic level can be estimated for each site and each year and further related to the wide range of habitat and landscape characteristics and to agricultural or forestry practices. The large number of sites allows overcoming the opposition between adaptive and passive monitoring, making such schemes fitted to adaptive monitoring. This provides opportunities to determine which type of management or practices favour biodiversity. The comparison of population fate or community dynamics across a wide range of climates and temperatures, e.g. from southern to northern Europe, revealed how European birds are already affected by climate change. Bird communities are shifting northwards, but at a slower rate than temperatures, while bird populations have larger growth rates away from their hot thermal limit. Finally, such large-scale long-term monitoring data on a complete taxonomic group (Aves) is original and offers the opportunity to compare different measures of biological diversity, such as taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity. Such a citizen science scheme is an
King, Abby C.; Winter, Sandra J.; Sheats, Jylana L.; Rosas, Lisa G.; Buman, Matthew P.; Salvo, Deborah; Rodriguez, Nicole M.; Seguin, Rebecca A.; Moran, Mika; Garber, Randi; Broderick, Bonnie; Zieff, Susan G.; Sarmiento, Olga Lucia; Gonzalez, Silvia A.; Banchoff, Ann; Dommarco, Juan Rivera
PURPOSE While technology is a major driver of many of society’s comforts, conveniences, and advances, it has been responsible, in a significant way, for engineering regular physical activity and a number of other positive health behaviors out of people’s daily lives. A key question concerns how to harness information and communication technologies (ICT) to bring about positive changes in the health promotion field. One such approach involves community-engaged “citizen science,” in which local residents leverage the potential of ICT to foster data-driven consensus-building and mobilization efforts that advance physical activity at the individual, social, built environment, and policy levels. METHOD The history of citizen science in the research arena is briefly described and an evidence-based method that embeds citizen science in a multi-level, multi-sectoral community-based participatory research framework for physical activity promotion is presented. RESULTS Several examples of this citizen science-driven community engagement framework for promoting active lifestyles, called “Our Voice”, are discussed, including pilot projects from diverse communities in the U.S. as well as internationally. CONCLUSIONS The opportunities and challenges involved in leveraging citizen science activities as part of a broader population approach to promoting regular physical activity are explored. The strategic engagement of citizen scientists from socio-demographically diverse communities across the globe as both assessment as well as change agents provides a promising, potentially low-cost and scalable strategy for creating more active, healthful, and equitable neighborhoods and communities worldwide. PMID:27525309
Stasch, Christoph; Remke, Albert; Jirka, Simon; Nuest, Daniel
Optimizing traffic flow is a challenging task, affecting both the mobility of people and the environment. Up to now, traffic monitoring is based on small samples using GPS devices or remote sensors such as cameras. Citizens are usually not actively involved in the process of collecting or analyzing traffic data. The enviroCar project (www.envirocar.org) aims at addressing this situation by providing an open platform that can be used by everyone to collect and analyze traffic-related data and thus to achieve sustainable traffic management by answering questions such as: How is the average speed on a certain route? Where are exceptionally long waiting times in front of traffic lights? At which crossings do more cars stop than drive through? Where are hotspots of fuel consumption and air pollutant emission during a certain time interval? In this presentation, an overview on the enviroCar project is given and current research challenges addressed in the context of the project are presented. Citizens are able to participate by registering at the enviroCar portal and downloading the enviroCar Android app. Once installed, the Android app allows citizens to collect car sensor data, e.g. speed, mass air flow, or intake temperature via an On-Board Diagnosis 2 (OBD-II) Adapter. After finishing a car ride, the data can be uploaded to the central enviroCar server where the data is anonymized and published as open data. Each enviroCar member has a profile page giving control on his own data and providing statistics on personal driving behavior. The portal also allows comparing personal statistics with the statistics of other members. It thus facilitates analysis whether, for example, a member is driving in a more fuel saving manner than other users. Besides only acting as a data collector, citizens can also explore the enviroCar data in online maps or download the data in standard formats for certain spatial areas and/or time intervals allowing them to conduct spatio
Juang, C.; Stanley, T.; Kirschbaum, D.
Landslides occur across the United States and around the world, causing much suffering and infrastructure damage. Many of these events have been recorded in the Global Landslide Catalog (GLC), a worldwide record of recently rainfall-triggered landslides. The extent and composition of this database has been affected by the limits of media search tools and available staffing. Citizen scientists could expand the effort exponentially, as well as diversify the knowledge base of the research team. In order to enable this collaboration the NASA Center for Climate Simulation has created a GIS portal for viewing, editing, and managing the GLC. The data is also exposed through a Rest API, for easy incorporation into geospatial websites by third parties. Future developments may include the ability to store polygons delineating large landslides, digitization from recent satellite imagery, and the establishment of a community for international landslide research that is open to both lay and academic users.
David, Peter A.; Dupont, Sally F.; Mathewson, Ciaran P.; O’Neill, Samuel J.; Powell, Nicholas N.; Williamson, Jane E.
Citizen science can increase the scope of research in the marine environment; however, it suffers from necessitating specialized training and simplified methodologies that reduce research output. This paper presents a simplified, novel survey methodology for citizen scientists, which combines GoPro imagery and structure from motion to construct an ortho-corrected 3D model of habitats for analysis. Results using a coral reef habitat were compared to surveys conducted with traditional snorkelling methods for benthic cover, holothurian counts, and coral health. Results were comparable between the two methods, and structure from motion allows the results to be analysed off-site for any chosen visual analysis. The GoPro method outlined in this study is thus an effective tool for citizen science in the marine environment, especially for comparing changes in coral cover or volume over time. PMID:27168973
Raoult, Vincent; David, Peter A; Dupont, Sally F; Mathewson, Ciaran P; O'Neill, Samuel J; Powell, Nicholas N; Williamson, Jane E
Citizen science can increase the scope of research in the marine environment; however, it suffers from necessitating specialized training and simplified methodologies that reduce research output. This paper presents a simplified, novel survey methodology for citizen scientists, which combines GoPro imagery and structure from motion to construct an ortho-corrected 3D model of habitats for analysis. Results using a coral reef habitat were compared to surveys conducted with traditional snorkelling methods for benthic cover, holothurian counts, and coral health. Results were comparable between the two methods, and structure from motion allows the results to be analysed off-site for any chosen visual analysis. The GoPro method outlined in this study is thus an effective tool for citizen science in the marine environment, especially for comparing changes in coral cover or volume over time.
Full Text Available Citizen science can increase the scope of research in the marine environment; however, it suffers from necessitating specialized training and simplified methodologies that reduce research output. This paper presents a simplified, novel survey methodology for citizen scientists, which combines GoPro imagery and structure from motion to construct an ortho-corrected 3D model of habitats for analysis. Results using a coral reef habitat were compared to surveys conducted with traditional snorkelling methods for benthic cover, holothurian counts, and coral health. Results were comparable between the two methods, and structure from motion allows the results to be analysed off-site for any chosen visual analysis. The GoPro method outlined in this study is thus an effective tool for citizen science in the marine environment, especially for comparing changes in coral cover or volume over time.
The confluence of massive amounts of openly available data, sophisticated machine learning algorithms and an enlightened citizenry willing to engage in data science presents novel opportunities for crowd sourced data science for social good. In this submission, I present vignettes of data science projects that I have been involved in and which have impact in various spheres of life and on social good. Complex systems are all around us: from social networks to transportation systems, cities, e...
Vincent, Anna; Drag, Nate; Lyandres, Olga; Neville, Sarah; Hoellein, Timothy
Accumulation of anthropogenic litter (AL) on marine beaches and its ecological effects have been a major focus of research. Recent studies suggest AL is also abundant in freshwater environments, but much less research has been conducted in freshwaters relative to oceans. The Adopt-a-BeachTM (AAB) program, administered by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, organizes volunteers to act as citizen scientists by collecting and maintaining data on AL abundance on Great Lakes beaches. Initial assessments of the AAB records quantified sources and abundance of AL on Lake Michigan beaches, and showed that plastic AL was >75% of AL on beaches across all five Great Lakes. However, AAB records have not yet been used to examine patterns of AL density and composition among beaches of all different substrate types (e.g., parks, rocky, sandy), across land-use categories (e.g., rural, suburban, urban), or among seasons (i.e., spring, summer, and fall). We found that most AL on beaches are consumer goods that most likely originate from beach visitors and nearby urban environments, rather than activities such as shipping, fishing, or illegal dumping. We also demonstrated that urban beaches and those with sand rather than rocks had higher AL density relative to other sites. Finally, we found that AL abundance is lowest during the summer, between the US holidays of Memorial Day (last Monday in May) and Labor Day (first Monday in September) at the urban beaches, while other beaches showed no seasonality. This research is a model for utilizing datasets collected by volunteers involved in citizen science programs, and will contribute to AL management by offering priorities for AL types and locations to maximize AL reduction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Byrnes, J.; Cavanaugh, K. C.; Haupt, A. J.; Trouille, L.; Rosenthal, I.; Bell, T. W.; Rassweiler, A.; Pérez-Matus, A.; Assis, J.
Global scale long-term data sets that document the patterns and variability of human impacts on marine ecosystems are rare. This lack is particularly glaring for underwater species - even moreso for ecologically important ones. Here we demonstrate how online Citizen Science combined with Landsat satellite imagery can help build a picture of change in the dynamics of giant kelp, an important coastal foundation species around the globe, from the 1984 to the present. Giant kelp canopy is visible from Landsat images, but these images defy easy machine classification. To get useful data, images must be processed by hand. While academic researchers have applied this method successfully at sub-regional scales, unlocking the value of the full global dataset has not been possible until given the massive effort required. Here we present Floating Forests (http://floatingforests.org), an international collaboration between kelp forest researchers and the citizen science organization Zooniverse. Floating Forests provides an interface that allows citizen scientists to identify canopy cover of giant kelp on Landsat images, enabling us to scale up the dataset to the globe. We discuss lessons learned from the initial version of the project launched in 2014, a prototype of an image processing pipeline to bring Landsat imagery to citizen science platforms, methods of assessing accuracy of citizen scientists, and preliminary data from our relaunch of the project. Through this project we have developed generalizable tools to facilitate citizen science-based analysis of Landsat and other satellite and aerial imagery. We hope that this create a powerful dataset to unlock our understanding of how global change has altered these critically important species in the sea.
SciStarter is a popular online hotspot for citizen science. As a Match.com meets Amazon for citizen science projects, we connect the millions of citizen scientists to thousands of projects and events, and to the resources they need to participate. These opportunities represent ways for the general public from kids to adults to get involved in scientific research. Recently, SciStarter developed a new digital infrastructure to support sustained engagement in citizen science, and research into the behaviors and motivations of participants. The new digital infrastructure of SciStarter includes contribution tracking tools to make it easier to participate in multiple projects, enhanced GIS information to promote locally relevant projects, an online personal dashboard to keep track of contributions, and the use of these tools (contribution tracking, GIS, dashboard) by project owners and researchers to better understand and respond to the needs and interests of citizen science participants. We will provide an overview of these tools and the research behind their development. We will then explore how these new tools advance citizen science towards a future with more pathways to participatory policymaking, expanded access to informal STEM experiences, and lowered barriers to citizen science. Finally, we will present the research questions that can and will be answered through the site by practitioners in the diverse science and citizen science fields.
Castejon, F.; Tarancon, A.
Researchers deal with increasingly difficult, complex issues that require more resources and tools. In addition to strictly technical problems, they are also required to produce research that is understood, at least in part, by the public and to be able to convey what are almost always difficult ideas and concepts the frontiers of knowledge. It rarely happens, but sometimes it is possible to solve several problems at the same time. As we will see throughout the article, Volunteer Computing, when properly handled, is able to supply computing power the scientific community and also serve as a window to science in the homes of citizens. (Author) 5 refs.
Loiselle, Steven; Ophof, Daniel; Thornhill, Ian
While the role of citizen science in engaging the public and providing large-scale datasets has been demonstrated, the nature of and potential for this science to supplement environmental monitoring efforts by government agencies has not yet been fully explored. To this end, the present study investigates the complementarity of a citizen science programme to agency monitoring of water quality. The Environment Agency (EA) is the governmental public body responsible for, among other duties, managing and monitoring water quality and water resources in England. FreshWater Watch (FWW) is a global citizen science project that supports community monitoring of freshwater quality. FWW and EA data were assessed for their spatio-temporal complementarity by comparing the geographical and seasonal coverage of nitrate (N-NO3) sampling across the River Thames catchment by the respective campaigns between spring 2013 and winter 2015. The analysis reveals that FWW citizen science-collected data complements EA data by filling in both gaps in the spatial and temporal coverage as well as gaps in waterbody type and size. In addition, partial spatio-temporal overlap in sampling efforts by the two actors is discovered, but EA sampling is found to be more consistent than FWW sampling. Statistical analyses indicate that regardless of broader geographical overlap in sampling effort, FWW sampling sites are associated with a lower stream order and water bodies of smaller surface areas than EA sampling sites. FWW also samples more still-water body sites than the EA. As a possible result of such differences in sampling tendencies, nitrate concentrations, a measure of water quality, are lower for FWW sites than EA sites. These findings strongly indicate that citizen science has clear potential to complement agency monitoring efforts by generating information on freshwater ecosystems that would otherwise be under reported. PMID:29211752
Full Text Available While the role of citizen science in engaging the public and providing large-scale datasets has been demonstrated, the nature of and potential for this science to supplement environmental monitoring efforts by government agencies has not yet been fully explored. To this end, the present study investigates the complementarity of a citizen science programme to agency monitoring of water quality. The Environment Agency (EA is the governmental public body responsible for, among other duties, managing and monitoring water quality and water resources in England. FreshWater Watch (FWW is a global citizen science project that supports community monitoring of freshwater quality. FWW and EA data were assessed for their spatio-temporal complementarity by comparing the geographical and seasonal coverage of nitrate (N-NO3 sampling across the River Thames catchment by the respective campaigns between spring 2013 and winter 2015. The analysis reveals that FWW citizen science-collected data complements EA data by filling in both gaps in the spatial and temporal coverage as well as gaps in waterbody type and size. In addition, partial spatio-temporal overlap in sampling efforts by the two actors is discovered, but EA sampling is found to be more consistent than FWW sampling. Statistical analyses indicate that regardless of broader geographical overlap in sampling effort, FWW sampling sites are associated with a lower stream order and water bodies of smaller surface areas than EA sampling sites. FWW also samples more still-water body sites than the EA. As a possible result of such differences in sampling tendencies, nitrate concentrations, a measure of water quality, are lower for FWW sites than EA sites. These findings strongly indicate that citizen science has clear potential to complement agency monitoring efforts by generating information on freshwater ecosystems that would otherwise be under reported.
Hadj-Hammou, Jeneen; Loiselle, Steven; Ophof, Daniel; Thornhill, Ian
While the role of citizen science in engaging the public and providing large-scale datasets has been demonstrated, the nature of and potential for this science to supplement environmental monitoring efforts by government agencies has not yet been fully explored. To this end, the present study investigates the complementarity of a citizen science programme to agency monitoring of water quality. The Environment Agency (EA) is the governmental public body responsible for, among other duties, managing and monitoring water quality and water resources in England. FreshWater Watch (FWW) is a global citizen science project that supports community monitoring of freshwater quality. FWW and EA data were assessed for their spatio-temporal complementarity by comparing the geographical and seasonal coverage of nitrate (N-NO3) sampling across the River Thames catchment by the respective campaigns between spring 2013 and winter 2015. The analysis reveals that FWW citizen science-collected data complements EA data by filling in both gaps in the spatial and temporal coverage as well as gaps in waterbody type and size. In addition, partial spatio-temporal overlap in sampling efforts by the two actors is discovered, but EA sampling is found to be more consistent than FWW sampling. Statistical analyses indicate that regardless of broader geographical overlap in sampling effort, FWW sampling sites are associated with a lower stream order and water bodies of smaller surface areas than EA sampling sites. FWW also samples more still-water body sites than the EA. As a possible result of such differences in sampling tendencies, nitrate concentrations, a measure of water quality, are lower for FWW sites than EA sites. These findings strongly indicate that citizen science has clear potential to complement agency monitoring efforts by generating information on freshwater ecosystems that would otherwise be under reported.
Bartumeus, Frederic; Oltra, Aitana; Palmer, John R B
Traditional methods for tracking disease-carrying mosquitoes are hitting budget constraints as the scales over which they must be implemented grow exponentially. Citizen science offers a novel solution to this problem but requires new models of innovation in the public health sector. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Borrell, Y. J.; Muñoz-Colmenero, A. M.; Dopico, E.; Miralles, L.; Garcia-Vazquez, E.
A Citizen Science approach was implemented in the laboratory practices of Genetics at the University of Oviedo, related with the engaging topic of Food Control. Real samples of food products consumed by students at home ("students as samplers") were employed as teaching material in three different courses of Genetics during the academic…
Fries, M.; Bresky, C.; Laird, C.; Reddy, V.; Hankey, M.
Meteorite falls can be detected using weather radars, facilitating rapid recovery of meteorites to minimize terrestrial alteration. Imagery from the US NEXRAD radar network reveals over two dozen meteorite falls where meteorites have been recovered, and about another dozen that remain unrecovered. Discovery of new meteorite falls is well suited to "citizen science" and similar outreach activities, as well as automation of computational components into internet-based search tools. Also, there are many more weather radars employed worldwide than those in the US NEXRAD system. Utilization of weather radars worldwide for meteorite recovery can not only expand citizen science opportunities but can also lead to significant improvement in the number of freshly-fallen meteorites available for research. We will discuss the methodologies behind locating and analyzing meteorite falls using weather radar, and how to make them available for citizen science efforts. An important example is the Aquarius Project, a Chicago-area consortium recently formed with the goal of recovering meteorites from Lake Michigan. This project has extensive student involvement geared toward development of actual hardware for recovering meteorites from the lake floor. Those meteorites were identified in weather radar imagery as they fell into the lake from a large meteor on 06 Feb 2017. Another example of public interaction is the meteor detection systems operated by the American Meteor Society (AMS). The AMS website has been developed to allow public reporting of meteors, effectively enabling citizen science to locate and describe significant meteor events worldwide.
Sickler, Jessica; Cherry, Tammy Messick; Allee, Leslie; Smyth, Rebecca Rice; Losey, John
The Lost Ladybug Project is a citizen science project that engages individuals and groups in research and learning about ladybug population dynamics. With a dual purpose of advancing scientists' research about ladybug populations and achieving learning outcomes with participants, the project's summative evaluation led to critical reflection on the…
Full Text Available Effective natural resource policy depends on knowing what is needed to sustain a resource and building the capacity to identify, develop, and implement flexible policies. This retrospective case study applies resilience concepts to a 16-year citizen science program and vernal pool regulatory development process in Maine, USA. We describe how citizen science improved adaptive capacities for innovative and effective policies to regulate vernal pools. We identified two core program elements that allowed people to act within narrow windows of opportunity for policy transformation, including (1 the simultaneous generation of useful, credible scientific knowledge and construction of networks among diverse institutions, and (2 the formation of diverse leadership that promoted individual and collective abilities to identify problems and propose policy solutions. If citizen science program leaders want to promote social-ecological systems resilience and natural resource policies as outcomes, we recommend they create a system for internal project evaluation, publish scientific studies using citizen science data, pursue resources for program sustainability, and plan for leadership diversity and informal networks to foster adaptive governance.
Bosch, T.; Fijen, T.P.M.; Laat, de H.H.A.; Nieuwpoort, van D.; Reinders, M.; Scheen, M.; Scheepens, S.; Alebeek, van F.A.N.
Citizen science (CS) is een term die wordt gebruikt voor het inzetten van burgers voor het verzamelen, en soms zelfs verwerken, van gegevens voor wetenschappelijk onderzoek. Over het algemeen hebben ecologische studies namelijk veel gegevens nodig die gedurende een lange tjd zijn verzameld en
Laut, Jeffrey; Cappa, Francesco; Nov, Oded; Porfiri, Maurizio
Patient motivation is an important factor to consider when developing rehabilitation programs. Here, we explore the effectiveness of active participation in web-based citizen science activities as a means of increasing participant engagement in rehabilitation exercises, through the use of a low-cost haptic joystick interfaced with a laptop computer. Using the joystick, patients navigate a virtual environment representing the site of a citizen science project situated in a polluted canal. Participants are tasked with following a path on a laptop screen representing the canal. The experiment consists of two conditions: in one condition, a citizen science component where participants classify images from the canal is included; and in the other, the citizen science component is absent. Both conditions are tested on a group of young patients undergoing rehabilitation treatments and a group of healthy subjects. A survey administered at the end of both tasks reveals that participants prefer performing the scientific task, and are more likely to choose to repeat it, even at the cost of increasing the time of their rehabilitation exercise. Furthermore, performance indices based on data collected from the joystick indicate significant differences in the trajectories created by patients and healthy subjects, suggesting that the low-cost device can be used in a rehabilitation setting for gauging patient recovery.
Turnhout, Esther; Lawrence, Anna; Turnhout, Sander
Biodiversity data are in increasing demand to inform policy and management. A substantial portion of these data is generated in citizen science networks. To ensure the quality of biodiversity data, standards and criteria for validation have been put in place. We used interviews and document analysis from the United Kingdom and The Netherlands to examine how data validation serves as a point of connection between the diverse people and practices in natural history citizen science networks. We found that rather than a unidirectional imposition of standards, validation was performed collectively. Specifically, it was enacted in ongoing circulations of biodiversity records between recorders and validators as they jointly negotiated the biodiversity that was observed and the validity of the records. These collective validation practices contributed to the citizen science character or natural history networks and tied these networks together. However, when biodiversity records were included in biodiversity-information initiatives on different policy levels and scales, the circulation of records diminished. These initiatives took on a more extractive mode of data use. Validation ceased to be collective with important consequences for the natural history networks involved and citizen science more generally. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.
Rieger, C.; Byrne, J. M.
Citizen science includes networks of ordinary people acting as sensors, observing and recording information for science. OpenStreetMap is one such sensor network which empowers citizens to collaboratively produce a global picture from free geographic information. The success of this open source software is extended by the development of freely used open databases for the user community. Participating citizens do not require a high level of skill. Final results are processed by professionals following quality assurance protocols before map information is released. OpenStreetMap is not only the cheapest source of timely maps in many cases but also often the only source. This is particularly true in developing countries. Emergency responses to the recent earthquake in Nepal illustrates the value for rapidly updated geographical information. This includes emergency management, damage assessment, post-disaster response, and future risk mitigation. Local disaster conditions (landslides, road closings, bridge failures, etc.) were documented for local aid workers by citizen scientists working remotely. Satellites and drones provide digital imagery of the disaster zone and OpenStreetMap participants shared the data from locations around the globe. For the Nepal earthquake, OpenStreetMap provided a team of volunteers on the ground through their Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) which contribute data to the disaster response through smartphones and laptops. This, combined with global citizen science efforts, provided immediate geographically useful maps to assist aid workers, including the Red Cross and Canadian DART Team, and the Nepalese government. As of August 2014, almost 1.7 million users provided over 2.5 billion edits to the OpenStreetMap map database. Due to the increased usage of smartphones, GPS-enabled devices, and the growing participation in citizen science projects, data gathering is proving an effective way to contribute as a global citizen. This paper
The ability for the general public, science attentive public, educators, and amateur scientists to obtain and use data from remote instrumentation in authentic research / citizen science activities has grown enormously in the past decade due to the internet, increasing bandwidths, easy translation of data formats, and an expanding population of web based acquisition, display, analysis, and publishing tools. The impact of this new and rapidly growing capability is both evolutionary and paradigm changing. At no other time in history have we had the ability to marshal planetary scale resources to educate large populations across socio economic and geographical boundaries and to push the envelope of science discovery through long baseline observing campaigns, crowd sourcing, and the like. This talk will focus on some of NASA's authentic research and citizen science campaigns and discuss opportunities for future public collaborations.
Bastrakova, I.; Pring, J.; Blewett, R.; Champion, D. C.; Poignand, B.; Raymond, O.; Evans, N.; Stewart, A.; Butler, P.
Since soon after the federation of Australia in 1901 Geoscience Australia, and its predecessors organisations, have gathered a significant collection of microscope slide based items (including: thin sections of rock, micro and nano fossils) from across Australia, Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The samples from which the microscope slides were produced have been gathered via extensive geological mapping programs, work conducted for major Commonwealth building initiatives such as the Snowy Mountain Scheme and science expeditions. The cost of recreating this collection, if at all possible, would be measured in the $100Ms (AUS) even assuming that it was still possible to source the relevant samples. While access to these microscope slides is open to industry, educational institutions and the public it has not been easy to locate specific slides due to the management system. The management of this collection was based largely on an aged card catalogue and ledger system. The fragmented nature of the management system with the increasing potential for the deterioration of physical media and the loss of access to even some of the original contributors meant that rescue work was (and still is) needed urgently. Achieving progress on making the microscope slides discoverable and accessible in the current fiscally constrained environment dictated a departure from what might be considered a traditional approach to the project and saw the extensive use of a citizen science approach. Through the use of a citizen science approach the proof of concept project has seen the transcription of some 35,000 sample metadata and data records (2.5 times our current electronic holdings) from a variety of hardcopy sources by a diverse group of volunteers. The availability of this data has allowed for the electronic discovery of both the microscope slides and their parent samples, and will hopefully lead to a greater utilisation of this valuable resource and
Schmidt, Jette Karen; Daugbjerg, Peer Schrøder; Sillasen, Martin Krabbe
This article presents an analysis of the political framing of science education in Denmark from 1993 to 2009. Using critical discourse analysis the article builds an argument about how reforms have brought fundamental changes in the role of education, changes that resonate with an international d...... discourse of neoliberalism. The analysis illustrates how neoliberal ideas about individualisation, competencies and accountability have penetrated science educational policy and the curricular aims of primary school science.......This article presents an analysis of the political framing of science education in Denmark from 1993 to 2009. Using critical discourse analysis the article builds an argument about how reforms have brought fundamental changes in the role of education, changes that resonate with an international...
Dakota M. Spear
Full Text Available Museum collections are critical to contemporary biological research, but museum acquisitions have declined in recent decades, hampering researchers' ability to use collections to assess species responses to habitat modification, urbanization, and global climate change. Citizen science may be a key method to bolster museum collections data, particularly from urban regions, where ongoing data collection is critical to our understanding of ecosystem dynamics in a highly modified and variable landscape. In this study, we compare data collected as part of the citizen-science project Reptiles and Amphibians of Southern California (RASCals, hosted on the platform iNaturalist (www.inaturalist.org, to data in the VertNet database (www.vertnet.org, which houses millions of museum collection records from over 250 natural-history collections, for four focal species, including a native lizard of conservation concern that has declined with urbanization, a native lizard that is widespread in urban areas, and two invasive aquatic species. We compared numbers of VertNet records over time to modern RASCals records, and the number of records collected from urban, suburban, and protected areas from both databases. For all species, citizen-science records were generated much more rapidly than museum records. For three of our four focal species, RASCals participants over 27 months documented from 70 to 750% more records than were added to the VertNet database after 1990. For the urban-tolerant southern alligator lizard, RASCals participants collected nearly 45 times more modern urban records than are contained in the VertNet database. For all other species, the majority of RASCals records were collected within suburban or other highly modified landscapes, demonstrating the value of citizen science for collecting data within urban and suburban ecosystems. As new museum acquisitions decline, citizen-science projects like RASCals may become critical to the maintenance
Metes, J.; Ballard, H. L.; Parrish, J.
As many scholars and practitioners in the environmental field turn to citizen science to collect robust scientific data as well as engage with wider audiences, it is crucial to build a more complete understanding of how citizen science influences and affects different interests within a social-ecological system. This research investigates how federal, state, and tribal natural resource managers interact with data from the Coastal Observation & Seabird Survey Team (COASST) project—a citizen science program that trains participants to monitor species and abundance of beach-cast birds on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Fifteen coastal and fisheries managers who previously requested COASST data were interviewed about how and why they used data from the project and were asked to describe how information gained from COASST affected their management decisions. Results suggest that broadly, managers value and learn from the program's capacity to gather data spanning a wide spatial-temporal range. This contribution to baseline monitoring helps managers signal and track both short- and long-term environmental change. More specifically, managers use COASST data in conjunction with other professional monitoring programs, such as the National Marine Fisheries Observer Program, to build higher degrees of reliability into management decisions. Although managers offered diverse perspectives and experiences about what the role of citizen science in natural resource management generally should be, there was agreement that agencies on their own often lack personnel and funding required to sufficiently monitor many crucial resources. Additionally, managers strongly suggested that COASST and other citizen science projects increased public awareness and support for agency decision-making and policies, and indirect yet important contribution to natural resource management.
Bugiolacchi, Roberto; Bamford, Steven; Tar, Paul; Thacker, Neil; Crawford, Ian A.; Joy, Katherine H.; Grindrod, Peter M.; Lintott, Chris
Moon Zoo is a citizen science project that utilises internet crowd-sourcing techniques. Moon Zoo users are asked to review high spatial resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), onboard NASA’s LRO spacecraft, and perform characterisation such as measuring impact crater sizes and identify morphological ‘features of interest’. The tasks are designed to address issues in lunar science and to aid future exploration of the Moon. We have tested various methodologies and...
Walker, C. E.
The emphasis in the international citizen-science, star-hunting campaign, GLOBE at Night, is in bringing awareness to the public on issues of light pollution. Light pollution threatens not only observatory sites and our "right to starlight", but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health. GLOBE at Night has successfully reached a few hundred thousand citizen-scientists during the annual 2-week campaign over the past 6 years. Provided is an overview, update and discussion of what steps can be taken to improve programs like GLOBE at Night.
Fujiwara, Yoshinori; Watanabe, Naoki; Nishi, Mariko; Ohba, Hiromi; Lee, Sangyoon; Kousa, Youko; Yajima, Satoru; Yoshida, Hiroto; Fukaya, Taro; Sakuma, Naoko; Uchida, Hayato; Shinkai, Shoji
We have launched a new intervention study, called "REPRINTS" (Research of productivity by intergenerational sympathy), in which senior volunteers aged 60 years and over are engaged in reading picture books to school children, regularly visiting public elementary schools since 2004. So far, no repeated cross-sectional studies to demonstrate indirect effects on parents have been reported, although reciprocal effects on senior volunteers and children have been demonstrated. The purpose of this study was to examine the changes of evaluation of "REPRINTS" program by parents of school children during the 2 years. Four to six volunteers as a group visited an elementary school in a suburb of Kawasaki city twice a week to read picture books. A baseline survey was conducted one month after launching the volunteer activity. First to fourth follow-up surveys were conducted every 6 months after baseline surver. Of 368 parents, 230 whose children were in 1st-4th grade were analyzed. School grade of children, gender, emotional image scale of older adults by the SD (Semantic Differential) method (13 items), parents' evaluation of activity of "REPRINTS" volunteers such as promotion of reading for children, or children's respect for older adults, appreciation, familiarity with older adults, indirect effects on promotion of safety in the community, and reducing parent's physical and psychological burdens of volunteer service for school. Repeated cross-sectional analyses by ANCOVA, adjusted for confounding factors, were conducted in order to compare changes in responses between parents of 1st-2nd grade children (lower-grade children) with those of 3rd-4th grade-children (middle-grade children). We examined experiences of being read with picture books, greeting and having conversations with volunteers among all of 330 students of 1st-4th grade. These three items were examined using Chi-squared test to compare longitudinal change between parents of lower-grade and middle-grade children
Gay, P.; Lehan, C.; Bracey, G.; Durrell, P.; Komatsu, T.; Yamani, A.; Francis, M. R.
The CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility invites the public to participate in NASA Science Mission Directorate related research that leads to publishable results and data catalogues. CosmoQuest projects range in difficulty from simple crater and transient marking tasks to more complicated mapping tasks. To successfully engage contributors in creating usable results, training and validation are required. This is accomplished through activities that are designed to mirror the experiences students would have in a university, and include mentoring by team scientists, feedback on contributor efforts, seminars to learn about new science, and even formal classes to provide needed background. Recruitment is accomplished using new and social media, and planetarium and Science on the Sphere™ trailers and shows, and community is built through online and real-world collaboration spaces and events. In this presentation, we detail CosmoQuest's four-pronged approach of media recruitment, science education, citizen science, and community collaboration. We also discuss how it is leveraged to create a skilled collaboration of citizen scientists. Training and data validation activities will be be emphasized, with examples of both what can go right and lessons learned from when things go wrong. We conclude with strategies on how to utilize best practices in user interface design to create virtual experiences that allow major citizen science efforts to be scalable to large audiences.
Jollymore, A. J.
Citizen science has emerged a means for augmenting the scope of research while educating the community. Environmental research has a particularly strong motivation for engagement, given its often-local context. We implemented a citizen science campaign to investigate relationships between land use and dissolved organic matter (DOM) in surface water environments proximal to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Citizen science was intended to increase sampling breadth, and engage the community about human activities and water quality effects. Participants were given a sample kit and a simple sampling protocol; we then used fast and economic absorbance and fluorescence spectrophotometry to determine DOM concentration and composition. Participants, including individuals from over 10 municipalities and community organizations, submitted over 200 samples; these were compared to investigator-led sampling, as well as data mining existing sources, to verify results. Analyzing the fluorescence excitation-emission matrices (EEMs) with a five-component parallel factor (PARAFAC) model showed that samples from watersheds with increased urbanization had unique microbial-like peaks, suggesting variances in DOM lability and origins compared to more pristine watersheds. Community engagement was extended by making data available online in an interactive map, as well as by presenting the project to the public. Despite this, engagement occurred most with community organizations; these participants tended to have scientific training, with a higher knowledge baseline regarding their specific watershed and water quality issues generally. While this served scientific goals, our campaign was less successful at engaging citizens with less-developed scientific backgrounds. In this presentation we will discuss the merits and scientific milestones enabled by citizen science, and lessons learned about how to get beyond 'preaching to the choir' in crafting and implementing such projects.
Haywood, Benjamin K; Parrish, Julia K; Dolliver, Jane
Environmental education strategies have customarily placed substantial focus on enhancing ecological knowledge and literacy with the hope that, upon discovering relevant facts and concepts, participants will be better equipped to process and dissect environmental issues and, therefore, make more informed decisions. The assumption is that informed citizens will become active citizens--enthusiastically lobbying for, and participating in, conservation-oriented action. We surveyed and interviewed and used performance data from 432 participants in the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a scientifically rigorous citizen science program, to explore measurable change in and links between understanding and action. We found that participation in rigorous citizen science was associated with significant increases in participant knowledge and skills; a greater connection to place and, secondarily, to community; and an increasing awareness of the relative impact of anthropogenic activities on local ecosystems specifically through increasing scientific understanding of the ecosystem and factors affecting it. Our results suggest that a place-based, data-rich experience linked explicitly to local, regional, and global issues can lead to measurable change in individual and collective action, expressed in our case study principally through participation in citizen science and community action and communication of program results to personal acquaintances and elected officials. We propose the following tenets of conservation literacy based on emergent themes and the connections between them explicit in our data: place-based learning creates personal meaning making; individual experience nested within collective (i.e., program-wide) experience facilitates an understanding of the ecosystem process and function at local and regional scales; and science-based meaning making creates informed concern (i.e., the ability to discern both natural and anthropogenic forcing
Beaumont, Christopher N.; Williams, Jonathan P.; Goodman, Alyssa A.; Kendrew, Sarah; Simpson, Robert
We present Brut, an algorithm to identify bubbles in infrared images of the Galactic midplane. Brut is based on the Random Forest algorithm, and uses bubbles identified by >35,000 citizen scientists from the Milky Way Project to discover the identifying characteristics of bubbles in images from the Spitzer Space Telescope. We demonstrate that Brut's ability to identify bubbles is comparable to expert astronomers. We use Brut to re-assess the bubbles in the Milky Way Project catalog, and find that 10%-30% of the objects in this catalog are non-bubble interlopers. Relative to these interlopers, high-reliability bubbles are more confined to the mid-plane, and display a stronger excess of young stellar objects along and within bubble rims. Furthermore, Brut is able to discover bubbles missed by previous searches—particularly bubbles near bright sources which have low contrast relative to their surroundings. Brut demonstrates the synergies that exist between citizen scientists, professional scientists, and machine learning techniques. In cases where ''untrained' citizens can identify patterns that machines cannot detect without training, machine learning algorithms like Brut can use the output of citizen science projects as input training sets, offering tremendous opportunities to speed the pace of scientific discovery. A hybrid model of machine learning combined with crowdsourced training data from citizen scientists can not only classify large quantities of data, but also address the weakness of each approach if deployed alone
Beaumont, Christopher N.; Williams, Jonathan P. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Goodman, Alyssa A. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Kendrew, Sarah; Simpson, Robert, E-mail: email@example.com [Department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom)
We present Brut, an algorithm to identify bubbles in infrared images of the Galactic midplane. Brut is based on the Random Forest algorithm, and uses bubbles identified by >35,000 citizen scientists from the Milky Way Project to discover the identifying characteristics of bubbles in images from the Spitzer Space Telescope. We demonstrate that Brut's ability to identify bubbles is comparable to expert astronomers. We use Brut to re-assess the bubbles in the Milky Way Project catalog, and find that 10%-30% of the objects in this catalog are non-bubble interlopers. Relative to these interlopers, high-reliability bubbles are more confined to the mid-plane, and display a stronger excess of young stellar objects along and within bubble rims. Furthermore, Brut is able to discover bubbles missed by previous searches—particularly bubbles near bright sources which have low contrast relative to their surroundings. Brut demonstrates the synergies that exist between citizen scientists, professional scientists, and machine learning techniques. In cases where ''untrained' citizens can identify patterns that machines cannot detect without training, machine learning algorithms like Brut can use the output of citizen science projects as input training sets, offering tremendous opportunities to speed the pace of scientific discovery. A hybrid model of machine learning combined with crowdsourced training data from citizen scientists can not only classify large quantities of data, but also address the weakness of each approach if deployed alone.
Romano, C.; Graff, P. V.; Runco, S.
Usability studies demonstrate that web users are notoriously impatient, spending as little as 15 seconds on a home page. How do you get users to stay long enough to understand a citizen science project? How do you get users to complete complex citizen science tasks online?Image Detective, a citizen science project originally developed by scientists and science engagement specialists at the NASA Johnson Space center to engage the public in the analysis of images taken from space by astronauts to help enhance NASA's online database of astronaut imagery, partnered with the CosmoQuest citizen science platform to modernize, offering new and improved options for participation in Image Detective. The challenge: to create a web interface that builds users' skills and knowledge, creating engagement while learning complex concepts essential to the accurate completion of tasks. The project team turned to usability testing for an objective understanding of how users perceived Image Detective and the steps required to complete required tasks. A group of six users was recruited online for unmoderated and initial testing. The users followed a think-aloud protocol while attempting tasks, and were recorded on video and audio. The usability test examined users' perception of four broad areas: the purpose of and context for Image Detective; the steps required to successfully complete the analysis (differentiating images of Earth's surface from those showing outer space and identifying common surface features); locating the image center point on a map of Earth; and finally, naming geographic locations or natural events seen in the image.Usability test findings demonstrated that the following best practices can increase participation in Image Detective and can be applied to the successful implementation of any citizen science project:• Concise explanation of the project, its context, and its purpose;• Including a mention of the funding agency (in this case, NASA);• A preview of
Buxner, Sanlyn; Bracey, Georgia; Summer, Theresa; Cobb, Whitney; Gay, Pamela L.; Finkelstein, Keely D.; Gurton, Suzanne; Felix-Strishock, Lisa; Kruse, Brian; Lebofsky, Larry A.; Jones, Andrea J.; Tweed, Ann; Graff, Paige; Runco, Susan; Noel-Storr, Jacob; CosmoQuest Team
CosmoQuest is a Citizen Science Virtual Research Facility that engages scientists, educators, students, and the public in analyzing NASA images. Often, these types of citizen science activities target enthusiastic members of the public, and additionally engage students in K-12 and college classrooms. To support educational engagement, we are developing a pipeline in which formal and informal educators and facilitators use the virtual research facility to engage students in real image analysis that is framed to provide meaningful science learning. This work also contributes to the larger project to produce publishable results. Community scientists are being solicited to propose CosmoQuest Science Projects take advantage of the virtual research facility capabilities. Each CosmoQuest Science Project will result in formal education materials, aligned with Next Generation Science Standards including the 3-dimensions of science learning; core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices. Participating scientists will contribute to companion educational materials with support from the CosmoQuest staff of data specialists and education specialists. Educators will be trained through in person and virtual workshops, and classrooms will have the opportunity to not only work with NASA data, but interface with NASA scientists. Through this project, we are bringing together subject matter experts, classrooms, and informal science organizations to share the excitement of NASA SMD science with future citizen scientists. CosmoQuest is funded through individual donations, through NASA Cooperative Agreement NNX16AC68A, and through additional grants and contracts that are listed on our website, cosmoquest.org.
Loughran, T.; Dirksen, R.
Classroom citizen science projects invite students to generate, curate, post, query, and analyze data, publishing and discussing results in potentially large collaborative contexts. The new web offers a rich palette of such projects for any STEM educator to select from or create. This easy access to citizen science in the classroom is full of both promise and peril for science education. By offering examples of classroom citizen science projects in particle physics, earth and environmental sciences, each supported by a common mashup of technologies available to ordinary users, we will illustrate something of the promise of these projects for science education, and point to some of the challenges and failure modes--the peril--raised by easy access and particularly easy publication of data. How one sensibly responds to this promise and peril depends on how one views the goals of science (or more broadly, STEM) education: either as the equipping of individual students with STEM knowledge and skills so as to empower them for future options, or as the issuing of effective invitations into STEM communities. Building on the claim that these are complementary perspectives, both of value, we will provide an example of a classroom citizen science project analyzed from both perspectives. The BOSCO classroom-to-classroom water source mapping project provides students both in Northern Uganda and in South Dakota a collaborative platform for analyzing and responding to local water quality concerns. Students gather water quality data, use Google Forms embedded in a project wiki to enter data in a spreadsheet, which then automatically (through Mapalist, a free web service) gets posted to a Google Map, itself embedded in the project wiki. Using these technologies, data is thus collected and posted for analysis in a collaborative environment: the stage is set for classroom citizen science. In the context of this project we will address the question of how teachers can take advantage
Kuminski, Evan; Shamir, Lior
As current and future digital sky surveys such as SDSS, LSST, DES, Pan-STARRS and Gaia create increasingly massive databases containing millions of galaxies, there is a growing need to be able to efficiently analyze these data. An effective way to do this is through manual analysis, however, this may be insufficient considering the extremely vast pipelines of astronomical images generated by the present and future surveys. Some efforts have been made to use citizen science to classify galaxies by their morphology on a larger scale than individual or small groups of scientists can. While these citizen science efforts such as Zooniverse have helped obtain reasonably accurate morphological information about large numbers of galaxies, they cannot scale to provide complete analysis of billions of galaxy images that will be collected by future ventures such as LSST. Since current forms of manual classification cannot scale to the masses of data collected by digital sky surveys, it is clear that in order to keep up with the growing databases some form of automation of the data analysis will be required, and will work either independently or in combination with human analysis such as citizen science. Here we describe a computer vision method that can automatically analyze galaxy images and deduce galaxy morphology. Experiments using Galaxy Zoo 2 data show that the performance of the method increases as the degree of agreement between the citizen scientists gets higher, providing a cleaner dataset. For several morphological features, such as the spirality of the galaxy, the algorithm agreed with the citizen scientists on around 95% of the samples. However, the method failed to analyze some of the morphological features such as the number of spiral arms, and provided accuracy of just ~36%.
Towards democracy in spatial planning through spatial information built by communities: The investigation of spatial information built by citizens from participatory mapping to volunteered geographic information in Indonesia
Recently, crowd-sourced information is used to produce and improve collective knowledge and community capacity building. Triggered by broadening and expanding access to the Internet and cellular telephones, the utilisation of crowd-sourcing for policy advocacy, e-government and e-participation has increased globally . Crowd-sourced information can conceivably support government’s or general social initiatives to inform, counsel, and cooperate, by engaging subjects and empowering decentralisation and democratization . Crowd-sourcing has turned into a major technique for interactive mapping initiatives by urban or rural community because of its capability to incorporate a wide range of data. Continuously accumulated spatial data can be sorted, layered, and envisioned in ways that even beginners can comprehend with ease. Interactive spatial visualization has the possibility to be a useful democratic planning tool to empower citizens participating in spatial data provision and sharing in government programmes. Since the global emergence of World Wide Web (WWW) technology, the interaction between information providers and users has increased. Local communities are able to produce and share spatial data to produce web interfaces with territorial information in mapping application programming interfaces (APIs) public, such as Google maps, OSM and Wikimapia . In terms of the democratic spatial planning action, Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) is considered an effective voluntary method of helping people feel comfortable with the technology and other co-participants in order to shape coalitions of local knowledge. This paper has aim to investigate ‘How is spatial data created by citizens used in Indonesia?’ by discussing the characteristics of spatial data usage by citizens to support spatial policy formulation, starting with the history of participatory mapping to current VGI development in Indonesia.
Ramirez-Andreotta, M.; Brusseau, M. L. L.; Artiola, J. F.; Maier, R. M.; Gandolfi, A. J.
A research project that is only expert-driven may ignore the role of local knowledge in research, often gives low priority to the development of a comprehensive strategy to engage the community, and may not deliver the results of the study to the community in an effective way. To date, only a limited number of co-created citizen science projects, where community members are involved in most or all steps of the scientific process, have been initiated at contaminated sites and even less in conjunction with risk communication. Gardenroots: The Dewey-Humboldt AZ Garden Project was a place-based, co-created citizen science project where community members and researchers together: defined the question for study, developed hypotheses, collected environmental samples, disseminated results broadly, translated the results into action, and posed new research questions. This co-created environmental research project produced new data and addressed an additional exposure route (consumption of vegetables grown in soils with elevated arsenic levels) that was not being evaluated in the current site assessment. Furthermore, co-producing science led to both individual learning and social-ecological outcomes. This approach illustrates the benefits of a co-created citizen-science program in addressing the complex problems that arise in communities neighboring a hazardous waste sites. Such a project increased the community's involvement in regional environmental assessment and decision-making, which has the potential to help mitigate environmental exposures and thereby reduce associated risks.
This presentation introduces a project, currently in development, of a new online platform for the interaction between climate scientists and citizen. It consists of an open-access, multi-lingual, and peer-reviewed journal publishing climate articles in non-scientific language. It follows three main long-term objectives. The first objective is to establish an ever-growing, multi-lingual library of climate articles providing a knowledge base on climate sciences accessible for free to everyone. The targeted public includes journalists, teachers, students, local actors (e.g. in politics, economy, agriculture), and any other citizen from around the world with an interest in climate sciences. The second goal is to offer a simple and direct channel for scientists wishing to disseminate their research to the general public. A high standard of climate articles is enforced through: a) requiring that the main author is an active climate scientist, and b) an innovative peer-review process involving scientific and non-scientific referees with distinct roles. The third objective is to engage citizen into the climate science. To this aim, the journal proposes three channels. Firstly, citizens are invited to contribute to the dissemination of climate knowledge to the general public by co-authoring, peer-reviewing or translating articles. Secondly, they are offered the capacity to stimulate scientific enquiry by posting invitations for manuscripts to be written on a citizen-inspired topic. Thirdly, a match-up tool is being developed for scientists to gather non-scientists teams for conducting citizen-involving research projects. This platform is scientist-initiated and is meant to be ruled and managed by the participating individuals themselves (scientists and non-scientists) as an international association. It will be financed through country-varying flat memberships. The project is now starting. The basic ideas are drawn; a prototype internet platform has been developed and is
Zárybnická, Markéta; Sklenicka, Petr; Tryjanowski, Piotr
The quality of people's knowledge of nature has always had a significant influence on their approach to wildlife and nature conservation. However, direct interactions of people with nature are greatly limited nowadays, especially because of urbanization and modern lifestyles. As a result, our isolation from the natural world has been growing. Here, we present an example of a state-of-the-art Citizen Science project with its educational, scientific, and popularizing benefits. We conclude that modern media and new forms of education offer an effective opportunity for inspiring children and others to have fun learning to act like scientists. This approach provides broad opportunities for developing the hitherto neglected educational potential of Citizen Science.
Henderson, S.; Newman, S. J.; Ward, D.; Havens-Young, K.; Alaback, P.; Meymaris, K.
Project BudBurst's (budburst.org) recent move to the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) has benefitted both programs. NEON has been able to use Project BudBurst as a testbed to learn best practices, network with experts in the field, and prototype potential tools for engaging people in continental-scale ecology as NEON develops its citizen science program. Participation in Project BudBurst has grown significantly since the move to NEON. Project BudBurst is a national citizen science initiative designed to engage the public in observations of phenological (plant life cycle) events that raise awareness of climate change, and create a cadre of informed citizen scientists. Citizen science programs such as Project BudBurst provide the opportunity for students and interested laypersons to actively participate in scientific research. Such programs are important not only from an educational perspective, but because they also enable scientists to broaden the geographic and temporal scale of their observations. The goals of Project BudBurst are to 1) increase awareness of phenology as an area of scientific study; 2) Increase awareness of the impacts of changing climates on plants at a continental-scale; and 3) increase science literacy by engaging participants in the scientific process. From its 2008 launch in February, this on-line educational and data-entry program, engaged participants of all ages and walks of life in recording the timing of the leafing and flowering of wild and cultivated species found across the continent. Thus far, thousands of participants from all 50 states have submitted data. This presentation will provide an overview of Project BudBurst and will report on the results of the 2010 field campaign and discuss plans to expand Project BudBurst in 2012 including the use of mobile phones applications for data collection and reporting from the field. Project BudBurst is co-managed by the National Ecological Observatory Network and the Chicago
Syberg, Kristian; Hansen, Steffen Foss; Christensen, Thomas Budde
, the public, and policy makers and elaborate on how the eight risk drivers have influenced this process. Plastic pollution has several of the characteristics that can enhance people’s perception of the risk as being important and which has generated great awareness of the problem. The chapter finally...... discusses how risk perception can be improved by greater stakeholder involvement and utilization of citizen science and thereby improve the foundation for timely and efficient societal measures....
Workplace learning in continuing interprofessional education (CIPE) can be difficult to facilitate and evaluate, which can create a number of challenges for this type of learning. This article presents an innovative method to foster and investigate workplace learning in CIPE - citizen social science. Citizen social science involves clinicians as co-researchers in the systematic examination of social phenomena. When facilitated by an open-source online social networking platform, clinicians can participate via computer, smartphone, or tablet in ways that suit their needs and preferences. Furthermore, as co-researchers they can help to reveal the dynamic interplay that facilitates workplace learning in CIPE. Although yet to be tested, citizen social science offers four potential benefits: it recognises and accommodates the complexity of workplace learning in CIPE; it has the capacity to both foster and evaluate the phenomena; it can be used in situ, capturing and having direct relevance to the complexity of the workplace; and by advancing both theoretical and methodological debates on CIPE, it may reveal opportunities to improve and sustain workplace learning. By describing an example situated in the youth health sector, this article demonstrates how these benefits might be realised.
Prudic, Kathleen L.; McFarland, Kent P.; Oliver, Jeffrey C.; Hutchinson, Rebecca A.; Long, Elizabeth C.; Kerr, Jeremy T.; Larrivée, Maxim
Data collection, storage, analysis, visualization, and dissemination are changing rapidly due to advances in new technologies driven by computer science and universal access to the internet. These technologies and web connections place human observers front and center in citizen science-driven research and are critical in generating new discoveries and innovation in such fields as astronomy, biodiversity, and meteorology. Research projects utilizing a citizen science approach address scientific problems at regional, continental, and even global scales otherwise impossible for a single lab or even a small collection of academic researchers. Here we describe eButterfly an integrative checklist-based butterfly monitoring and database web-platform that leverages the skills and knowledge of recreational butterfly enthusiasts to create a globally accessible unified database of butterfly observations across North America. Citizen scientists, conservationists, policy makers, and scientists are using eButterfly data to better understand the biological patterns of butterfly species diversity and how environmental conditions shape these patterns in space and time. eButterfly in collaboration with thousands of butterfly enthusiasts has created a near real-time butterfly data resource producing tens of thousands of observations per year open to all to share and explore. PMID:28524117
Full Text Available The participation of the general public in the research design, data collection and interpretation process together with scientists is often referred to as citizen science. While citizen science itself has existed since the start of scientific practice, developments in sensing technology, data processing and visualisation, and communication of ideas and results, are creating a wide range of new opportunities for public participation in scientific research. This paper reviews the state of citizen science in a hydrological context and explores the potential of citizen science to complement more traditional ways of scientific data collection and knowledge generation for hydrological sciences and water resources management. Although hydrological data collection often involves advanced technology, the advent of robust, cheap and low-maintenance sensing equipment provides unprecedented opportunities for data collection in a citizen science context. These data have a significant potential to create new hydrological knowledge, especially in relation to the characterisation of process heterogeneity, remote regions, and human impacts on the water cycle. However, the nature and quality of data collected in citizen science experiments is potentially very different from those of traditional monitoring networks. This poses challenges in terms of their processing, interpretation, and use, especially with regard to assimilation of traditional knowledge, the quantification of uncertainties, and their role in decision support. It also requires care in designing citizen science projects such that the generated data complement optimally other available knowledge. Lastly, we reflect on the challenges and opportunities in the integration of hydrologically-oriented citizen science in water resources management, the role of scientific knowledge in the decision-making process, and the potential contestation to established community institutions posed by co-generation of
Yanamandra-Fisher, Padma A.
empowerment of amateur astronomers vis-à-vis their partnerships with the professional scientists creates a new demographic of data scientists, enabling citizen science of the integrated data from both the professional and amateur communities.
EPA scientists are partnering with Clean Air Carolina (CAC) in Charlotte, N.C., and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in Cherokee, N.C., to conduct a citizen science air quality project in these regions.
Haines-Stiles, G.; Abdalati, W.; Akuginow, E.
Citizen science and crowdsourcing are relatively unfamiliar terms to the general public, including parents, children and teachers, as seen in focus groups convened by the NSF-funded THE CROWD & THE CLOUD public television series. Once aware, however, of the potential of today's citizen science—often relying on smartphones, apps and innovative sensors—both citizens and professional scientists become excited and seek to learn more. CROWD & CLOUD, premiering on PBS stations in April 2017, hosted by former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati, and streaming at CrowdAndCloud.org, features a wide range of projects supported by NASA, NOAA, USGS, EPA and other Federal agencies. Some, such as EyesOnALZ, a startup which aims to accelerate research on Alzheimer's disease, adapt a crowdsourcing model first developed to help analyze data returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft. Early results from its "StallCatchers" puzzle-game show both high quality data and have been shown to cut one year's worth of academic labor down to one month of effort by "the crowd." While longstanding citizen science projects such as Audubon's Christmas Bird Count (starting in 1900) have proven their worth, Smartfin—embedding sensors in surfboard fins—is taking advantage of recent technical innovations to track sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification, with their accuracy validated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The NASA-supported GLOBE Observer mosquito habitat mapper project uses a $6 microscope attached to a smartphone to aid in species identification. Some projects tap adult volunteers, but many, such as USGS's Nature's Notebook, also appeal to youngsters. In Albuquerque local teens track invasive species and help refuge managers, usefully supplementing the sole salaried ranger. In the Rockaways, New York, high school students plant pollinator gardens and promote ecosystem resilience following Superstorm Sandy. This presentation will feature short videos demonstrating
Todd, Brian D; Rose, Jonathan P; Price, Steven J; Dorcas, Michael E
Conservation practitioners must contend with an increasing array of threats that affect biodiversity. Citizen scientists can provide timely and expansive information for addressing these threats across large scales, but their data may contain sampling biases. We used randomization procedures to account for possible sampling biases in opportunistically reported citizen science data to identify species' sensitivities to human land use. We analyzed 21,044 records of 143 native reptile and amphibian species reported to the Carolina Herp Atlas from North Carolina and South Carolina between 1 January 1990 and 12 July 2014. Sensitive species significantly associated with natural landscapes were 3.4 times more likely to be legally protected or treated as of conservation concern by state resource agencies than less sensitive species significantly associated with human-dominated landscapes. Many of the species significantly associated with natural landscapes occurred primarily in habitats that had been nearly eradicated or otherwise altered in the Carolinas, including isolated wetlands, longleaf pine savannas, and Appalachian forests. Rare species with few reports were more likely to be associated with natural landscapes and 3.2 times more likely to be legally protected or treated as of conservation concern than species with at least 20 reported occurrences. Our results suggest that opportunistically reported citizen science data can be used to identify sensitive species and that species currently restricted primarily to natural landscapes are likely at greatest risk of decline from future losses of natural habitat. Our approach demonstrates the usefulness of citizen science data in prioritizing conservation and in helping practitioners address species declines and extinctions at large extents. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.
Miller, Fiona A; Painter-Main, Michael; Axler, Renata; Lehoux, Pascale; Giacomini, Mita; Slater, Barbara
Responsiveness to citizens as users of technological innovation helps motivate translational research and commercial engagement among academics. Yet, retaining citizen trust and support for research encourages caution in pursuit of commercial science. We explore citizen expectations of the specifically academic nature of commercial science [i.e. academic entrepreneurship (AE)] and the influence of conflict of interest concerns, hopes about practical benefits and general beliefs. We conducted a cross-sectional national opinion survey of 1002 Canadians online in 2010. Approval of AE was moderate (mean 3.2/5, SD 0.84), but varied by entrepreneurial activity. Concern about conflict of interests (COI) was moderate (mean 2.9/5, SD 0.86) and varied by type of concern. An ordinary least-squares regression showed that expectations of practical benefits informed support for AE, specifically that academic-industry collaboration can better address real-world problems; conflict of interest concerns were insignificant. These findings suggest that citizens support AE for its potential to produce practical benefits, but enthusiasm varies and is reduced for activities that may prioritize private over public interests. Further, support exists despite concern about COI, perhaps due to trust in the academic research context. For user engagement in research priority setting, these findings suggest the need to attend to the commercial nature of translational science. For research policy, they suggest the need for governance arrangements for responsible innovation, which can sustain public trust in academic research, and realize the practical benefits that inform public support for AE. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Brown, Azby; Franken, Peter; Bonner, Sean; Moross, Joe; Dolezal, Nick
Safecast, an international, volunteer-based organization devoted to monitoring and openly sharing information on environmental radiation and other pollutants, was initiated on March 12, 2011, one day following the start of the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, in response to the lack of publicly available, accurate and trustworthy information about the spread of radioactive fallout. Since its inception, Safecast has grown in size, scope, and geographical reach, as well as in the technical sophistication of its citizen-science-based hardware and software systems. The focus of the group's work is to provide citizens worldwide with the tools they need to inform themselves by gathering and sharing accurate environmental data, in an open and participatory fashion. This effort combines hardware and software design for original radiation and air quality measurement devices; visualizations which are made available online and as applications for mobile and desktop; strong public outreach and education programs; and open forums for discussion of radiation, air pollution, and other hazards. The Safecast system is agile and flexible in terms of development and deployment, and all designs, software programs, and data is provided on an open-source basis. In addition, because the group takes no public stance either for or against nuclear power, it has become an important unbiased source of information regarding radiation risks. The Fukushima Daichi NPP disaster provided a crucial opportunity to evaluate the state of preparation on the part the powerplant operator, government agencies, and international oversight bodies, to gather necessary information on radiation risks quickly and to share it both with emergency responders and the general public. The inadequacy of this preparation and the chaotic nature of inter-agency and inter-governmental communication has been well noted in several official reports on the disaster, including those issued by The National Diet of
Full Text Available Citizen science has become a mainstream approach to collect information and data on many different scientific subjects. In this study, we assess the effectiveness of engagement and meaningful experience of participants in citizen science projects. We use motivational measures calculated from a web survey where respondents answered questions regarding to their motivation to participate in BioDiversity4All, a Portuguese citizen science project. We adapted the intrinsic motivation inventory (IMI and considered seven categories of measurement: Interest/Enjoyment, Perceived Competence, Effort/Importance, Perceived Choice, Value/Usefulness, Project Relatedness, and Group Relatedness each of them with statements rated on a seven-point Likert scale. We received 149 survey responses, corresponding to 10.3 % of BioDiversity4All Newsletter’s receivers. We analyzed for possible differences among the categories pertaining to gender, age, level of education and level of participation in the project. Finally, we assessed the different patterns of motivation existing among the users. No statistical differences were found between genders, age classes and levels of education for the averages in any category of analysis. However, IMI categories presented different results for respondents with different levels of participation. The highest value of Interest/Enjoyment and Perceived Competence was obtained by the group of respondents that participate a lot and the lowest by the ones that never participated. Project Relatedness had the highest value for all groups except for the group that never participated. This group had completely different motivations from the other groups, showing the lowest levels in categories such as Perceived Competence, Value/Usefulness, Project Relatedness and Group Relatedness. In conclusion, the results from our work show that working deeply on people’s involvement is fundamental to increase and maintain their participation on
Full Text Available In this podcast interview Carolyn Burdett joins Sally Shuttleworth, Gowan Dawson, Geoffrey Belknap, and Alison Moulds to discuss their project ‘Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries’. From Charles Darwin, nineteenth-century scientific periodicals, scientific communities, and amateur scientists to their twenty-first century virtual counterparts in digital platforms such as Zooniverse, the project illuminates the inclusive nature of science in action, and the strategies of public engagement to respond to the challenge of big data through intergenerational crowdsourcing projects extending from postgraduate research to child scientists.
Out of a total around 50,000 meteorites currently known to science, the atmospheric passage was recorded instrumentally in only 30 cases with the potential to derive their atmospheric trajectories and pre-impact heliocentric orbits. Similarly, while the observations of meteors, add thousands of new entries per month to existing databases, it is extremely rare they lead to meteorite recovery. Meteor studies thus represent an excellent example of the Big Data citizen science project, where progress in the field largely depends on the prompt identification and characterisation of meteor events as well as on extensive and valuable contributions by amateur observers. Over the last couple of decades technological advancements in observational techniques have yielded drastic improvements in the quality, quantity and diversity of meteor data, while even more ambitious instruments are about to become operational. This empowers meteor science to boost its experimental and theoretical horizons and seek more advanced scientific goals. We review some of the developments that push meteor science into the Big Data era that requires more complex methodological approaches through interdisciplinary collaborations with other branches of physics and computer science. We argue that meteor science should become an integral part of large surveys in astronomy, aeronomy and space physics, and tackle the complexity of micro-physics of meteor plasma and its interaction with the atmosphere. The recent increased interest in meteor science triggered by the Chelyabinsk fireball helps in building the case for technologically and logistically more ambitious meteor projects. This requires developing new methodological approaches in meteor research, with Big Data science and close collaboration between citizen science, geoscience and astronomy as critical elements. We discuss possibilities for improvements and promote an opportunity for collaboration in meteor science within the currently
Non-science majors often misunderstand the process of science, potentially leading to a fear or mistrust of scientific inquiry and current scientific theory. Citizen science projects are a critical means of reaching this audience, as many will only take a limited number of science courses during their undergraduate careers. For the past three years, our freshman Earth Science students have participated in both Globe at Night and the Great Worldwide Star Count, citizen science programs that encourage simple astronomical observations which can be compiled globally to investigate a number of issues. Our focus has been introducing students to the effect of light pollution on observational astronomy in an effort to highlight the effect of increasing urbanization in the U.S. on amateur astronomy. These programs, although focused on astronomy, often awaken natural curiosity about the Earth and man's effect on the natural world, a concept that can easily be translated to other areas of Earth science. Challenges encountered include content specific issues, such as misinterpreting the location or magnitude of the constellation being observed, as well as student disinterest or apathy if the project is not seen as being vital to their performance in the course. This presentation reports on lessons learned in the past three years, and offers suggestions for engaging these students more fully in future projects.
Bloom, T. D. S.; Riginos, C.
Around the world, phenology —or the timing of ecological events — is shifting as the climate warms. This can lead to a variety of consequences for individual species and for ecological communities as a whole, most notably through asynchronies that can develop between plants and animals that depend upon each other (e.g. nectar-consuming pollinators). Within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP), there is little understanding of how climate change is affecting plant and animal phenology, yet through detailed scientific and citizen science observation there is tremendous potential to further our knowledge of this topic and increase public awareness. Detailed historic data are rare, but in GTNP we have the opportunity to capitalize on phenology data gathered by Dr. Frank Craighead, Jr. in the 1970s, before significant warming had occurred. We have already gathered, digitized, and quality-controlled Craighead's observations of plant first flowering dates. First flowering date for 87% of a 72-species data set correlate significantly with spring temperatures in the 1970s, suggesting that these plants are now flowering earlier and will continue to flower earlier in the future. Our multi-year project has project has 3 primary goals: (1) initiate a citizen science project, Wildflower Watch GTNP, to train volunteer scientists to collect contemporary phenology data on these species (2) gather further historical records of plant phenology in the region, and (3) model continued phenological changes under future climate change scenarios using satellite derived climate data and on the ground observations. This project simultaneously increases public involvement in climate research, collaborates with the National Park Service to inform management strategies for at-risk species, and furthers scientific understanding of phenological response to climate change in the Rocky Mountains.
Borrell, Y J; Muñoz-Colmenero, A M; Dopico, E; Miralles, L; Garcia-Vazquez, E
A Citizen Science approach was implemented in the laboratory practices of Genetics at the University of Oviedo, related with the engaging topic of Food Control. Real samples of food products consumed by students at home (students as samplers) were employed as teaching material in three different courses of Genetics during the academic year 2014-2015: Experimental Methods in Food Production (MBTA) (Master level), and Applied Molecular Biology (BMA) and Conservation Genetics and Breeding (COMGE) (Bachelor/Degree level). Molecular genetics based on PCR amplification of DNA markers was employed for species identification of 22 seafood products in COMGE and MBTA, and for detection of genetically modified (GM) maize from nine products in BMA. In total six seafood products incorrectly labeled (27%), and two undeclared GM maize (22%) were found. A post-Laboratory survey was applied for assessing the efficacy of the approach for improving motivation in the Laboratory Practices of Genetics. Results confirmed that students that worked on their own samples from local markets were significantly more motivated and better evaluated their Genetic laboratory practices than control students (χ(2) = 12.11 p = 0.033). Our results suggest that citizen science approaches could not be only useful for improving teaching of Genetics in universities but also to incorporate students and citizens as active agents in food control. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44(5):450-462, 2016. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Full Text Available Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in North America and Europe, and on-going surveillance is required to monitor the spread of the tick vectors as their populations expand under the influence of climate change. Active surveillance involves teams of researchers collecting ticks from field locations with the potential to be sites of establishing tick populations. This process is labor- and time-intensive, limiting the number of sites monitored and the frequency of monitoring. Citizen science initiatives are ideally suited to address this logistical problem and generate high-density and complex data from sites of community importance. In 2014, the same region was monitored by academic researchers, public health workers, and citizen scientists, allowing a comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of each type of surveillance effort. Four community members persisted with tick collections over several years, collectively recovering several hundred ticks. Although deviations from standard surveillance protocols and the choice of tick surveillance sites makes the incorporation of community-generated data into conventional surveillance analyses more complex, this citizen science data remains useful in providing high-density longitudinal tick surveillance of a small area in which detailed ecological observations can be made. Most importantly, partnership between community members and researchers has proven a powerful tool in educating communities about of the risk of tick-vectored diseases and in encouraging tick bite prevention.
Weaver, K. L. K.; Riebeek Kohl, H.
The solar eclipse of 2017 presented an extraordinary opportunity to engage the public in shared science activity across the entire United States. While a natural focus of the eclipse was on astronomy and heliophysics, there was also an opening for excellent connections to Earth science. Because of the excitement of the event, many people gathered for long periods before and after totality, a perfect opportunity for observations and data collection to explore the impact of the eclipse on the atmosphere. The data was collected via NASA's GLOBE Observer app, a subset of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment Program, a citizen science project which has been active for more than 20 years training teachers to collect many different types of environmental science data with their students. GLOBE Observer expands that audience to citizen scientists who might not be connected to a school, but are still interested in collecting data. In addition to the clouds observations that are normally part of GLOBE Observer, a special temporary protocol was added for the eclipse to include air temperature. Both types of measurements were collected at regular intervals for several hours before and after the point of maximum eclipse. By crowdsourcing data from all across the United States, on and off the path of totality, the hope was to be able to see patterns that wouldn't be apparent with fewer data points. In particular, there are few sources of detailed cloud data from the ground, including cloud type as well as overall cloud cover, especially as collected during a unique natural experiment such as an eclipse. This presentation will report preliminary results of the GLOBE Observer eclipse citizen science project, including participation totals and impact, data site distribution, as well as early analyses of both temperature and cloud data.
Full Text Available Roads impact wildlife through a range of mechanisms from habitat loss and decreased landscape connectivity to direct mortality through wildlife-vehicle collisions (roadkill. These collisions have been rated amongst the highest modern risks to wildlife. With the development of “citizen science” projects, in which members of the public participate in data collection, it is now possible to monitor the impacts of roads over scales far beyond the limit of traditional studies. However, the reliability of data provided by citizen scientists for roadkill studies remains largely untested. This study used a dataset of 2,666 roadkill reports on national and regional roads in South Africa (total length ~170,000 km over 3 years. We first compared roadkill data collected from trained road patrols operating on a major highway with data submitted by citizen scientists on the same road section (431 km. We found that despite minor differences, the broad spatial and taxonomic patterns were similar between trained reporters and untrained citizen scientists. We then compared data provided by two groups of citizen scientists across South Africa: (1 those working in the zoology/conservation sector (that we have termed “regular observers,” whose reports were considered to be more accurate due to their knowledge and experience, and (2 occasional observers, whose reports required verification by an expert. Again, there were few differences between the type of roadkill report provided by regular and occasional reporters; both types identified the same area (or cluster where roadkill was reported most frequently. However, occasional observers tended to report charismatic and easily identifiable species more often than road patrols or regular observers. We conclude that citizen scientists can provide reliable data for roadkill studies when it comes to identifying general patterns and high-risk areas. Thus, citizen science has the potential to be a valuable tool for
Le Coz Jérôme
Full Text Available New communication and digital image technologies have enabled the public to produce and share large quantities of flood observations. Valuable hydraulic data such as water levels, flow rates, inundated areas, etc., can be extracted from photos and movies taken by citizens and help improve the analysis and modelling of flood hazard. We introduce recent citizen science initiatives which have been launched independently by research organisations to document floods in some catchments and urban areas of France, Argentina and New Zealand. Key drivers for success appear to be: a clear and simple procedure, suitable tools for data collecting and processing, an efficient communication plan, the support of local stakeholders, and the public awareness of natural hazards.
Klimenko, Natalia S; Tyakht, Alexander V; Popenko, Anna S; Vasiliev, Anatoly S; Altukhov, Ilya A; Ischenko, Dmitry S; Shashkova, Tatiana I; Efimova, Daria A; Nikogosov, Dmitri A; Osipenko, Dmitrii A; Musienko, Sergey V; Selezneva, Kseniya S; Baranova, Ancha; Kurilshikov, Alexander M; Toshchakov, Stepan M; Korzhenkov, Aleksei A; Samarov, Nazar I; Shevchenko, Margarita A; Tepliuk, Alina V; Alexeev, Dmitry G
Personalized nutrition is of increasing interest to individuals actively monitoring their health. The relations between the duration of diet intervention and the effects on gut microbiota have yet to be elucidated. Here we examined the associations of short-term dietary changes, long-term dietary habits and lifestyle with gut microbiota. Stool samples from 248 citizen-science volunteers were collected before and after a self-reported 2-week personalized diet intervention, then analyzed using 16S rRNA sequencing. Considerable correlations between long-term dietary habits and gut community structure were detected. A higher intake of vegetables and fruits was associated with increased levels of butyrate-producing Clostridiales and higher community richness. A paired comparison of the metagenomes before and after the 2-week intervention showed that even a brief, uncontrolled intervention produced profound changes in community structure: resulting in decreased levels of Bacteroidaceae , Porphyromonadaceae and Rikenellaceae families and decreased alpha-diversity coupled with an increase of Methanobrevibacter , Bifidobacterium , Clostridium and butyrate-producing Lachnospiraceae - as well as the prevalence of a permatype (a bootstrapping-based variation of enterotype) associated with a higher diversity of diet. The response of microbiota to the intervention was dependent on the initial microbiota state. These findings pave the way for the development of an individualized diet.
Natalia S. Klimenko
Full Text Available Personalized nutrition is of increasing interest to individuals actively monitoring their health. The relations between the duration of diet intervention and the effects on gut microbiota have yet to be elucidated. Here we examined the associations of short-term dietary changes, long-term dietary habits and lifestyle with gut microbiota. Stool samples from 248 citizen-science volunteers were collected before and after a self-reported 2-week personalized diet intervention, then analyzed using 16S rRNA sequencing. Considerable correlations between long-term dietary habits and gut community structure were detected. A higher intake of vegetables and fruits was associated with increased levels of butyrate-producing Clostridiales and higher community richness. A paired comparison of the metagenomes before and after the 2-week intervention showed that even a brief, uncontrolled intervention produced profound changes in community structure: resulting in decreased levels of Bacteroidaceae, Porphyromonadaceae and Rikenellaceae families and decreased alpha-diversity coupled with an increase of Methanobrevibacter, Bifidobacterium, Clostridium and butyrate-producing Lachnospiraceae- as well as the prevalence of a permatype (a bootstrapping-based variation of enterotype associated with a higher diversity of diet. The response of microbiota to the intervention was dependent on the initial microbiota state. These findings pave the way for the development of an individualized diet.
Full Text Available Heureka is situated in the Helsinki Metropolitan area. Every year, on average, 300.000 visitors come to Heureka; it is one of the largest year-round attractions in the area. 20–25% of the visitors are school classes. Heureka has a main exhibition including Children’s Heureka and also always houses two temporary exhibitions. Special activities supplement the exhibitions: The Verne Theatre, Children’s Laboratory, The Open Laboratory, Science Theatre Minerva and the Basketball Rats.
Full Text Available The impact of Crowdsourcing and citizen science activities on academia, businesses, governance and society has been enormous. This is more prevalent today with citizens and communities collaborating with organizations, businesses and authorities to contribute in a variety of manners, starting from mere data providers to being key stakeholders in various decision-making processes. The “Crowdsourcing for observations from Satellites” project is a recently concluded study supported by demonstration projects funded by European Space Agency (ESA. The objective of the project was to investigate the different facets of how crowdsourcing and citizen science impact upon the validation, use and enhancement of Observations from Satellites (OS products and services. This paper presents our findings in a stakeholder analysis activity involving participants who are experts in crowdsourcing, citizen science for Earth Observations. The activity identified three critical areas that needs attention by the community as well as provides suggestions to potentially help in addressing some of the challenges identified.
Davies, Linda; Fradera, Roger; Riesch, Hauke; Lakeman-Fraser, Poppy
This paper provides a short introduction to the topic of citizen science (CS) identifying the shift from the knowledge deficit model to more inclusive, participatory science. It acknowledges the benefits of new technology and the opportunities it brings for mass participation and data manipulation. It focuses on the increase in interest in CS in recent years and draws on experience gained from the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme launched in England in 2007. The drivers and objectives for OPAL are presented together with background information on the partnership, methods and scales. The approaches used by researchers ranged from direct public participation in mass data collection through field surveys to research with minimal public engagement. The supporting services focused on education, particularly to support participants new to science, a media strategy and data services. Examples from OPAL are used to illustrate the different approaches to the design and delivery of CS that have emerged over recent years and the breadth of opportunities for public participation the current landscape provides. Qualitative and quantitative data from OPAL are used as evidence of the impact of CS. While OPAL was conceived ahead of the more recent formalisation of approaches to the design, delivery and analysis of CS projects and their impact, it nevertheless provides a range of examples against which to assess the various benefits and challenges emerging in this fast developing field.
Portas, Antonio M; Barnard, Luke; Scott, Chris; Harrison, R Giles
The National Eclipse Weather Experiment (NEWEx) was a citizen science project for atmospheric data collection from the partial solar eclipse of 20 March 20. Its role as a tool for schools outreach is discussed here, in seeking to bridge the gap between self-identification with the role of a scientist and engagement with science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. (The science data generated have had other uses beyond this, explored elsewhere.) We describe the design of webforms for weather data collection, and the use of several external partners for the dissemination of the project nationwide. We estimate that up to 3500 pupils and teachers took part in this experiment, through the 127 schools postcodes identified in the data submission. Further analysis revealed that 43.3% of the schools were primary schools and 35.4% were secondary. In total, 96.3% of participants reported themselves as 'captivated' or 'inspired' by NEWEx. We also found that 60% of the schools that took part in the experiment lie within the highest quintiles of engagement with higher education, which emphasizes the need for the scientific community to be creative when using citizen science projects to target hard-to-reach audiences.This article is part of the themed issue 'Atmospheric effects of solar eclipses stimulated by the 2015 UK eclipse'. © 2016 The Authors.
Janney, D. W.; Schwerin, T. G.; Riebeek Kohl, H.; Dusenbery, P.; LaConte, K.; Taylor, J.; Weaver, K. L. K.
Libraries are local community centers and hubs for learning, with more and more libraries responding to the need to increase science literacy and support 21st century skills by adding STEM programs and resources for patrons of all ages. A collaboration has been developed between two NASA Science Mission Directorate projects - the NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative and NASA@ My Library - each bringing unique STEM assets and networks to support library staff and bring authentic STEM experiences and resources to learners in public library settings. The collaboration used Earth Day 2017 as a high profile event to engage and support 100 libraries across the U.S. (>50% serving rural communities), in developing locally-relevant programs and events that incorporated cloud observing and resources using NASA GLOBE Observer (GO) citizen science program. GO cloud observations are helping NASA scientists understand clouds from below (the ground) and above (from space). Clouds play an important role in transferring energy from the Sun to different parts of the Earth system. Because clouds can change rapidly, scientists need frequent observations from citizen scientists. Insights from the library focus groups and evaluation include promising practices, requested resources, programming ideas and approaches, particularly approaches to leveraging NASA subject matter experts and networks, to support local library programming.
Hinckson, Erica; Schneider, Margaret; Winter, Sandra J; Stone, Emily; Puhan, Milo; Stathi, Afroditi; Porter, Michelle M; Gardiner, Paul A; Dos Santos, Daniela Lopes; Wolff, Andrea; King, Abby C
Physical inactivity across the lifespan remains a public health issue for many developed countries. Inactivity has contributed considerably to the pervasiveness of lifestyle diseases. Government, national and local agencies and organizations have been unable to systematically, and in a coordinated way, translate behavioral research into practice that makes a difference at a population level. One approach for mobilizing multi-level efforts to improve the environment for physical activity is to engage in a process of citizen science. Citizen Science here is defined as a participatory research approach involving members of the public working closely with research investigators to initiate and advance scientific research projects. However, there are no common measures or protocols to guide citizen science research at the local community setting. We describe overarching categories of constructs that can be considered when designing citizen science projects expected to yield multi-level interventions, and provide an example of the citizen science approach to promoting PA. We also recommend potential measures across different levels of impact. Encouraging some consistency in measurement across studies will potentially accelerate the efficiency with which citizen science participatory research provides new insights into and solutions to the behaviorally-based public health issues that drive most of morbidity and mortality. The measures described in this paper abide by four fundamental principles specifically selected for inclusion in citizen science projects: feasibility, accuracy, propriety, and utility. The choice of measures will take into account the potential resources available for outcome and process evaluation. Our intent is to emphasize the importance for all citizen science participatory projects to follow an evidence-based approach and ensure that they incorporate an appropriate assessment protocol. We provided the rationale for and a list of contextual factors
Toupin, C.; Bean, J. R.; Gavenus, K.; Johnson, H.; Toupin, S.
With the copious amount of science and pseudoscience reported on by non-experts in the media, it is critical for educators to help students develop into scientifically literate citizens. One of the most direct ways to help students develop deep scientific understanding and the skills to critically question the information they encounter is to bring science into their daily experiences and to contextualize scientific inquiry within the classroom. Our work aims to use a systems-based models approach to engage students in science, in both formal and informal contexts. Using the Understanding Global Change (UGC) and the Understanding Science models developed at the Museum of Paleontology at UC Berkeley, high school students from Arizona were tasked with developing a viable citizen science program for use at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies in Homer, Alaska. Experts used the UGC model to help students define why they were doing the work, and give context to the importance of citizen science. Empowered with an understanding of the scientific process, excited by the purpose of their work and how it could contribute to the scientific community, students whole-heartedly worked together to develop intertidal monitoring protocols for two locations while staying at Peterson Bay Field Station, Homer. Students, instructors, and scientists used system models to communicate and discuss their understanding of the biological, physical, and chemical processes in Kachemak Bay. This systems-based models approach is also being used in an integrative high school physics, chemistry, and biology curriculum in a truly unprecedented manner. Using the Understanding Global Change framework to organize curriculum scope and sequence, the course addresses how the earth systems work, how interdisciplinary science knowledge is necessary to understand those systems, and how scientists and students can measure changes within those systems.
Paul, J. D.; Buytaert, W.; Allen, S.; Ballesteros-Cánovas, J. A.; Bhusal, J.; Cieslik, K.; Clark, J.; Dewulf, A.; Dhital, M. R.; Hannah, D. M.; Liu, W.; Nayaval, J. L.; Schiller, A.; Smith, P. J.; Stoffel, M.; Supper, R.
In Disaster Risk Management, an emerging shift has been noted from broad-scale, top-down assessments towards more participatory, community-based, bottom-up approaches. Combined with technologies for robust and low-cost sensor networks, a citizen science approach has recently emerged as a promising direction in the provision of extensive, real-time information for flood early warning systems. Here we present the framework and initial results of a major new international project, Landslide EVO, aimed at increasing local resilience against hydrologically induced disasters in western Nepal by exploiting participatory approaches to knowledge generation and risk governance. We identify three major technological developments that strongly support our approach to flood early warning and resilience building in Nepal. First, distributed sensor networks, participatory monitoring, and citizen science hold great promise in complementing official monitoring networks and remote sensing by generating site-specific information with local buy-in, especially in data-scarce regions. Secondly, the emergence of open source, cloud-based risk analysis platforms supports the construction of a modular, distributed, and potentially decentralised data processing workflow. Finally, linking data analysis platforms to social computer networks and ICT (e.g. mobile phones, tablets) allows tailored interfaces and people-centred decision- and policy-support systems to be built. Our proposition is that maximum impact is created if end-users are involved not only in data collection, but also over the entire project life-cycle, including the analysis and provision of results. In this context, citizen science complements more traditional knowledge generation practices, and also enhances multi-directional information provision, risk management, early-warning systems and local resilience building.
Griffith, A.; Dosemagen, S.; Warren, J.
The collection, communication, and sharing of data relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill proved to be a case study in the lack of data transparency and poor collaboration on a variety of levels. British Petroleum and the government worked together to keep the public out of the spill area while collecting over 31,000 water and sediment samples from the Gulf of Mexico after the initial explosion in April, 2010. Although thousands of images were immediately collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Geological Survey, some of those raw data sets still remain inaccessible, are in difficult to use formats, or have been modified for public release. The lack of sharing of information by federal agencies and BP was particularly frustrating given the use of publicly funded resources. Discrepancies between information posted on federal and state websites and conditions in the field were apparent and a key factor in the poor relations between authorities and local residents. The conditions under which data is collected, the affiliation of the authors, and the intended use, vastly impacts how well we trust those data. The solution, we believe, is for local communities to produce their own high-quality data through collaboration with organizations such as The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science. The Public Laboratory community worked with Gulf Coast residents in the field to document the effects of oil on shorelines with do-it-yourself aerial photography. For less than 100 in parts, we used helium balloons and kites to send cameras to over a thousand feet, and stitched the resulting images into high-resolution maps using our free, open-source software. Over a hundred volunteers hit the beaches to take tens of thousands of photos, depicting slicks, oiled wetlands, and the birds, fish, and plants threatened by the disaster. Our efforts resulted in the largest repository of publicly archived oil spill data to date and it is
Morley, M. G.; Moran, K.; Riddell, D. J.; Hoeberechts, M.; Flagg, R.; Walsh, J.; Dobell, R.; Longo, J.
Ocean Networks Canada operates the world-leading NEPTUNE and VENUS cabled ocean observatories off the west coast of British Columbia, and a community observatory in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Continuous power and connectivity permit large volumes of data to be collected and made available to scientists and citizens alike over the Internet through a web-based interface. The Oceans 2.0 data management system contains over one quarter petabyte of data, including more than 20,000 hours of video from fixed seafloor cameras and a further 8,000 hours of video collected by remotely operated vehicles. Cabled observatory instrument deployments enable the collection of high-frequency, long-duration time series of data from a specific location. This enables the study of important questions such as whether effects of climate change—for instance, variations in temperature or sea-level—are seen over the long term. However, cabled observatory monitoring also presents challenges to scientific researchers: the overwhelming volume of data and the fixed spatial location can be barriers to addressing some big questions. Here we describe how Ocean Networks Canada is using Citizen Science to address these limitations and supplement cabled observatory research. Two applications are presented: Digital Fishers is a crowd-sourcing application in which participants watch short deep-sea video clips and make annotations based on scientific research questions. To date, 3,000 participants have contributed 140,000 scientific observations on topics including sablefish abundance, hydrothermal vent geology and deep-sea feeding behaviour. Community Fishers is a program in which ordinary citizens aboard vessels of opportunity collect ocean data including water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll. The program's focus is to directly address the typical quality concerns around data that are collected using a citizen science approach. This is done by providing high quality scientific
Potosnak, M. J.; Beck-Winchatz, B.; Ritter, P.
High-altitude balloons (HABs) are an engaging platform for citizen science and formal and informal STEM education. However, the logistics of launching, chasing and recovering a payload on a 1200 g or 1500 g balloon can be daunting for many novice school groups and citizen scientists, and the cost can be prohibitive. In addition, there are many interesting scientific applications that do not require reaching the stratosphere, including measuring atmospheric pollutants in the planetary boundary layer. With a large number of citizen scientist flights, these data can be used to constrain satellite retrieval algorithms. In this poster presentation, we discuss a novel approach based on small (30 g) balloons that are cheap and easy to handle, and low-cost tracking devices (SPOT trackers for hikers) that do not require a radio license. Our scientific goal is to measure air quality in the lower troposphere. For example, particulate matter (PM) is an air pollutant that varies on small spatial scales and has sources in rural areas like biomass burning and farming practices such as tilling. Our HAB platform test flight incorporates an optical PM sensor, an integrated single board computer that records the PM sensor signal in addition to flight parameters (pressure, location and altitude), and a low-cost tracking system. Our goal is for the entire platform to cost less than $500. While the datasets generated by these flights are typically small, integrating a network of flight data from citizen scientists into a form usable for comparison to satellite data will require big data techniques.
Bossu, Rémy; Gilles, Sébastien; Mazet-Roux, Gilles; Kamb, Linus; Frobert, Laurent
In science, projects which involve volunteers for observations, measurements, computation are grouped under the term, Citizen Science. They range from bird or planet census to distributing computing on volonteers's computer. Over the last five years, the EMSC has been developing tools and strategy to collect information on earthquake's impact from the first persons to be informed, i.e. the witnesses. By extension, it is named Citizen Seismology. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), a scientific not-for-profit NGO, benefits from the high visibility of its rapid earthquake information services (www.emsc-csem.org) which attract an average of more than half a million visits a month from 160 countries. Witnesses converge to its site within a couple of minutes of earthquake's occurrence to find out information about the cause of the shaking they have just been through. The convergence generates brutal increases of hit rate which can be automatically detected. They are often the first indication about the occurrence of a felt event. Witnesses' locations are determined from their IP addresses. Localities exhibiting statistically significant increase of traffic are mapped to produce the "felt map". This map available within 5 to 8 minutes of the earthquake's occurrence represents the area where the event was felt. It is the fastest way to collect in-situ information on the consequences of an earthquake. Widespread damage region are expected to be mapped through a significant lack or absence of visitors. A second tool involving the visitors is an online macroseismic questionnaire available in 21 languages. It complements the felt maps as it can describes the level of shaking or damage, but is only available in 90 to 120 minutes. Witnesses can also share their pictures of damage. They used it also to provide us exceptional pictures of transient phenomena. With the University of Edinburgh, we are finalising a prototype named ShakemApple, linking Apple
Ana Cristina Cardoso
Full Text Available Invasive Alien Species (IAS are a growing threat to Europe's biodiversity. The implementation of European Union Regulation on IAS can benefit from the involvement of the public in IAS recording and management through Citizen Science (CS initiatives. Aiming to tackle issues related with the use of CS projects on IAS topics, a dedicated workshop titled “Citizen Science and Open Data: a model for Invasive Alien Species in Europe” was organized by the Joint Research Centre (JRC and the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST Association. Fifty key stakeholders from all Europe, including two Members of the European Parliament, attended the workshop. With a clear focus on IAS, the workshop aimed at addressing the following issues: a CS and policy, b citizen engagement, and c CS data management. Nine short presentations provided input on CS and IAS issues. Participants discussed specific topics in several round tables (“world café” style and reported back their conclusions to the audience and full assembly moderated discussions. Overall, the workshop enabled the sharing of ideas, approaches and best practices regarding CS and IAS. Specific opportunities and pitfalls of using CS data in the whole policy cycle for IAS were recognized. Concerning the implementation of the IAS Regulation, CS data could complement official surveillance systems, and contribute to the early warning of the IAS of Union concern after appropriate validation by the Member States’ competent authorities. CS projects can additionally increase awareness and empower citizens. Attendees pointed out the importance for further public engagement in CS projects on IAS that demonstrate specific initiatives and approaches and analyze lessons learned from past experiences. In addition, the workshop noted that the data gathered from different CS projects on IAS are fragmented. It highlighted the need for using an open and accessible platform to upload data originating
Sequeira, Ana M M; Roetman, Philip E J; Daniels, Christopher B; Baker, Andrew K; Bradshaw, Corey J A
The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) occurs in the eucalypt forests of eastern and southern Australia and is currently threatened by habitat fragmentation, climate change, sexually transmitted diseases, and low genetic variability throughout most of its range. Using data collected during the Great Koala Count (a 1-day citizen science project in the state of South Australia), we developed generalized linear mixed-effects models to predict habitat suitability across South Australia accounting for potential errors associated with the dataset. We derived spatial environmental predictors for vegetation (based on dominant species of Eucalyptus or other vegetation), topographic water features, rain, elevation, and temperature range. We also included predictors accounting for human disturbance based on transport infrastructure (sealed and unsealed roads). We generated random pseudo-absences to account for the high prevalence bias typical of citizen-collected data. We accounted for biased sampling effort along sealed and unsealed roads by including an offset for distance to transport infrastructures. The model with the highest statistical support (wAIC c ∼ 1) included all variables except rain, which was highly correlated with elevation. The same model also explained the highest deviance (61.6%), resulted in high R (2)(m) (76.4) and R (2)(c) (81.0), and had a good performance according to Cohen's κ (0.46). Cross-validation error was low (∼ 0.1). Temperature range, elevation, and rain were the best predictors of koala occurrence. Our models predict high habitat suitability in Kangaroo Island, along the Mount Lofty Ranges, and at the tips of the Eyre, Yorke and Fleurieu Peninsulas. In the highest-density region (5576 km(2)) of the Adelaide-Mount Lofty Ranges, a density-suitability relationship predicts a population of 113,704 (95% confidence interval: 27,685-199,723; average density = 5.0-35.8 km(-2)). We demonstrate the power of citizen science data for predicting species
Sequeira, Ana M M; Roetman, Philip E J; Daniels, Christopher B; Baker, Andrew K; Bradshaw, Corey J A
The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) occurs in the eucalypt forests of eastern and southern Australia and is currently threatened by habitat fragmentation, climate change, sexually transmitted diseases, and low genetic variability throughout most of its range. Using data collected during the Great Koala Count (a 1-day citizen science project in the state of South Australia), we developed generalized linear mixed-effects models to predict habitat suitability across South Australia accounting for potential errors associated with the dataset. We derived spatial environmental predictors for vegetation (based on dominant species of Eucalyptus or other vegetation), topographic water features, rain, elevation, and temperature range. We also included predictors accounting for human disturbance based on transport infrastructure (sealed and unsealed roads). We generated random pseudo-absences to account for the high prevalence bias typical of citizen-collected data. We accounted for biased sampling effort along sealed and unsealed roads by including an offset for distance to transport infrastructures. The model with the highest statistical support (wAICc ∼ 1) included all variables except rain, which was highly correlated with elevation. The same model also explained the highest deviance (61.6%), resulted in high R2(m) (76.4) and R2(c) (81.0), and had a good performance according to Cohen's κ (0.46). Cross-validation error was low (∼ 0.1). Temperature range, elevation, and rain were the best predictors of koala occurrence. Our models predict high habitat suitability in Kangaroo Island, along the Mount Lofty Ranges, and at the tips of the Eyre, Yorke and Fleurieu Peninsulas. In the highest-density region (5576 km2) of the Adelaide–Mount Lofty Ranges, a density–suitability relationship predicts a population of 113,704 (95% confidence interval: 27,685–199,723; average density = 5.0–35.8 km−2). We demonstrate the power of citizen science data for predicting species
Ellwood, Elizabeth R; Kimberly, Paul; Guralnick, Robert; Flemons, Paul; Love, Kevin; Ellis, Shari; Allen, Julie M; Best, Jason H; Carter, Richard; Chagnoux, Simon; Costello, Robert; Denslow, Michael W; Dunckel, Betty A; Ferriter, Meghan M; Gilbert, Edward E; Goforth, Christine; Groom, Quentin; Krimmel, Erica R; LaFrance, Raphael; Martinec, Joann Lacey; Miller, Andrew N; Minnaert-Grote, Jamie; Nash, Thomas; Oboyski, Peter; Paul, Deborah L; Pearson, Katelin D; Pentcheff, N Dean; Roberts, Mari A; Seltzer, Carrie E; Soltis, Pamela S; Stephens, Rhiannon; Sweeney, Patrick W; von Konrat, Matt; Wall, Adam; Wetzer, Regina; Zimmerman, Charles; Mast, Austin R
The digitization of biocollections is a critical task with direct implications for the global community who use the data for research and education. Recent innovations to involve citizen scientists in digitization increase awareness of the value of biodiversity specimens; advance science, technology, engineering, and math literacy; and build sustainability for digitization. In support of these activities, we launched the first global citizen-science event focused on the digitization of biodiversity specimens: Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio). During the inaugural 2015 event, 21 sites hosted events where citizen scientists transcribed specimen labels via online platforms (DigiVol, Les Herbonautes, Notes from Nature, the Smithsonian Institution's Transcription Center, and Symbiota). Many citizen scientists also contributed off-site. In total, thousands of citizen scientists around the world completed over 50,000 transcription tasks. Here, we present the process of organizing an international citizen-science event, an analysis of the event's effectiveness, and future directions-content now foundational to the growing WeDigBio event.
Savran, W. H.; Petersen, R. I.; Wukusick, M.
Over the last hundred years, we have put forth a concerted effort to install a dense array of seismometers - used to monitor and measure seismic waves propagating through the earth. In addition to expensive instrumentation, citizens provide useful data to the earthquake science community as demonstrated by the USGS 'Did you feel it?' project. Currently, the 'Did You Feel It?' data is acquired, through an internet browser, from a long questionnaire. With the increasing number of smartphone owners, an application interfacing the population with the 'Did you feel it?' project introduces the next logical step in progressing this technology. We are developing an application, which utilizes many features of modern smartphones to provide a better interface from citizen to scientist. Our application will notify users of any earthquake within a predefined distance above a predefined size. At this point, the user has the option to answer the questionnaire and send their experience of the earthquake to the USGS 'Did you feel it?' database or simply decline. Instead of a cumbersome web-form, the user will be prompted for questions in line with the paradigm of current smartphone application development. An easy, interactive interface allows the user to answer the questions rapidly in a fun manner, resulting in more participation. In addition to putting earthquake science into the hands of many more citizens, the application will also allow the user to place an emergency call in case of casualty during the next big one. Future versions of the application will allow users to take, view, and submit photographs of damage caused by the earthquake. Also, users will be able to view intensity maps generated for the event they evaluated. The USGS has already done an incredible job setting up the 'Did you feel it?' framework; having a more accessible user interface to acquire data will greatly expand the possibilities of the 'Did you feel it?' project.
The PACA (Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy) Project's primary goal is to develop and build synergy between professional and amateur astronomers from observations in the many aspects of support of missions and campaigns. To achieve this, the PACA has three main components: observational campaigns aligned with scientific research; outreach to engage all forms of audiences and citizen science projects that aim to produce specific scientific results, by engaging professional scientific and amateur communities and a variety of audiences. The primary observational projects are defined by specific scientific goals by professionals, resulting in global observing campaigns involving a variety of observers, and observing techniques. Some of PACA's observing campaigns have included global characterization of comets (e.g., C/ISON, SidingSpring, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Lovejoy, etc.), planets (Jupiter, Saturn and Mars) and currently expanded to include (i) polarimetric exploration of solar system objects with small apertures and (ii) in collaboration with CITIZEN CATE, a citizen science observing campaign to observe the 2017 Continental America Total Eclipse, engage many levels of informal audiences using interactive social media to participate in the campaign. Our Outreach campaigns leverage the multiple social media/platforms for at least two important reasons: (i) the immediate dissemination of observations and interaction with the global network and (ii) free or inexpensive resources for most of the participants. The final stage of the PACA ecosystem is the integration of these components into publications. We shall highlight some of the interesting challenges and solutions of the PACA Project so far and provide a view of future projects and new partnerships in all three categories.
Podest, E.; Das, N. N.; Rajasekaran, E.; Jeyaram, R.; Lohrli, C.; Hovhannesian, H.; Fairbanks, G.
Citizen science allows individuals anywhere in the world to engage in science by collecting environmental variables. One of the longest running platforms for the collection of in situ variables is the GLOBE program, which is international in scope and encourages students and citizen scientists alike to collect in situ measurements. NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite mission, which has been acquiring global soil moisture measurements every 3 days of the top 5 cm of the soil since 2015, has partnered with the GLOBE program to engage students from around the world to collect in situ soil moisture and help validate SMAP measurements. The current GLOBE SMAP soil moisture protocol consists in collecting a soil sample, weighing, drying and weighing it again in order to determine the amount of water in the soil. Preparation and soil sample collection can take up to 20 minutes and drying can take up to 3 days. We have hence developed a soil moisture measurement device based on Arduino- microcontrollers along with off-the-shelf and homemade sensors that are accurate, robust, inexpensive and quick and easy to use so that they can be implemented by the GLOBE community and citizen scientists alike. In addition, we have developed a phone app, which interfaces with the Arduino, displays the soil moisture value and send the measurement to the GLOBE database. This talk will discuss building, calibration and validation of the soil moisture measuring device and assessing the quality of the measurements collected. This work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Harris, Emily Mae
This dissertation presents three interrelated studies examining opportunities for student learning through contributory citizen science (CS), where students collect and contribute data to help generate new scientific knowledge. I draw on sociocultural perspectives of learning to analyze three cases where teachers integrated CS into school science, one third grade, one fourth grade, and one high school Marine Biology classroom. Chapter 2 is a conceptual investigation of the opportunities for students to engage in scientific reasoning practices during CS data collection activities. Drawing on science education literature and vignettes from case studies, I argue that the teacher plays an important role in mediating opportunities for students to engage in investigative, explanatory, and argumentative practices of science through CS. Chapter 3 focuses on teacher framing of CS, how teachers perceive what is going on (Goffman, 1974) and how they communicate that to students as they launch CS tasks. Through analysis of videos and interviews of two upper elementary school teachers, I found that teachers frame CS for different purposes. These framings were influenced by teachers' goals, orientations towards science and CS, planning for instruction, and prior knowledge and experience. Chapter 4 examines how students demonstrate agency with environmental science as they explore their personal interests across their third grade classroom, school garden, and science lab contexts, through the lens of social practice theory (Holland, Lachicotte, Skinner, & Cain, 1998). Through analysis of classroom observations, student interviews, teacher interviews and important moments for three focal students, I found that student agency was enabled and constrained by the different cultures of the classroom, garden, and science lab. Despite affordances of the garden and science lab, the teachers' epistemic authority in the classroom permeated all three contexts, constraining student agency. In
Crimmins, Theresa M.; Weltzin, Jake F.; Rosemartin, Alyssa H.; Surina, Echo M.; Marsh, Lee; Denny, Ellen G.
Citizen science projects, which engage non-professional scientists in one or more stages of scientific research, have been gaining popularity; yet maintaining participants’ activity level over time remains a challenge. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential for a short-term, focused campaign to increase participant activity in a national-scale citizen science program. The campaign that we implemented was designed to answer a compelling scientific question. We invited participants in the phenology-observing program, Nature’s Notebook, to track trees throughout the spring of 2012, to ascertain whether the season arrived as early as the anomalous spring of 2010. Consisting of a series of six electronic newsletters and costing our office slightly more than 1 week of staff resources, our effort was successful; compared with previous years, the number of observations collected in the region where the campaign was run increased by 184%, the number of participants submitting observations increased by 116%, and the number of trees registered increased by 110%. In comparison, these respective metrics grew by 25, 55, and 44%, over previous years, in the southeastern quadrant of the United States, where no such campaign was carried out. The campaign approach we describe here is a model that could be adapted by a wide variety of programs to increase engagement and thereby positively influence participant retention.
Pandeya, B.; Uprety, M.; Paul, J. D.; Dugar, S.; Buytaert, W.
With a robust and affordable monitoring system, a wealth of hydrological data can be generated which is fundamental to predict flood risks more accurately. Since the Himalayan region is characterized by data deficiency and unpredictable hydrological behaviour, a locally based participatory monitoring system is a necessity to deal with frequently occurring flooding incidents. A gap in hydrological data is the main bottleneck for establishing any effective flood early warning system. Therefore, an alternative and affordable technical solution can only overcome the situation and support flood risks management activities in the region. In coordination with local people, government authorities and NGOs, we have established a citizen science monitoring system, in which we tested two types of low-cost sensors, ultrasound and LiDAR, in the Karnali river basin of Nepal. The results confirm the robustness of sensor data when compared to conventional radar system based monitoring data. Additionally, our findings also confirmed that the ultrasound sensors are only useful to small rivers whereas the LiDAR sensors are suitable to large river basins with highly variable local climatic conditions. Since the collected sensor data can be directly used in operational flood early warning system in the basin, an opportunity has been created for integrating both affordable technology and citizen science into existing hydrological monitoring practice. Finally, a successful integration could become a testament for upscaling the practice and building flood risk resilient communities in the region.
Full Text Available The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys Stål (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae, is an invasive pest that has expanded its range outside of its original confinements in Eastern Asia, spreading through the United States, Canada and most of the European and Eurasian countries. The invasiveness of this agricultural and public nuisance pest is facilitated by the availability of an array of suitable hosts, an r-selected life history and the release from natural enemies in the invaded zones. Traditional monitoring methods are usually impeded by the lack of time and resources to sufficiently cover large geographical ranges. Therefore, the citizen science initiative “BugMap” was conceived to complement and assist researchers in breaking down the behavior of this invasive pest via a user-friendly, freely available mobile application. The collected data were employed to forecast its predicted distribution and to identify the areas at risk in Trentino, Northern Italy. Moreover, they permitted the uncovering of the seasonal invasion dynamics of this insect, besides providing insight into its phenological patterns, life cycle and potential management methods. Hence, the outcomes of this work emphasize the need to further integrate citizens in scientific endeavors to resolve ecological complications and reduce the gap between the public and science.
Jerrett, Michael; Donaire-Gonzalez, David; Popoola, Olalekan; Jones, Roderic; Cohen, Ronald C; Almanza, Estela; de Nazelle, Audrey; Mead, Iq; Carrasco-Turigas, Glòria; Cole-Hunter, Tom; Triguero-Mas, Margarita; Seto, Edmund; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark
Low cost, personal air pollution sensors may reduce exposure measurement errors in epidemiological investigations and contribute to citizen science initiatives. Here we assess the validity of a low cost personal air pollution sensor. Study participants were drawn from two ongoing epidemiological projects in Barcelona, Spain. Participants repeatedly wore the pollution sensor - which measured carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ). We also compared personal sensor measurements to those from more expensive instruments. Our personal sensors had moderate to high correlations with government monitors with averaging times of 1-h and 30-min epochs (r ~ 0.38-0.8) for NO and CO, but had low to moderate correlations with NO 2 (~0.04-0.67). Correlations between the personal sensors and more expensive research instruments were higher than with the government monitors. The sensors were able to detect high and low air pollution levels in agreement with expectations (e.g., high levels on or near busy roadways and lower levels in background residential areas and parks). Our findings suggest that the low cost, personal sensors have potential to reduce exposure measurement error in epidemiological studies and provide valid data for citizen science studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Coastal marine ecosystems only represent a small percentage of the global ocean's surface area. However, these ecosystems are highly productive, rich in biodiversity, and are where the vast majority of human activity occurs. The complex interaction between seawater, land, and atmosphere makes coastal ecosystems some of the most dynamic in terms of seawater chemistry. In order to capture these dynamic changes in seawater chemistry across appropriate spatial and temporal scales requires a large amount of measurements. Unfortunately, it is often challenging to maintain an array of oceanographic sensors in coastal ecosystems, especially in high energy areas like the surf zone. Citizen science has the potential to increase the collection of oceanographic data from coastal systems where traditional methods are more difficult or expensive to implement. This talk will highlight the Smartfin, a surfboard mounted fin that measures seawater chemical parameters, physical wave characteristics, and GPS location during an ordinary surf session. Created by environmental non-profit Lost Bird, the Smartfin is a partnership between non-profits (Lost Bird and Surfrider Foundation), researchers (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), engineers (Board Formula), and the citizen science community. With an estimated 23 million surfers worldwide the Smartfin could greatly enhance vital data collection in coastal regions as well as raise awareness about our changing coastal and ocean ecosystems.
Allison B. Kaufman
Full Text Available “Citizen Science,” or the idea of using interested laypeople to assist in data collection, has the potential to be a valuable resource to those who study animal cognition. This is largely due to the potential increase in sample size it can provide. However, this technique also has the potential to introduce a significant amount of error to an experiment. As a result, before citizen science can be used as a tool, it is important to determine how it best works; specifically, what methods best motivate people to participate and to provide the most accurate data. This includes sharing situations in which data collection was not successful. Presented here is a failed attempt at collecting data on mirror self-recognition (MSR in pet parrots, orchestrated via yahoo groups listservs. The goals in presenting this unsuccessful methodology are to encourage discussion, to prevent others from repeating the same ill-fated methodology, and to encourage others to attempt variations on said methods which might be more successful.
Chatzigeorgiou, Giorgos; Faulwetter, Sarah; Dailianis, Thanos; Smith, Vincent Stuart; Koulouri, Panagiota; Dounas, Costas; Arvanitidis, Christos
Citizen Science (CS) as a term implies a great deal of approaches and scopes involving many different fields of science. The number of the relevant projects globally has been increased significantly in the recent years. Large scale ecological questions can be answered only through extended observation networks and CS projects can support this effort. Although the need of such projects is apparent, an important part of scientific community cast doubt on the reliability of CS data sets. The pilot CS project COMBER has been created in order to provide evidence to answer the aforementioned question in the coastal marine biodiversity monitoring. The results of the current analysis show that a carefully designed CS project with clear hypotheses, wide participation and data sets validation, can be a valuable tool for the large scale and long term changes in marine biodiversity pattern change and therefore for relevant management and conservation issues.
Irga, Peter J; Barker, Katherine; Torpy, Fraser R
Fungi are undoubtedly important for ecosystem functioning, however they are relatively poorly considered in biodiversity conservation planning. Fungi have been omitted or given scant attention in most biodiversity policy documents, management plans and formal conservation schedules throughout the world. This oversight may be due to a general lack of awareness in the scientific community, compounded by a scarcity of mycology-associated curricula at the tertiary level, along with a lack of mycologists in research institutions. While molecular advancements the systematic cataloging of fungi and facilitate insights into fungal communities, the scarcity of professional mycologists in the environmental sciences hampers conservation efforts. Conversely, citizen science initiatives are making significant contributions to the mycology discipline, by both increasing awareness as well as extending the scope of fungal surveys. Future research by professional and amateur mycologists into the distribution and functionality in ecosystems will help us identify wider, and more effective conservation goals. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Cherry, L.; Braasch, G.
There is a demonstrated need to increase the amount of formal and non-formal science education and to raise the level of climate literacy for children and adults. Scientists and technical leaders are more and more being called on to speak in non-academic settings ranging from grade schools to assemblies and seminars for the general public. This abstract describes some effective ways to teach and talk about climate change science in a way that engenders hope and empowerment while explaining scientific facts and research methods to non-scientists. Citizen participation in Science People's interest and learning increases when offered chances to do what scientists do. Relating science to their daily lives and showing the adventure of science can greatly increase communication. Citizen participation in science works because data collection stimulates experiential and cognitive ways of learning. Learn what programs for citizen science are available in your area. For instance, GLOBE and Budburst tie into the research of Smithsonian scientists who determined that the cherry blossoms and 40 other species of plants were blooming earlier due to climate warming. Hands-on Outdoor Activities Information enters the human brain through many different neural pathways and the more avenues that information comes in on, the more likely people are to retain that knowledge for their lifetimes. For instance, kids knowledge of how ice cores tell us about the earth's ancient history will be reinforced through making ice cores in the classroom. Gary Braasch's photographs from the children's book How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming and from his adult book Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World will illustrate the presentation. . Making the Message Personal to the Audience. Reaching people through things they care about, their family lives, work or school and telling personal stories helps reach people. The videos
Fienen, M. N.; Lowry, C.
Citizen science, or crowd science, or volunteer science, has increased in the last 4–5 years, with an accompanying increase in the literature. The main argument in such literature is that citizen science has many advantages, not only for scientists and the science that is produced, but also for the
Full Text Available The rapid growth and increasing popularity of smartphone technology is putting sophisticated data-collection tools in the hands of more and more citizens. This has exciting implications for the expanding field of citizen science. With smartphone-based applications (apps, it is now increasingly practical to remotely acquire high quality citizen-submitted data at a fraction of the cost of a traditional study. Yet, one impediment to citizen science projects is the question of how to train participants. The traditional "in-person" training model, while effective, can be cost prohibitive as the spatial scale of a project increases. To explore possible solutions, we analyze three training models: 1 in-person, 2 app-based video, and 3 app-based text/images in the context of invasive plant identification in Massachusetts. Encouragingly, we find that participants who received video training were as successful at invasive plant identification as those trained in-person, while those receiving just text/images were less successful. This finding has implications for a variety of citizen science projects that need alternative methods to effectively train participants when in-person training is impractical.
Wikstrom Jones, K.; Wolken, G. J.; Arendt, A. A.; Hill, D. F.; Crumley, R. L.; Setiawan, L.; Markle, B.
The ability to quantify seasonal water retention and storage in mountain snow packs has implications for an array of important topics, including ecosystem function, water resources, hazard mitigation, validation of remote sensing products, climate modeling, and the economy. Runoff simulation models, which typically rely on gridded climate data and snow remote sensing products, would be greatly improved if uncertainties in estimates of snow depth distribution in high-elevation complex terrain could be reduced. This requires an increase in the spatial and temporal coverage of observational snow data in high-elevation data-poor regions. To this end, we launched Community Snow Observations (CSO). Participating citizen scientists use Mountain Hub, a multi-platform mobile and web-based crowdsourcing application that allows users to record, submit, and instantly share geo-located snow depth, snow water equivalence (SWE) measurements, measurement location photos, and snow grain information with project scientists and other citizen scientists. The snow observations are used to validate remote sensing products and modeled snow depth distribution. The project's prototype phase focused on Thompson Pass in south-central Alaska, an important infrastructure corridor that includes avalanche terrain and the Lowe River drainage and is essential to the City of Valdez and the fisheries of Prince William Sound. This year's efforts included website development, expansion of the Mountain Hub tool, and recruitment of citizen scientists through a combination of social media outreach, community presentations, and targeted recruitment of local avalanche professionals. We also conducted two intensive field data collection campaigns that coincided with an aerial photogrammetric survey. With more than 400 snow depth observations, we have generated a new snow remote-sensing product that better matches actual SWE quantities for Thompson Pass. In the next phase of the citizen science portion of
Increasing public knowledge of science is a widely recognized goal, but what that knowledge might consist of is rarely unpacked. Existing measures of science literacy tend to focus on textbook knowledge of science. Yet constructing a meaningful list of facts, even facts in application, is not only difficult but less than satisfying as an indicator…
MacDonald, E.; Heavner, M.; Kosar, B.; Case, N.; Donovan, E.; Spanswick, E.; Nishimura, Y.; Gallardo-Lacourt, B.
Aurora has been observed and recorded by people for thousands of years. Recently, citizen scientists captured features of aurora-like arc events not previously described in the literature at subauroral latitudes. Amateur photo sequences show unusual flow, unstable composition changes, and field aligned structures. Observations from the Swarm satellite crossing the arc reveals thermal enhancement, density depletion, and strong westward ion flow. These signatures resemble features previously described from in situ observation however the optical manifestation is surprising and contains rich, unstable signatures as well. The relevant observations have presented important implications on a variety of open questions, including the fundamental definition of aurora, and limitations of jargon and subfield distinctions. This paper covers the discovery, its context, and the significant implications for the application of public participation measurement modes to the natural sciences whereby they can form a disruptive gap to expose new observing perspectives. Photo Credit: Notanee Bourassa, Alberta Aurora Chasers
Gulick, V. C.; Deardorff, G.; Kanefsky, B.; HiRISE Science Team
The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment’s E/PO has fielded several online citizen science projects. Our efforts are guided by HiRISE E/PO’s philosophy of providing innovative opportunities for students and the public to participate in the scientific discovery process. HiRISE Clickworkers, a follow-on to the original Clickworkers crater identification and size diameter marking website, provides an opportunity for the public to identify & mark over a dozen landform feature types in HiRISE images, including dunes, gullies, patterned ground, wind streaks, boulders, craters, layering, volcanoes, etc. In HiRISE Clickworkers, the contributor views several sample images showing variations of different landforms, and simply marks all the landform types they could spot while looking at a small portion of a HiRISE image. Contributors then submit their work & once validated by comparison to the output of other participants, results are then added to geologic feature databases. Scientists & others will eventually be able to query these databases for locations of particular geologic features in the HiRISE images. Participants can also mark other features that they find intriguing for the HiRISE camera to target. The original Clickworkers website pilot study ran from November 2000 until September 2001 (Kanefsky et al., 2001, LPSC XXXII). It was among the first online Citizen Science efforts for planetary science. In its pilot study, we endeavored to answer two questions: 1) Was the public willing & able to help science, & 2) Can the public produce scientifically useful results? Since its inception over 3,500,000 craters have been identified, & over 350,000 of these craters have been classified. Over 2 million of these craters were marked on Viking Orbiter image mosaics, nearly 800,000 craters were marked on Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) images. Note that these are not counts of distinct craters. For example, each crater in the Viking orbiter images was counted by about 50
Enoksen, Siri Elise; Reiss, Henning
The Norwegian coastal cod (Gadus morhua) is a keystone species in the food web of northern Norwegian fjords. Their relatively stationary populations might specifically depend on local food resources, but the diet of cod has rarely been studied in fjord systems. Using a citizen science approach, where recreational anglers and tourists participated in the sampling, we studied small-scale differences in the diet composition of cod in a fjord system in northern Norway. We compared the cod diet from the MPA Saltstraumen, characterised by strong tidal currents and a highly diverse and abundant fauna, with the inner fjord area of Skjerstadfjord. The diet composition of cod significantly differed between both areas within the fjord. Although fish was the dominant prey in both areas, cod consumed > 40% invertebrates in terms of weight, even in the cod size class of 70-99 cm. The invertebrate prey also caused the observed spatial differences. In Saltstraumen, brittle stars (Ophiuroidea), crabs (Brachyura) and sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea) were important food sources for cod, while sea urchins (Echinoidea), clams (Bivalvia), shrimps (Caridea) and krill (Euphausiacea) dominated the diet in the inner Skjerstadfjord. The high densities of sessile fauna in the dynamic environment of Saltstraumen, was only partly reflected in the diet of cod, with only Holothuroidea found in 17% of the stomachs. High rates of empty stomachs (24%), cannibalism as well as a higher proportion of low-energy prey in the diet of large cod, may indicate a shortage of high quality food in Skjerstadfjord. The samples for this study were collected through a citizen science campaign. This approach might provide opportunities to be used for coastal ecological monitoring with potential applications in local ecosystem management strategies through public involvement.
Gosling, Laura; Sparks, Tim H; Araya, Yoseph; Harvey, Martin; Ansine, Janice
Hedges are both ecologically and culturally important and are a distinctive feature of the British landscape. However the overall length of hedges across Great Britain is decreasing. Current challenges in studying hedges relate to the dominance of research on rural, as opposed to urban, hedges, and their variability and geographical breadth. To help address these challenges and to educate the public on the importance of hedge habitats for wildlife, in 2010 the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme coordinated a hedge-focused citizen science survey. Results from 2891 surveys were analysed. Woody plant species differed significantly between urban and rural areas. Beech, Holly, Ivy, Laurel, Privet and Yew were more commonly recorded in urban hedges whereas Blackthorn, Bramble, Dog Rose, Elder and Hawthorn were recorded more often in rural hedges. Urban and rural differences were shown for some groups of invertebrates. Ants, earwigs and shieldbugs were recorded more frequently in urban hedges whereas blowflies, caterpillars, harvestmen, other beetles, spiders and weevils were recorded more frequently in rural hedges. Spiders were the most frequently recorded invertebrate across all surveys. The presence of hard surfaces adjacent to the hedge was influential on hedge structure, number and diversity of plant species, amount of food available for wildlife and invertebrate number and diversity. In urban hedges with one adjacent hard surface, the food available for wildlife was significantly reduced and in rural hedges, one adjacent hard surface affected the diversity of invertebrates. This research highlights that urban hedges may be important habitats for wildlife and that hard surfaces may have an impact on both the number and diversity of plant species and the number and diversity of invertebrates. This study demonstrates that citizen science programmes that focus on hedge surveillance can work and have the added benefit of educating the public on the importance of
Falk, Bryan; Snow, Raymond W.; Reed, Robert
Citizen-science programs have the potential to contribute to the management of invasive species, including Python molurus bivittatus (Burmese Python) in Florida. We characterized citizen-science–generated Burmese Python information from Everglades National Park (ENP) to explore how citizen science may be useful in this effort. As an initial step, we compiled and summarized records of Burmese Python observations and removals collected by both professional and citizen scientists in ENP during 2000–2014 and found many patterns of possible significance, including changes in annual observations and in demographic composition after a cold event. These patterns are difficult to confidently interpret because the records lack search-effort information, however, and differences among years may result from differences in search effort. We began collecting search-effort information in 2014 by leveraging an ongoing citizen-science program in ENP. Program participation was generally low, with most authorized participants in 2014 not searching for the snakes at all. We discuss the possible explanations for low participation, especially how the low likelihood of observing pythons weakens incentives to search. The monthly rate of Burmese Python observations for 2014 averaged ~1 observation for every 8 h of searching, but during several months, the rate was 1 python per >40 h of searching. These low observation-rates are a natural outcome of the snakes’ low detectability—few Burmese Pythons are likely to be observed even if many are present. The general inaccessibility of the southern Florida landscape also severely limits the effectiveness of using visual searches to find and remove pythons for the purposes of population control. Instead, and despite the difficulties in incentivizing voluntary participation, the value of citizen-science efforts in the management of the Burmese Python population is in collecting search-effort information.
Race, M. S.; Lafayette Library; Learning Center Foundation (Lllcf)
In these times of budget cuts, tight school schedules, and limited opportunities for student field trips and teacher professional development, it is especially difficult to expose elementary and middle school students to the latest STEM information-particularly in the space sciences. Using our library as a facilitator and catalyst, we built a volunteer-based, multi-faceted, curriculum-linked program for students and teachers in local middle schools (Grade 8) and showcased new astronomical and planetary science information using mainly NASA resources and volunteer effort. The project began with the idea of bringing free NASA photo exhibits (FETTU) to the Lafayette and Antioch Libraries for public display. Subsequently, the effort expanded by adding layers of activities that brought space and science information to teachers, students and the pubic at 5 libraries and schools in the 2 cities, one of which serves a diverse, underserved community. Overall, the effort (supported by a pilot grant from the Bechtel Foundation) included school and library based teacher workshops with resource materials; travelling space museum visits with hands-on activities (Chabot-to-Go); separate powerpoint presentations for students and adults at the library; and concurrent ancillary space-related themes for young children's programs at the library. This pilot project, based largely on the use of free government resources and online materials, demonstrated that volunteer-based, standards-linked STEM efforts can enhance curriculum at the middle school, with libraries serving a special role. Using this model, we subsequently also obtained a small NASA-Space Grant award to bring star parties and hand-on science activities to three libraries this Fall, linking with numerous Grade 5 teachers and students in two additional underserved areas of our county. It's not necessary to reinvent the wheel, you just collect the pieces and build on what you already have.
Chris W Callaghan
Full Text Available Certain trends in scientific research have important relevance to bioethics theory and practice. A growing stream of literature relates to increasing transparency and inclusivity of populations (stakeholders in scientific research, from high volume data collection, synthesis, and analysis to verification and ethical scrutiny. The emergence of this stream of literature has implications for bioethics theory and practice. This paper seeks to make explicit these streams of literature and to relate these to bioethical issues, through consideration of certain extreme examples of scientific research where bioethical engagement is vital. Implications for theory and practice are derived, offering useful insights derived from multidisciplinary theory. Arguably, rapidly developing fields of citizen science such as informing science and others seeking to maximise stakeholder involvement in both research and bioethical engagement have emerged as a response to these types of issues; radically enhanced stakeholder engagement in science may herald a new maximally inclusive and transparent paradigm in bioethics based on lessons gained from exposure to increasingly uncertain ethical contexts of biomedical research.
Lakeman-Fraser, Poppy; Gosling, Laura; Moffat, Andy J; West, Sarah E; Fradera, Roger; Davies, Linda; Ayamba, Maxwell A; van der Wal, René
The vast array of citizen science projects which have blossomed over the last decade span a spectrum of objectives from research to outreach. While some focus primarily on the collection of rigorous scientific data and others are positioned towards the public engagement end of the gradient, the majority of initiatives attempt to balance the two. Although meeting multiple aims can be seen as a 'win-win' situation, it can also yield significant challenges as allocating resources to one element means that they may be diverted away from the other. Here we analyse one such programme which set out to find an effective equilibrium between these arguably polarised goals. Through the lens of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme we explore the inherent trade-offs encountered under four indicators derived from an independent citizen science evaluation framework. Assimilating experience from the OPAL network we investigate practical approaches taken to tackle arising tensions. Working backwards from project delivery to design, we found the following elements to be important: ensuring outputs are fit for purpose, developing strong internal and external collaborations, building a sufficiently diverse partnership and considering target audiences. We combine these 'operational indicators' with four pre-existing 'outcome indicators' to create a model which can be used to shape the planning and delivery of a citizen science project. Our findings suggest that whether the proverb in the title rings true will largely depend on the identification of challenges along the way and the ability to address these conflicts throughout the citizen science project.
JMBE Production Editor
Full Text Available Correction for Sarah E. Council and Julie E. Horvath, “Tools for Citizen-Science Recruitment and Student Engagement in Your Research and in Your Classroom,” which appeared in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, volume 17, number 1, March 2016, pages 38–40.
This paper aims at describing the way in which online translation platforms can facilitate the process of training translators. "Zooniverse," a website hosting a variety of citizen science projects in which everyone can take part, was used as an example of such a concept. The first section of this paper is focused on the history, idea…
Varela, Sara; González-Hernández, Javier; Casabella, Eduardo; Barrientos, Rafael
Citizen science projects store an enormous amount of information about species distribution, diversity and characteristics. Researchers are now beginning to make use of this rich collection of data. However, access to these databases is not always straightforward. Apart from the largest and international projects, citizen science repositories often lack specific Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to connect them to the scientific environments. Thus, it is necessary to develop simple routines to allow researchers to take advantage of the information collected by smaller citizen science projects, for instance, programming specific packages to connect them to popular scientific environments (like R). Here, we present rAvis, an R-package to connect R-users with Proyecto AVIS (http://proyectoavis.com), a Spanish citizen science project with more than 82,000 bird observation records. We develop several functions to explore the database, to plot the geographic distribution of the species occurrences, and to generate personal queries to the database about species occurrences (number of individuals, distribution, etc.) and birdwatcher observations (number of species recorded by each collaborator, UTMs visited, etc.). This new R-package will allow scientists to access this database and to exploit the information generated by Spanish birdwatchers over the last 40 years.
Walker, C. E.; Pompea, S. M.; Sparks, R. T.
With half of the world’s population now living in cities, many urban dwellers have never experienced the wonderment of pristinely dark skies and maybe never will. Light pollution is obscuring people’s long-standing natural heritage to view stars. The GLOBE at Night program (www.globeatnight.org) is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by encouraging everyone everywhere to measure local levels of night sky brightness and contribute observations online to a world map. In the last 5 years, GLOBE at Night has been the most productive public light pollution monitoring campaign, collecting over 52,000 observations in a two-week period annually. This year, during the moonless two weeks in March, the campaign set a record high of over 17,800 measurements from people in 86 countries. Foundational resources are available to facilitate the public’s participation in promoting dark skies awareness. The GLOBE at Night website explains clearly the simple-to-participate-in 5 step program and offers background information and interactive games on key concepts. The program has been expanded to include trainings of the general public, but especially educators in schools, museums and science centers, in unique ways. Education kits for dark skies awareness have been distributed at the training workshops. The kit includes material for a light shielding demonstration, a digital Sky Quality Meter and “Dark Skies Rangers” activities. The activities are on how unshielded light wastes energy, how light pollution affects wildlife and how you can participate in a citizen-science star-hunt like GLOBE at Night. In addition, projects are being developed for what to do with the data once it is taken. The GLOBE at Night data from different years can be compared to look for trends over time or with population density maps. The data can also be used to search for dark sky oases or to monitor lighting ordinance compliance. Most
Whitehurst, A.; Murphy, K. J.
The objectives of the NASA Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program (CSESP) include both the evaluation of using citizen science data in NASA Earth science related research and engaging the public in Earth systems science. Announced in 2016, 16 projects were funded for a one year prototype phase, with the possibility of renewal for 3 years pending a competitive evaluation. The current projects fall into the categories of atmospheric composition (5), biodiversity and conservation (5), and surface hydrology/water and energy cycle (6). Out of the 16, 8 of the projects include the development and/or implementation of low cost sensors to facilitate data collection. This presentation provides an overview of the NASA CSESP program to both highlight the diversity of innovative projects being funded and to share information with future program applicants.
Lewis, P. M.; Chambers, L. H.; Bethea, K. L.; Crecelius, S.; Ruhlman, K.; Harte, T.
At NASA's Langley Research Center, the Science Directorate participates in a wide range of public outreach events, from individual small-scale classroom visits, to the large-scale NASA events like Exploration Day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Despite the diversity of venues, one thing is certain: the public is hungry for science and ravenous for the materials and activities that NASA produces. However, designing and producing materials and activities to capture the attention of everyone from children to grandparents can be a challenging task. The NASA Langley Science Directorate Outreach and Communications Team has taken on the task to ensure that event participants have a worthwhile science experience through a series of educational tabletop games. This diverse group of educators, scientists, writers and graphic artists has been able to produce many games and activities perfect for public exposure and understanding. These games not only capture the imagination of the citizen scientists that visit the display, but they also allow them to learn the science behind many of the things that happen around them on a daily basis, many of which they take for granted. Teaching the public through games and short activities has proven to be a winning combination of efforts. In the development of any game or activity a great deal of consideration is given to "boiling down" the science concept or educational "take away." This step is where the diverse development group has proven to be invaluable. A final product developed by this team includes a review for science validity by a scientist, words written by a science writer, educational alignment by a science educator and design by a graphic designer. This process ensures that the game will attract the right group of people and have them leave understanding new science content. Games and activities generated in this fashion have been successful in the traditional classroom and informal education venues that this team routinely
Ripplinger, J.; Jenerette, D.; Wang, J.; Chandler, M.; Ge, C.; Koutzoukis, S.
The Los Angeles megacity is vulnerable to climate warming - a process that locally exacerbates the urban heat island effect as it intensifies with size and density of the built-up area. We know that large-scale drivers play a role, but in order to understand local-scale climate variation, more research is needed on the biophysical and sociocultural processes driving the urban climate system. In this study, we work with citizen scientists to deploy a high-density network of microsensors across a climate gradient to characterize geographic variation in neighborhood meso- and micro-climates. This research asks: How do urbanization, global climate, and vegetation interact across multiple scales to affect local-scale experiences of temperature? Additionally, citizen scientist-led efforts generated research questions focused on examining microclimatic differences among yard groundcover types (rock mulch vs. lawn vs. artificial turf) and also on variation in temperature related to tree cover. Combining sensor measurements with Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) spatial models and satellite-based temperature, we estimate spatially-explicit maps of land surface temperature and air temperature to illustrate the substantial difference between surface and air urban heat island intensities and the variable degree of coupling between land surface and air temperature in urban areas. Our results show a strong coupling between air temperature variation and landcover for neighborhoods, with significant detectable signatures from tree cover and impervious surface. Temperature covaried most strongly with urbanization intensity at nighttime during peak summer season, when daily mean air temperature ranged from 12.8C to 30.4C across all groundcover types. The combined effects of neighborhood geography and vegetation determine where and how temperature and tree canopy vary within a city. This citizen science-enabled research shows how large-scale climate drivers and urbanization
Walker, Constance E.; M, Pompea, Stephen
Citizen-science is a rewardingly inclusive way to bring awareness to the public on the disappearance of the starry night sky, its cause and solutions. Globe at Night (GaN) encourages citizen-scientists worldwide to record the brightness of the night sky. During ten-days per month of moonless evenings, children and adults match the appearance of a specified constellation with 7 star maps of progressively fainter stars found at www.globeatnight.org. They then submit their choice of star map in-situ with the “webapp” by smart device to add to a light pollution map worldwide. In the eleven years of the program, over 170,000 observations from 180 countries have been contributed to the campaign.The Globe at Night (open) database is a source of research projects, even with other disciplines. For example, students conducted research to understand the lesser long-nosed bats’ avoidance of city center at night. On-the-fly mapping enables citizen-scientists to see contributed observations immediately. The 12 campaigns per year offer 4 ways of taking measurements. The online app for data submission is in 28 languages. STEM activities for young children and problem-based learning activities for older students were created to experience real-life scenarios: role-playing sea turtles hatching (misdirected by lights on shore) or analyzing an ISS image of Houston to estimate the wasted energy, cost and carbon footprint. In-situ and on-line workshops have been given on using GaN in all its capacities, as well as for the activities. Our Facebook page exists to encourage dialogue and bring cutting edge news. To entice interest, we had monthly newsletters and serial podcasts starring the Dark Skies Crusader. GaN has been part of special campaigns like with the National Park Service, the National Geographic BioBlitz and Tucson in 2011. Partnerships also include SciStarter (working with participants), Fieldscope (working with data analysis), and STARS4ALL (working with other light
Walker, Constance E.
For the IYA2009 Dark Skies Awareness Cornerstone Project, partners in dark-sky, astronomy and environmental education are promoting three citizen-scientist programs that measure light pollution at local levels worldwide. These programs take the form of "star hunts", providing people with fun and direct ways to acquire heightened awareness about light pollution through first-hand observations of the night sky. Together the programs are spanning the entire IYA, namely: GLOBE at Night in March, Great World Wide Star Count in October, and How Many Stars during the rest of the year. Citizen-scientists - students, educators, amateur astronomers and the general public - measure the darkness of their local skies and contribute observations online to a world map. Anyone anywhere anytime can look within particular constellations for the faintest stars and match them to one of seven star maps. For more precise measurements, digital sky-brightness meters can be used. Measurements, along with the measurement location, time, and date, are submitted online, and within a few days to weeks a world map showing results is available. These measurements can be compared with data from previous years, as well as with satellite data, population densities, and electrical power-usage maps. Measurements are available online via Google Earth or other tools and as downloadable datasets. Data from multiple locations in one city or region are especially interesting, and can be used as the basis of a class project or science fair experiment, or even to inform the development of public policy. In the last few years these programs successfully conducted campaigns in which more than 35,000 observations were submitted from over 100 countries. The presentation will provide an update, describe how people can become involved and take a look ahead at the program's sustainability. For further information about these and other Dark Skies Awareness programs, please visit www.darkskiesawareness.org.
Morgan, Byron J. T.; Freeman, Stephen N.; Ridout, Martin S.; Brereton, Tom M.; Fox, Richard; Powney, Gary D.; Roy, David B.
Appropriate large-scale citizen-science data present important new opportunities for biodiversity modelling, due in part to the wide spatial coverage of information. Recently proposed occupancy modelling approaches naturally incorporate random effects in order to account for annual variation in the composition of sites surveyed. In turn this leads to Bayesian analysis and model fitting, which are typically extremely time consuming. Motivated by presence-only records of occurrence from the UK Butterflies for the New Millennium data base, we present an alternative approach, in which site variation is described in a standard way through logistic regression on relevant environmental covariates. This allows efficient occupancy model-fitting using classical inference, which is easily achieved using standard computers. This is especially important when models need to be fitted each year, typically for many different species, as with British butterflies for example. Using both real and simulated data we demonstrate that the two approaches, with and without random effects, can result in similar conclusions regarding trends. There are many advantages to classical model-fitting, including the ability to compare a range of alternative models, identify appropriate covariates and assess model fit, using standard tools of maximum likelihood. In addition, modelling in terms of covariates provides opportunities for understanding the ecological processes that are in operation. We show that there is even greater potential; the classical approach allows us to construct regional indices simply, which indicate how changes in occupancy typically vary over a species’ range. In addition we are also able to construct dynamic occupancy maps, which provide a novel, modern tool for examining temporal changes in species distribution. These new developments may be applied to a wide range of taxa, and are valuable at a time of climate change. They also have the potential to motivate citizen
Full Text Available Non-native invasive species frequently appear in urban and non-urban ecosystems and may become a threat to biodiversity. Some of these newcomers are introduced accidentally, and others are introduced through a sequence of events caused by conscious human decisions. Involving the general public in biodiversity preservation activities could prevent the negative consequences of these actions. Accurate and reliable data collecting is the first step in invasive species management, and citizen science can be a useful tool to collect data and engage the public in science. We present a case study of biological recording of tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill. Swingle using a participatory citizen model. The first goal in this case study was to develop a cheap, widely accessible, and effective inventory method, and to test it by mapping tree of heaven in Croatia. A total of 90.61 km of roads and trails was mapped; 20 single plants and 19 multi-plant clusters (mapped as polygons were detected. The total infested area was 2610 m2. The second goal was to educate citizens and raise awareness of this invasive species. The developed tool and suggested approach aided in improving invasive risk management in accordance with citizen science principles and can be applied to other species or areas.
Long-standing citizen science projects such as Audubon's Christmas Bird Count have generated useful data about species range and population numbers for more than 100 years. Recent IPCC reports and the U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) routinely include data about changing ecosystems and enviroments. Today new forms of citizen science are beginning to join such classic examples and broaden the demographics of participants and the kinds of information that can be captured, shared and analyzed. Surfers and scientists are hoping to record near-shore measurements of ocean acidification in Smartfin, through GPS, accelerometers and pH sensors on surfboards. Trout Unlimited is working on "Angler Science", documenting water temperature and stream quality in a changing climate, and using DNA analysis to track invasive species. The West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project is adding community mobilization in the face of sea level rise to its decade-long work on air pollution, particulates and asthma. The National Phenology Network encourages year-long observations using the "-Nature's Notebook" app that extend beyond anything possible using government-funded research alone. Understanding oceans, protecting rivers and identifying long-term patterns can contribute useful data to future NCAs, helping meet the otherwise challenging goal of "continuous assessment." How can we manage what we can't measure, for reasons of limited staff or resources? This presentation will offer one answer: by enlisting more and more citizen scientists--sportsmen and women, hobbyists and outdoor enthusiasts who may not even self identify as "citizen scientists"--pursuing their passions while also contributing valuable GEC data. The presentation will also touch on what kinds of information infrastructure can help assure data quality when traditional citizen science is expanded in these ways.
Puhan, Milo A; Steinemann, Nina; Kamm, Christian P; Müller, Stephanie; Kuhle, Jens; Kurmann, Roland; Calabrese, Pasquale; Kesselring, Jürg; von Wyl, Viktor; Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Registry Smsr
Our aim was to assess whether a novel approach of digitally facilitated, citizen-science research, as followed by the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Registry (Swiss MS Registry), leads to accelerated participant recruitment and more diverse study populations compared with traditional research studies where participants are mostly recruited in study centres without the use of digital technology. The Swiss MS Registry is a prospective, longitudinal, observational study covering all Switzerland. Participants actively contribute to the Swiss MS Registry, from defining research questions to providing data (online or on a paper form) and co-authoring papers. We compared the recruitment dynamics over the first 18 months with the a priori defined recruitment goals and assessed whether a priori defined groups were enrolled who are likely to be missed by traditional research studies. The goal to recruit 400 participants in the first year was reached after only 20 days, and by the end of 18 months 1700 participants had enrolled in the Swiss MS Registry, vastly exceeding expectations. Of the a priori defined groups with potential underrepresentation in other studies, 645 participants (46.5%) received care at a private neurology practice, 167 participants (12%) did not report any use of healthcare services in the past 12 months, 32 (2.3%) participants lived in rural mountainous areas, and 20 (2.0% of the 1041 for whom this information was available) lived in a long-term care facility. Having both online and paper options increased diversity of the study population in terms of geographic origin and type and severity of disease, as well as use of health care services. In particular, paper enrolees tended to be older, more frequently affected by progressive MS types and more likely to have accessed healthcare services in the past 12 months. Academic and industry-driven medical research faces substantial challenges in terms of patient involvement, recruitment, relevance and
Merlino, Silvia; Locritani, Marina; Muccini, Filippo; Bianucci, Marco; Berta, Maristella; Giacomazzi, Fabio; Vico, Andrea; Perfetti, Antonio
, some days after, by volunteers / students, in the large coastline around the mouth of Arno. Thus, pictures and movies taken by the drone cameras, together with records of spatial and temporal accumulation rates of the eco-drifters, shall give us information about the role of local currents in AMD deposition in the studied area. All collected information will be used to validate Lagrangian models describing local circulation. This is the first Italian dispersion experiment involving not only Research Centers (ISMAR and INGV), but also five Scholastic Institutes, two Educational Organizations (LABTER and TOSCIENCE) and a Regional Park. Citizenscience has a relevant scientific role in this experiment, starting from the eco-drifters construction to their recollection, but it represents also an effective way to raise young public awareness on the vulnerability of our coasts and marine environment. In the past years ISMAR has undertaken several marine litter monitoring programs supported by citizenscience (Merlino et al. 2015), also recounted through a Documentary (MARINE RUBBISH. A Challenge to share). This approach has proven to be very effective from the educational, social and scientific points of view. REFERENCES Suaria et. al.2016. Nature, Scientific Reports) http://www.nature.com/articles/srep37551 Giovacchini Alice, 2016. Monitoring and Analysis of Marine Debris beached in coastal areas surrounding the International Marine Protected Area "Pelagos Sanctuary". Master thesis of Marine Science, Pisa University. Merlino Silvia. 2016. SeaCleaner Project: Monitoring Marine Litter on Beaches around the "Pelagos Sanctuary". Human Ecology Journal, No 27: WASTE. Published by Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC), Hurlingham Studios, Ranelagh Gardens London, UK. Merlino S., Locritani M., Stroobant M., Mioni E., Tosi D. 2015. SeaCleaner - Focusing citizen-science and environment education on unravelling the marine litter problem. In: Blue Future: education the next generation
Public communication initiatives play a part in placing complicated scientific claims in citizen-consumers' everyday contexts. Lay reactions to scientific claims framed in public communication, and attempts to engage citizens, have been important subjects of discussion in the literatures of public understanding and public engagement with science. Many of the public communication initiatives, however, address lay people as consumers rather than citizens. This creates specific challenges for understanding public engagement with science and scientific citizenship. The article compares five different understandings of the relations between citizen-consumers and public issue communication involving science, where the first four types are widely represented in the Public Understanding of Science discussions. The fifth understanding is a practice theoretical perspective. The article suggests how the public understanding of and engagement in science literature can benefit from including a practice theoretical approach to research about mundane science use and public engagement. © The Author(s) 2015.
Andrew J. Elmore
Full Text Available There is great potential value in linking geographically dispersed multitemporal observations collected by lay volunteers (or “citizen scientists” with remotely-sensed observations of plant phenology, which are recognized as useful indicators of climate change. However, challenges include a large mismatch in spatial scale and diverse sources of uncertainty in the two measurement types. These challenges must be overcome if the data from each source are to be compared and jointly used to understand spatial and temporal variation in phenology, or if remote observations are to be used to predict ground-based observations. We investigated the correlation between land surface phenology derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS data and citizen scientists’ phenology observations from the USA National Phenology Network (NPN. The volunteer observations spanned 2004 to 2013 and represented 25 plant species and nine phenophases. We developed quality control procedures that removed observations outside of an a priori determined acceptable period and observations that were made more than 10 days after a preceding observation. We found that these two quality control steps improved the correlation between ground- and remote-observations, but the largest improvement was achieved when the analysis was restricted to forested MODIS pixels. These results demonstrate a high degree of correlation between the phenology of individual trees (particularly dominant forest trees such as quaking aspen, white oak, and American beech and the phenology of the surrounding forested landscape. These results provide helpful guidelines for the joint use of citizen scientists’ observations and remote sensing phenology in work aimed at understanding continental scale variation and temporal trends.
Lynch, Louise I; Dauer, Jenny M; Babchuk, Wayne A; Heng-Moss, Tiffany; Golick, Doug
A mixed methods study was used to transcend the traditional pre-, post-test approach of citizen science evaluative research by integrating adults' test scores with their perceptions. We assessed how contributory entomology citizen science affects participants' science self-efficacy, self-efficacy for environmental action, nature relatedness and attitude towards insects. Pre- and post-test score analyses from citizen scientists ( n = 28) and a control group ( n = 72) were coupled with interviews ( n = 11) about science experiences and entomological interactions during participation. Considering quantitative data alone, no statistically significant changes were evident in adults following participation in citizen science when compared to the control group. Citizen scientists' pre-test scores were significantly higher than the control group for self-efficacy for environmental action, nature relatedness and attitude towards insects. Interview data reveal a notable discrepancy between measured and perceived changes. In general, citizen scientists had an existing, long-term affinity for the natural world and perceived increases in their science self-efficacy, self-efficacy for environmental action, nature relatedness and attitude towards insects. Perceived influences may act independently of test scores. Scale instruments may not show impacts with variances in individual's prior knowledge and experiences. The value of mixed methods on citizen science program evaluation is discussed.
Lynch, Louise I.; Dauer, Jenny M.; Babchuk, Wayne A.; Heng-Moss, Tiffany
A mixed methods study was used to transcend the traditional pre-, post-test approach of citizen science evaluative research by integrating adults’ test scores with their perceptions. We assessed how contributory entomology citizen science affects participants’ science self-efficacy, self-efficacy for environmental action, nature relatedness and attitude towards insects. Pre- and post-test score analyses from citizen scientists (n = 28) and a control group (n = 72) were coupled with interviews (n = 11) about science experiences and entomological interactions during participation. Considering quantitative data alone, no statistically significant changes were evident in adults following participation in citizen science when compared to the control group. Citizen scientists’ pre-test scores were significantly higher than the control group for self-efficacy for environmental action, nature relatedness and attitude towards insects. Interview data reveal a notable discrepancy between measured and perceived changes. In general, citizen scientists had an existing, long-term affinity for the natural world and perceived increases in their science self-efficacy, self-efficacy for environmental action, nature relatedness and attitude towards insects. Perceived influences may act independently of test scores. Scale instruments may not show impacts with variances in individual’s prior knowledge and experiences. The value of mixed methods on citizen science program evaluation is discussed. PMID:29415522
Full Text Available Citizen scientists provide a cost-effective means of carrying out broad scale, long-term monitoring of the environment while fostering earth stewardship. In this study we investigate how much effort is required by citizen scientists to detect trends in the occurrence of a protected population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus. We analyse the WDC citizen science shore-based data collected over nine years (2005–2013 between April to October from within and in the vicinity of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC for bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth, Scotland. Watches comprised a continuous 10 minute scan of the survey area in an hour. During peak season, around 5 watches per day were required to detect annual or between-site trends of 50% in dolphin occurrence in locations where dolphins were sighted reliably (0.1 sightings per hour. Less effort was required at higher sightings rates, and it was not possible to statistically detect trends of <30%. This study highlights the importance of power analysis in designing citizen science programmes and demonstrates their effectiveness in carrying out long term shore-based monitoring of coastal cetacean species, providing a cost-effective early warning system for changes in the marine environment.
Crimmins, T. M.; Rosemartin, A.
The success of citizen science programs hinges on their abilities to recruit and maintain active participants. The USA National Phenology Network's plant and animal phenology observation program, Nature's Notebook, has been active since 2009. This program engages thousands of citizen scientists in tracking plant and animal life cycle activity over the course of the year. We embarked on an evaluation of the various observer recruitment and retention tactics that we have employed over the ~4-year life of this program to better inform future outreach efforts specific to Nature's Notebook and for the broader citizen science community. Participants in Nature's Notebook may become engaged via one of three pathways: individuals may join Nature's Notebook directly, they may be invited to join through a USA-NPN partner organization, or they may engage through a group with local, site-based leadership. The level and type of recruitment tactics, training, and retention efforts that are employed varies markedly among these three models. In this evaluation, we compared the efficacy of these three engagement models using several metrics: number of individuals recruited, number of individuals that go on to submit at least one data point, retention rates over time, duration of activity, and quantity of data points submitted. We also qualitatively considered the differences in costs the three models require to support. In terms of recruitment, direct engagement yielded 20-100 times more registrants than other two models. In contrast, rates of participation were highest for site-based leadership (>35%, versus 20-30% for direct engagement; rates for partner organizations were highly variable due to small sample sizes). Individuals participating through partners with site-based leadership showed a much higher rate of retention (41% of participants remained active for two+ years) than those participating directly in Nature's Notebook (27% of participants remained active for two+ years
MacDonald, E.; Heavner, M.; Hall, M.; Tapia, A.; Lalone, N.; Clayon, J.; Case, N.
Aurorasaurus is on the cutting edge of space science, citizen science, and computer science simultaneously with the broad goals to develop a real-time citizen science network, educate the general public about the northern lights, and revolutionize real-time space weather nowcasting of the aurora for the public. We are currently in the first solar maximum with social media, which enables the technological roots to connect users, citizen scientists, and professionals around a shared global, rare interest. We will introduce the project which has been in a prototype mode since 2012 and recently relaunched with a new mobile and web presence and active campaigns. We will showcase the interdisciplinary advancements which include a more educated public, disaster warning system applications, and improved real-time ground truth data including photographs and observations of the Northern Lights. We will preview new data which validates the proof of concept for significant improvements in real-time space weather nowcasting. Our aim is to provide better real-time notifications of the visibility of the Northern Lights to the interested public via the combination of noisy crowd-sourced ground truth with noisy satellite-based predictions. The latter data are available now but are often delivered with significant jargon and uncertainty, thus reliable, timely interpretation of such forecasts by the public are problematic. The former data show real-time characteristic significant rises (in tweets for instance) that correlate with other non-real-time indices of auroral activity (like the Kp index). We will discuss the source of 'noise' in each data source. Using citizen science as a platform to provide a basis for deeper understanding is one goal; secondly we want to improve understanding of and appreciation for the dynamics and beauty of the Northern Lights by the public and scientists alike.
Wilson, Teresa; Chizek Frouard, Malynda; Bartlett, Jennifer L.
Smartphones, with their ever increasing capabilities, are becoming quite instrumental for data acquisition in a number of fields. Understanding refraction and how it affects what we see on the horizon is no exception. Current algorithms that predict sunrise and sunset times have an error of one to four minutes at mid-latitudes (0° - 55° N/S) due to limitations in the atmospheric models they incorporate. At higher latitudes, slight changes in refraction can cause significant discrepancies, even including difficulties determining when the Sun appears to rise or set. A thorough investigation of the problem requires a substantial data set of observed rise/set times and corresponding meteorological data from around the world, which is currently lacking. We have developed a mobile application so that this data can be taken using smartphones as part of a citizen science project. The app allows the viewer to submit a video of sunrise/set and attaches geographic location along with meteorological data taken from a local weather station. The project will help increase scientific awareness in the public by allowing members of the community to participate in the data-taking process, and give them a greater awareness of the scientific significance of phenomenon they witness every day. The data from the observations will lead to more complete rise/set models that will provide more accurate times to the benefit of astronomers, navigators, and outdoorsmen. The app will be available on the Google Play Store.
Bosker, Thijs; Behrens, Paul; Vijver, Martina G
Microplastics (microplastics levels. The difference in extraction procedures can especially impact study outcomes, making it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to directly compare results among studies. To address this, we recently developed a standard operating procedure (SOP) for sampling microplastics on beaches. We are now assessing regional and global variations in beach microplastics using this standardized approach for 2 research projects. Our first project involves the general public through citizen science. Participants collect sand samples from beaches using a basic protocol, and we subsequently extract and quantify microplastics in a central laboratory using the SOP. Presently, we have 80+ samples from around the world and expect this number to further increase. Second, we are conducting 2, in-depth, regional case studies: one along the Dutch coast (close to major rivers, a known source of microplastic input into marine systems), and the other on the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean (in the proximity to a hotspot of plastics in the North Atlantic Ocean). In both projects, we use our new SOP to determine regional variation in microplastics, including differences in physicochemical characteristics such as size, shape, and polymer type. Our research will provide, for the first time, a systematic comparison on levels of microplastics on beaches at both a regional and global scale. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:536-541. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.
Martin J Westgate
Full Text Available Understanding the influence of landscape change on animal populations is critical to inform biodiversity conservation efforts. A particularly important goal is to understand how urban density affects the persistence of animal populations through time, and how these impacts can be mediated by habitat provision; but data on this question are limited for some taxa. Here, we use data from a citizen science monitoring program to investigate the effect of urbanization on patterns of frog species richness and occurrence over 13 years. Sites surrounded by a high proportion of bare ground (a proxy for urbanization had consistently lower frog occurrence, but we found no evidence that declines were restricted to urban areas. Instead, several frog species showed declines in rural wetlands with low-quality habitat. Our analysis shows that urban wetlands had low but stable species richness; but also that population trajectories are strongly influenced by vegetation provision in both the riparian zone and the wider landscape. Future increases in the extent of urban environments in our study area are likely to negatively impact populations of several frog species. However, existing urban areas are unlikely to lose further frog species in the medium term. We recommend that landscape planning and management focus on the conservation and restoration of rural wetlands to arrest current declines, and the revegetation of urban wetlands to facilitate the re-expansion of urban-sensitive species.
Full Text Available A citizen-science study was conducted in two low-income, flood-prone communities in Atlanta, Georgia, in order to document environmental exposures and the prevalence of occupant asthma. Teams consisting of a public-health graduate student and a resident from one of the two communities administered a questionnaire, inspected residences for mold growth, and collected a dust sample for quantifying mold contamination. The dust samples were analyzed for the 36 molds that make up the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI. Most residents (76% were renters. The median duration of residence was 2.5 years. Although only 12% of occupants reported a history of flooding, 46% reported at least one water leak. Homes with visible mold (35% had significantly (P<0.05 higher mean ERMI values compared to homes without (14.0 versus 9.6. The prevalence of self-reported, current asthma among participants was 14%. In logistic regression models controlling for indoor smoking, among participants residing at their current residence for two years or less, a positive association was observed between asthma and the homes’ ERMI values (adjusted odds ratio per unit increase in ERMI = 1.12, 95% confidence intervals (CI: 1.01–1.25; two-tailed P=0.04. Documentation of the exposures and asthma prevalence has been presented to the communities and public officials. Community-based organizations have taken responsibility for planning and implementing activities in response to the study findings.
Vianna, Gabriel M S; Meekan, Mark G; Bornovski, Tova H; Meeuwig, Jessica J
Citizen science is promoted as a simple and cost-effective alternative to traditional approaches for the monitoring of populations of marine megafauna. However, the reliability of datasets collected by these initiatives often remains poorly quantified. We compared datasets of shark counts collected by professional dive guides with acoustic telemetry data from tagged sharks collected at the same coral reef sites over a period of five years. There was a strong correlation between the number of grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) observed by dive guides and the telemetry data at both daily and monthly intervals, suggesting that variation in relative abundance of sharks was detectable in datasets collected by dive guides in a similar manner to data derived from telemetry at these time scales. There was no correlation between the number or mean depth of sharks recorded by telemetry and the presence of tourist divers, suggesting that the behaviour of sharks was not affected by the presence of divers during our study. Data recorded by dive guides showed that current strength and temperature were important drivers of the relative abundance of sharks at monitored sites. Our study validates the use of datasets of shark abundance collected by professional dive guides in frequently-visited dive sites in Palau, and supports the participation of experienced recreational divers as contributors to long-term monitoring programs of shark populations.
Lombardo, F.; Meidani, H.
Windstorm losses are significant in the U.S. annually and cause damage worldwide. A large percentage of losses are caused by localized events (e.g., tornadoes). In order to better mitigate these losses improvement is needed in understanding the hazard characteristics and physical damage. However, due to the small-scale nature of these events the resolution of the dedicated measuring network does not capture most occurrences. As a result damage-based assessments are sometimes used to gauge intensity. These damage assessments often suffer from a lack of available manpower, inability to arrive at the scene rapidly and difficulty accessing a damaged site. The use and rapid dissemination of social media, the power of crowds engaged in scientific endeavors, and the public's awareness of their vulnerabilities point to a paradigm shift in how hazards can be sensed in a rapid manner. In this way, `human-sensor' data has the potential to radically improve fundamental understanding of hazard and disasters and resolve some of the existing challenges in wind hazard and damage characterization. Data from social media outlets such as Twitter have been used to aid in damage assessments from hazards such as flood and earthquake, however, the reliability and uncertainty of participatory sensing has been questioned and has been called the `biggest challenge' for its sustained use. This research proposes to investigate the efficacy of both citizen science applications and social media data to represent wind hazards and associated damage. Research has focused on a two-phase approach: 1) to have citizen scientists perform their own `damage survey' (i.e., questionnaire) with known damage to assess uncertainty in estimation and 2) downloading and analysis of social media text and imagery streams to ascertain the possibility of performing `unstructured damage surveys'. Early results have shown that the untrained public can estimate tornado damage levels in residential structures with some
Cardamone, Carolin; Cappelluti, Nico; Powell, Meredith; Urry, Meg; Galaxy Zoo Science Team
‘Green Pea’ galaxies, discovered in the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project, are rare low-mass (M Green Peas and the Luminous Red Galaxies throughout the SDSS footprint, and we find that the population of Green Peas at 0.11
This study explores how concerns about the environment have escalated in the past three decades from being peripheral to that of a mainstream social movement. Most environmental concerns stem from the deployment of technologies where technical expertise is essential to effective participation in the decision-making process. The manner in which the current policy for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste was devised and passed by Congress provides the information base through which the role of citizen groups in the decision-making process in a science-intensive culture is explored, as they seek to overcome the adverse environmental impacts and economic inequities of this Act. The actual process by which citizens have confronted this current flawed policy is described, which includes how technical expertise from various sources made the citizens' case credible and effective. Several existing and theoretical models of citizen participation are described. Recommendations and conclusions are presented briefly, and a recommended model based on the concept of sustainable development is proposed
Full Text Available Background and Objective: Health volunteers are the women who do charity work to prevent, protect and promote the health status of the covered neighbors and hereby cooperate with the health centers. The aim of this study was to compare the health volunteer's performance in the covered health centers by Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences.Materials and Methods: This descriptive- analytical study was performed by the participation of 2060 Health volunteers, who were cooperating with 90 covered health centers by Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. These include Shomal, Shargh, Shemiranat, Pakdasht, Damavand and Firoozkooh. We used census sampling method. Demographic data was gathered through interviews with the health volunteers and their performance evaluated by the supervisor of the volunteers; through the evaluation forms and these data gathered together.Results: The mean (SD of the health volunteers performance was 30.9 (16.4 in all centers. They were 35.1 (22 in Shargh, 34 (14.5 in Shomal, 32 (11.3 in Firoozkooh, 28.3 (14 in Shemiranat, 7.9 (9.2 in Damavand and 23.6 (8.5 in Pakdasht respectively. The mean (SD of the efficacy of health volunteers was 8.6 (9.9 in all centers. They were 11.7 (5.6 in Firoozkooh, 10.7 (15.7 in Shargh, 9.4 (6.8 in Shomal, 7.9 (4.9 in Damavand, 7.9 (6.1 in Shemiranat and 4.6 (4.3 in Pakdasht respectively. Older and married volunteers with more experience performed better. There was no significant relationship between the efficacy of health volunteers with their literacy level, employment status and absorber of them. Conclusion: The health volunteers of Shomal, Shargh and Firoozkooh had the best performances respectively. The performances of those in Shemiranat, Damavand and Pakdasht were less than the overall health centers’ mean score. The efficacy score of Firoozkooh, Shomal and Shargh health centers were above the overall health centers’ mean score respectively
Riebeek Kohl, H.; Chambers, L. H.; Murphy, T.
For more that 20 years, the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program has sought to increase environment literacy in students by involving them in the process of data collection and scientific research. In 2016, the program expanded to accept observations from citizen scientists of all ages through a relatively simple app. Called GLOBE Observer, the new program aims to help participants feel connected to a global community focused on advancing the scientific understanding of Earth system science while building climate literacy among participants and increasing valuable environmental data points to expand both student and scientific research. In October 2016, GLOBE Observer partnered with the Association of Science & Technology Centers (ASTC) in an international science experiment in which museums and patrons around the world collected cloud observations through GLOBE Observer to create a global cloud map in support of NASA satellite science. The experiment was an element of the International Science Center and Science Museum Day, an event planned in partnership with UNESCO and ASTC. Museums and science centers provided the climate context for the observations, while GLOBE Observer offered a uniform experience and a digital platform to build a connected global community. This talk will introduce GLOBE Observer and will present the results of the experiment, including evaluation feedback on gains in climate literacy through the event.
The goal of Biodiversity research is to identify, explain, and predict why a species' distribution and abundance vary through time, space, and with features of the environment. Measuring these patterns and predicting their responses to change are not exercises in curiosity. Today, they are essential tasks for understanding the profound effects that humans have on earth's natural systems, and for developing science-based environmental policies. To gain insight about species' distribution patterns requires studying natural systems at appropriate scales, yet studies of ecological processes continue to be compromised by inadequate attention to scale issues. How spatial and temporal patterns in nature change with scale often reflects fundamental laws of physics, chemistry, or biology, and we can identify such basic, governing laws only by comparing patterns over a wide range of scales. This presentation will provide several examples that integrate bird observations made by volunteers, with NASA Earth Imagery using Big Data analysis techniques to analyze the temporal patterns of bird occurrence across scales—from hemisphere-wide views of bird distributions to the impact of powerful city lights on bird migration.
Biodiversity recording activities have been greatly enhanced by the emergence of online schemes and smartphone applications for recording and sharing data about a wide variety of flora and fauna. As a palaeobiologist, one of the areas of research I have been heavily involved in is the question of whether the amount of rock available to sample acts as a bias on our estimates of biodiversity through time. Although great progress has been made on this question over the past ten years by a number of researchers, I still think palaeontology has not followed the lead offered by the 'citizen science' revolution in studies of extant biodiversity. By constructing clearly structured surveys with online data collection support, it should be possible to collect field data on the occurrence of fossils at the scale of individual exposures, which are needed to test competing hypotheses about these effects at relatively small spatial scales. Such data collection would be hard to justify for universities and museums with limited personnel but a co-ordinated citizen science programme would be capable of delivering such a programme. Data collection could be based on the MacKinnon's Lists method, used in rapid conservation assessment work. It relies on observers collecting lists of a fixed length (e.g. 10 species long) but what is important is that it focuses on getting observers to ignore sightings of the same species until that list is complete. This overcomes the problem of 'common taxa being commonly recorded' and encourages observers to seek out and identify the rarer taxa. This gives a targeted but finite task. Rather than removing fossils, participants would be encouraged to take photographs to share via a recording website. The success of iSpot, which allows users to upload photos of plants and animals for other users to help with identifications, offers a model for overcoming the problems of identifying fossils, which can often look nothing like the examples illustrated in
Anne E Goodenough
Full Text Available Pre-roost murmuration displays by European starlings Sturnus vulgaris are a spectacular example of collective animal behaviour. To date, empirical research has focussed largely on flock movement and biomechanics whereas research on possible causal mechanisms that affect flock size and murmuration duration has been limited and restricted to a small number of sites. Possible explanations for this behaviour include reducing predation through the dilution, detection or predator confusion effects (the "safer together" hypotheses or recruiting more birds to create larger (warmer roosts (the "warmer together" hypothesis. We collected data on size, duration, habitat, temperature and predators from >3,000 murmurations using citizen science. Sightings were submitted from 23 countries but UK records predominated. Murmurations occurred across a range of habitats but there was no association between habitat and size/duration. Size increased significantly from October to early February, followed by a decrease until the end of the season in March (overall mean 30,082 birds; maximum 750,000 birds. Mean duration was 26 minutes (± 44 seconds SEM. Displays were longest at the start/end of the season, probably due to a significant positive relationship with day length. Birds of prey were recorded at 29.6% of murmurations. The presence of predators including harrier Circus, peregrine Falco peregrinus, and sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus was positively correlated with murmuration size (R2 = 0.401 and duration (R2 = 0.258, especially when these species were flying near to, or actively engaging with, starlings. Temperature was negatively correlated with duration but the effect was much weaker than that of day length. When predators were present, murmurations were statistically more likely to end with all birds going down en masse to roost rather than dispersing from the site. Our findings suggest that starling murmurations are primarily an anti-predator adaptation rather
Regmi, S.; Bhusal, J.; Gurung, P.; Ochoa-Tocachi, B. F.; Buytaert, W.
Abstract The Mustang region of the Himalayas has unique geographical and climatic features. This region is characterized by a cold-arid climate with total annual precipitation of less than 300mm. Agriculture and livestock grazing lands are the major ecosystem services, which support directly the livelihoods of local populations yet, are strongly determined by low water availability. As a result, optimizing water resources management is paramount to support local development, but this is severely complicated by the lack of information about water availability. This problem is further aggravated by increasing pressure on the social, physical and climatic environments. In order to support the management of scarce water in irrigation and domestic uses, stream flow and precipitation monitoring networks were established using a participatory approach under the principle of citizen science. Data collection, and the following interpretation and application of the co-generated knowledge relies on local users, whereas the establishment of the system, knowledge co-generation, and development of application tools particularly is part of a collaboration of members of the general public with professional scientists. We show how the resulting data enable local users to quantify the water balance in the area and reduce the uncertainty associated to data-scarcity, which leads to the generation of useable information about water availability for irrigation, livestock grazing, and domestic demand. We contrast the current scenario of water use, under different conditions of natural variability and environmental change, with an optimized water management strategy generated and agreed with local users. This approach contributes to an optimal use of water, to an improvement in ecosystem services supporting to livelihood development and economic progress of local populations. Key words: ecosystem services, climate change, water balance, knowledge generation, irrigation
Buytaert, W.; Ochoa-Tocachi, B. F.
Apart for the most basic measurements of manual rain and staff gauges, hydrology and water resources are not an evident disciplines for the application of citizen science. High-resolution measurements require elaborate equipment, installation, and maintenance that is typically beyond the scope of non-scientists. Additionally, hydrological analysis has traditionally relied upon long time series of consistent accuracy and precision. Nevertheless, new opportunities for public participation in hydrological research are emerging, driven by increasingly affordable, robust, and more user-friendly technology. Here we analyse the results generated by participatory monitoring of river flow and precipitation in around 30 catchments in the tropical Andes. This monitoring network was set up through a collaborative effort between scientists, NGOs and local communities, with the intention to generate evidence about the impact of land-use change on streamflow. Monitoring was implemented using automatic but low-cost sensors operated and maintained by local users. Tipping bucket rain gauges are used for precipitation, and river flow is monitored with pressure transducers in combination with a V-notch weir to obtain a stable stage-discharge relation. Jointly, the sensors have now collected an equivalent of more than 30 years of data, with a measurement interval of typically 5 or 15 minutes. Analysing the data, we find that the observations themselves tend to be of a quality comparable to scientific observations. However, main issues are related to the continuity of the time series, as sensors eventually fail or run out of capacity in dataloggers or batteries in the most remote locations. Despite these shortcomings, the data have proven to be useful in characterizing land-use impacts well beyond what can be achieved with conventional data collection, thus filling long-standing gaps in local hydrological knowledge. Furthermore, we expect that the advent of new, more robust, resilient
Mieras, Peter A; Harvey-Clark, Chris; Bear, Michael; Hodgin, Gina; Hodgin, Boone
Historically sharks have been seen either as a source of income through harvesting, or as a nuisance and danger. The economic value of sharks has traditionally been measured as the total value of sharks caught for liver oil, fins, or meat for consumption. Sharks have also been killed to near extinction in cases where they were seen as a threat to fisheries on other species. This is illustrated by the mass extermination of Basking Sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) in British Columbia. They were seen as a nuisance to fishermen as they got entangled in gill nets during the salmon fishing season. However with the development of the SCUBA diving industry, and ecotourism in general, increased awareness of the role sharks play in marine ecosystems has resulted in changes in how they are perceived and utilized. Despite an ongoing harvest of sharks such as the North Pacific Spiny Dogfish (Squalus suckleyi), sharks now generate economic value through SCUBA diving enthusiasts who travel the globe to see, swim with, and photograph them. The use of digital cameras and other digital media has brought sharks into households around the world and increased awareness of the conservation issues facing many species. This renewed appreciation has led to a better understanding of sharks by the public, resulting in advocates calling for better protections and conservation. In particular, a growing part of the SCUBA diving community wants to contribute to conservation and research projects, which has led to participation in citizen science projects. These projects provide scientific data but also gain ground as ecotourism activities, thus adding to both economic value of tourism and conservation efforts. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.
Baker, Rowenna; Charman, Naomi; Karlsson, Heidi; Yarnell, Richard W.; Mill, Aileen C.; Smith, Graham C.; Tolhurst, Bryony A.
Globally there are many examples of synanthropic carnivores exploiting growth in urbanisation. As carnivores can come into conflict with humans and are potential vectors of zoonotic disease, assessing densities in suburban areas and identifying factors that influence them are necessary to aid management and mitigation. However, fragmented, privately owned land restricts the use of conventional carnivore surveying techniques in these areas, requiring development of novel methods. We present a method that combines questionnaire distribution to residents with field surveys and GIS, to determine relative density of two urban carnivores in England, Great Britain. We determined the density of: red fox (Vulpes vulpes) social groups in 14, approximately 1km2 suburban areas in 8 different towns and cities; and Eurasian badger (Meles meles) social groups in three suburban areas of one city. Average relative fox group density (FGD) was 3.72 km-2, which was double the estimates for cities with resident foxes in the 1980’s. Density was comparable to an alternative estimate derived from trapping and GPS-tracking, indicating the validity of the method. However, FGD did not correlate with a national dataset based on fox sightings, indicating unreliability of the national data to determine actual densities or to extrapolate a national population estimate. Using species-specific clustering units that reflect social organisation, the method was additionally applied to suburban badgers to derive relative badger group density (BGD) for one city (Brighton, 2.41 km-2). We demonstrate that citizen science approaches can effectively obtain data to assess suburban carnivore density, however publicly derived national data sets need to be locally validated before extrapolations can be undertaken. The method we present for assessing densities of foxes and badgers in British towns and cities is also adaptable to other urban carnivores elsewhere. However this transferability is contingent on
Fung, S. F.; Higgins, C.; Thieman, J.; Garcia, L. N.; Young, C. A.
The Radio JOVE project has long been a hands-on inquiry-based educational project that allows students, teachers and the general public to learn and practice radio astronomy by building their own radio antenna and receiver system from an inexpensive kit that operates at 20.1 MHz and/or using remote radio telescopes through the Internet. Radio JOVE participants observe and analyze natural radio emissions from Jupiter and the Sun. Within the last few years, several Radio JOVE amateurs have upgraded their equipment to make semi-professional spectrographic observations in the frequency band of 15-30 MHz. Due to the widely distributed Radio JOVE observing stations across the US, the Radio JOVE observations can uniquely augment observations by professional telescopes, such as the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) . The Radio JOVE project has recently partnered with the NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium (HEC) to work with students and interested amateur radio astronomers to establish additional spectrograph and single-frequency Radio JOVE stations. These additional Radio JOVE stations will help build a larger amateur radio science network and increase the spatial coverage of long-wavelength radio observations across the US. Our presentation will describe the Radio JOVE project within the context of the HEC. We will discuss the potential for citizen scientists to make and use Radio JOVE observations to study solar radio bursts (particularly during the upcoming solar eclipse in August 2017) and Jovian radio emissions. Radio JOVE observations will also be used to study ionospheric radio scintillation, promoting appreciation and understanding of this important space weather effect.
Hicks, S. D.; Aufdenkampe, A. K.; Horsburgh, J. S.; Arscott, D. B.; Muenz, T.; Bressler, D. W.
The explosion in DIY open-source hardware and software has resulted in the development of affordable and accessible technologies, like drones and weather stations, that can greatly assist the general public in monitoring environmental health and its degradation. It is widely recognized that education and support of audiences in pursuit of STEM literacy and the application of emerging technologies is a challenge for the future of citizen science and for preparing high school graduates to be actively engaged in environmental stewardship. It is also clear that detecting environmental change/degradation over time and space will be greatly enhanced with expanded use of networked, remote monitoring technologies by watershed organizations and citizen scientists if data collection and reporting are properly carried out and curated. However, there are few focused efforts to link citizen scientists and school programs with these emerging tools. We have started a multi-year program to develop hardware and teaching materials for training students and citizen scientists about the use of open source hardware in environmental monitoring. Scientists and educators around the world have started building their own dataloggers and devices using a variety of boards based on open source electronics. This new hardware is now providing researchers with an inexpensive alternative to commercial data logging and transmission hardware. We will present a variety of hardware solutions using the Arduino-compatible EnviroDIY Mayfly board (http://envirodiy.org/mayfly) that can be used to build and deploy a rugged environmental monitoring station using a wide variety of sensors and options, giving the users a fully customizable device for making measurements almost anywhere. A database and visualization system is being developed that will allow the users to view and manage the data their devices are collecting. We will also present our plan for developing curricula and leading workshops to various
Gomez, A. M.; Wise, E.; Riveros-Iregui, D.
Understanding water dynamic and storage is essential for decision making in hydrology issues. In remote groundwater-dependent regions affected by population displacement and land over exploitation, especially in developing economies, limited data hinders the production of information necessary to formulate and implement effective water management plans. The community science research approach, which seeks to solve scientific questions with the participation of the community at various levels, represents an opportunity in these regions. We present results of a citizen science project developed to improve the conceptualization of groundwater flow path and to estimate the monthly direct recharge to the shallow aquifer in a remote rural region, the Man River watershed, located in one of the last foothills between the Western and Central Andes cordillera in Colombia. This project was conducted by: i) implementing a water level monitoring network aided by the community to collect weekly data from 2007 to 2010; ii) comparing the precipitation data and water table time series to identify the response of the shallow aquifer to the wet season; iii) conceptualizing specific groundwater-surface interactions through water table spatial analysis; and iv) estimating direct groundwater recharge using the Water Table Fluctuation method. Water quality test results were shared with the local community. Results show that groundwater interacts with the main tributaries to the Man River. Two scenarios were identified related to water table temporal behavior: (1) the water table rises during the transition from the dry to the wet season (between March and April), and (2) it increases one month after this transition. In general, groundwater levels descend in November, which is the end of the wet season. The work with the community provided useful insights for interpreting the collected data and allowed for information exchange concerning the groundwater quality and methods for improving
Walker, C. E.; Pompea, S. M.
For 8 years now, the Globe at Night campaign has invited citizen-scientists worldwide to measure and record the brightness of their night sky by hunting for the faintest stars in a particular constellation. Students for science projects and scientists for research use the data to monitor levels of brightness or 'light pollution' around the world. They also use the Globe at Night data to understand light pollution's effects on energy consumption, plants, wildlife and human health, as well as our ability to enjoy a starry night sky. The dates of the campaign for 2014 have been extended to every month during the year. Ten days each month (when the Moon is not up between 8pm and 10pm) are the recommended times to take measurements for the campaign. However, one can participate at other times and dates, as long as the Moon is not in the night sky and it is more than an hour after sunset or more than an hour before sunrise. New in 2014 will be an Android app that will allow you to input visual measurements anytime the Moon is not up. Also possibly included will be an iPhone app that will take sky brightness measurements. The campaign dates and the 5 easy steps to participating in the campaign are listed at www.globeatnight.org. You do not need to register. Once on the report page, you enter your location, date and time (automatic for a smart device). You find the constellation of the month in the night sky. (Help is on the website.) Then you choose which chart looks most like what you see toward the constellation. Choose the icon for how clear or cloudy it is and hit the submit button and you are done! The fifth step is returning later to the website to compare your observations on the world map to others from around the globe. Included on the Globe at Night website are many helpful resources and tools from finding the constellations used in the campaign, to understanding concepts like light pollution, to games that test your expertise in choosing 'limiting magnitudes
Tayne, K.; Oda, T.; Gurney, K. R.; O'Keeffe, D.; Petron, G.; Tans, P. P.; Frost, G. J.
An emission inventory (EI) is a conventional tool to quantify and monitor anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants into the atmosphere. Gridded EI can visually show geographical patterns of emissions and their changes over time. These patterns, when available, are often determined using location data collected by regional governments, industries, and researchers. Datasets such as Carbon Monitoring and Action (CARMA, www.carma.org) are particularly useful for mapping emissions from large point sources and have been widely used in the EI community. The EI community is aware of potentially significant errors in the geographical locations of point sources, including power plants. The big challenge, however, is to review tens of thousands of power plant locations around the world and correct them where needed. The Power Plant Mapping Student Project (PPMSP) is a platform designed for students in 4th through 12th grade to improve the geographical location of power plants indicated in existing datasets to benefit international EI research. In PPMSP, we use VENTUS, a web-based platform (http://ventus.project.asu.edu/) that invites citizens to contribute power plant location data. Using VENTUS, students view scenes in the vicinity of reported power plant coordinates on Google Maps. Students either verify the location of a power plant or search for it within a designated radius using various indicators, an e-guide, and a power plant photo gallery for assistance. If the power plant cannot be found, students mark the plant as unverified. To assure quality for research use, the project contains multiple checkpoints and levels of review. While participating in meaningful research that directly benefits the EI research community, students are engaged in relevant science curricula designed to meet each grade level's Next Generation Science Standards. Students study energy, climate change, the atmosphere, and geographical information systems. The curricula is
Walther, Doreen; Kampen, Helge
The citizen science project 'Mueckenatlas' (mosquito atlas) was implemented in early 2012 to improve mosquito surveillance in Germany. Citizens are asked to support the spatiotemporal mapping of culicids by submitting mosquito specimens collected in their private surroundings. The Mueckenatlas has developed into an efficient tool for data collection with close to 30,000 mosquitoes submitted by the end of 2015. While the vast majority of submissions included native mosquito species, a small percentage represented invasive species. The discovery of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae), Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald) (Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes koreicus (Edwards) (Diptera: Culicidae) specimens via the Mueckenatlas project prompted targeted monitoring activities in the field which produced additional information on the distribution of these species in Germany. Among others, Mueckenatlas submissions led to the detection of three populations of Ae. j. japonicus in West, North and Southeast Germany in 2012, 2013, and 2015, respectively. As demonstrated by on-site monitoring, the origins of Ae. j. japonicus specimens submitted to the Mueckenatlas mirror the distribution areas of the four presently known German populations as found by active field sampling (the fourth population already reported prior to the launch of the Mueckenatlas). The data suggest that a citizen science project such as the Mueckenatlas may aid in detecting changes in the mosquito fauna and can therefore be used to guide the design of more targeted field surveillance activities. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.
Full Text Available The Great Capricorn beetle, Cerambyx cerdo, and Mediterranean oak habitats (Quercus ilex – 9340 and Quercus suber – 9330 are protected by the Habitats Directive (HD. However, in the Mediterranean basin, these habitats are also traditionally used for animal, wood, and cork productions. Cerambyx cerdo feeds into the wood of trees and can be perceived by forest practitioners as an umbrella species or as a pest, depending on the context. Monitoring programmes involving forest practitioners could thus focus on assessing: 1 the conservation status of the Great Capricorn beetle and habitats (distribution and abundance of insects and reproductive sites or colonised trees, 2 pest status, and 3 management options to achieve both conservational and economic benefits. Considering that Cerambyx cerdo and Cork and Holm oak forests are not priority species or habitats under the HD, targeted funding is likely to be limited for monitoring. In this context, citizen science could gather important information on the target species useful for the monitoring programmes and management. To address management questions, the citizen science based programme for Cerambyx cerdo monitoring and habitat conservation should be seen not only as citizens collecting good data sets, but also as a deeper collaboration amongst different knowledge bodies and perspectives within a community – based environmental monitoring and learning network.
Boger, R. A.; Low, R.; Paull, S.; Anyamba, A.; Soebiyanto, R. P.
Temperature and precipitation are important drivers of mosquito population dynamics, and a growing set of models have been proposed to characterize these relationships. Validation of these models, and development of broader theories across mosquito species and regions could nonetheless be improved by comparing observations from a global dataset of mosquito larvae with satellite-based measurements of meteorological variables. Citizen science data can be particularly useful for two such aspects of research into the meteorological drivers of mosquito populations: i) Broad-scale validation of mosquito distribution models and ii) Generation of quantitative hypotheses regarding changes to mosquito abundance and phenology across scales. The recently released GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper (GO-MHM) app engages citizen scientists in identifying vector taxa, mapping breeding sites and decommissioning non-natural habitats, and provides a potentially useful new tool for validating mosquito ubiquity projections based on the analysis of remotely sensed environmental data. Our early work with GO-MHM data focuses on two objectives: validating citizen science reports of Aedes aegypti distribution through comparison with accepted scientific data sources, and exploring the relationship between extreme temperature and precipitation events and subsequent observations of mosquito larvae. Ultimately the goal is to develop testable hypotheses regarding the shape and character of this relationship between mosquito species and regions.
Özdemir, Vural; Badr, Kamal F; Dove, Edward S; Endrenyi, Laszlo; Geraci, Christy Jo; Hotez, Peter J; Milius, Djims; Neves-Pereira, Maria; Pang, Tikki; Rotimi, Charles N; Sabra, Ramzi; Sarkissian, Christineh N; Srivastava, Sanjeeva; Tims, Hesther; Zgheib, Nathalie K; Kickbusch, Ilona
Biomedical science in the 21(st) century is embedded in, and draws from, a digital commons and "Big Data" created by high-throughput Omics technologies such as genomics. Classic Edisonian metaphors of science and scientists (i.e., "the lone genius" or other narrow definitions of expertise) are ill equipped to harness the vast promises of the 21(st) century digital commons. Moreover, in medicine and life sciences, experts often under-appreciate the important contributions made by citizen scholars and lead users of innovations to design innovative products and co-create new knowledge. We believe there are a large number of users waiting to be mobilized so as to engage with Big Data as citizen scientists-only if some funding were available. Yet many of these scholars may not meet the meta-criteria used to judge expertise, such as a track record in obtaining large research grants or a traditional academic curriculum vitae. This innovation research article describes a novel idea and action framework: micro-grants, each worth $1000, for genomics and Big Data. Though a relatively small amount at first glance, this far exceeds the annual income of the "bottom one billion"-the 1.4 billion people living below the extreme poverty level defined by the World Bank ($1.25/day). We describe two types of micro-grants. Type 1 micro-grants can be awarded through established funding agencies and philanthropies that create micro-granting programs to fund a broad and highly diverse array of small artisan labs and citizen scholars to connect genomics and Big Data with new models of discovery such as open user innovation. Type 2 micro-grants can be funded by existing or new science observatories and citizen think tanks through crowd-funding mechanisms described herein. Type 2 micro-grants would also facilitate global health diplomacy by co-creating crowd-funded micro-granting programs across nation-states in regions facing political and financial instability, while sharing similar disease
Riddiford, N.J.; Veraart, J.A.; Férriz, I.; Owens, N.W.; Royo, L.; Honey, M.R.
This paper puts forward a multi-disciplinary field project, set up in 1989 at the Parc Natural de s’Albufera in Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, as an example of a cost effective model for integrating science and volunteer participation in a coastal protected area. Outcomes include the provision
Boger, R. A.; Low, R.; Jaroensutasinee, M.; Jaroensutasinee, K.; Sparrow, E. B.; Costosa, J. I.; Medina, J.; Randolph, G.
GLOBE in Thailand and GLOBE in Africa independently developed citizen science protocols for collecting and analyzing mosquito larvae. These protocols have been piloted in several workshops and implemented in schools. Data collected have been used for several secondary, undergraduate and graduate student research studies. Over this past year, 2015, these protocols have been synthesized into one protocol that will be made available to the world-wide community through the GLOBE website (www.globe.gov). This new protocol is designed to be flexible in the mosquito species that can be collected and the types of environments sampled (e.g., containers in and around the house, ponds, irrigation ditches in a rice paddy field). Plans are underway to enable web-based data entry and mobile apps for data collection and submission. Once everything is finalized, a GLOBE field campaign will be initiated for citizen scientists to collect meaningful data on where different types of mosquito larvae are found and how the abundance and distribution is changing seasonally. To assist in the standardization of data collection and quality control, training slides are being developed and will be made available in early 2016. This will enable a wider participation of citizen scientists to participate in this effort to collect mosquito data by making it easier to become part of the GLOBE community. As with mosquito larvae, training slides are being created for hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and pedosphere GLOBE measurement protocols. The development of the mosquito protocol and the training slides are in direct response to the GLOBE community's desire to increase citizen science participation beyond primary and secondary schools, in observing and measuring environmental change.
Distribution of 'supplementary reader on nuclear power: Challenge! Nuclear power world' issued in 2010 and 'supplementary reader on radiation' issued in October 2011 was shelved in June 2012 by the administrative project review with revised policy of nuclear education for nuclear power promotion reflected. Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Accident brought about great effects and change on fundamental conditions of citizen's life as well as national consciousness of future society in Japan. Reconsideration of scientific education should be needed taking account how to recognize 'scientific literacy' and 'scientific communication'. This article discussed nuclear power problem related with supplementary reader and nuclear power education so as to establish science education framework for 'scientific literacy' for citizen. Preparation of nuclear power education at junior high school according to guideline of new course of study was reviewed and then 'scientific literacy' based on British science higher level student textbook for public understanding of science in society was described for reference, which suggested some problem in science education in Japan although social background was different. (T. Tanaka)
Lister, Tim; Greenstreet, Sarah; Gomez, Edward; Christensen, Eric J.; Larson, Stephen M.
NEOexchange software which is used to schedule, analyze and report observations taken with the LCO Network. In addition, we describe a Citizen Science project, AgentNEO, which uses LCO data to allow the public to find and learn about asteroids.
Galimberti, Giacomo; Balbo, Alessandro
In addition to the data commonly used in hydrological predictions (such as the peaks over a threshold or the annual maximum series or the daily average values of the variables of interest), it is now clear the importance of using all available information, integrating different kinds of data, with appropriate methodologies, including non-systematic measurements and historical values recorded in the past. This is of particular interest in ungauged or poorly gauged basins, often of small size, where there are very few data, but often high hydraulic risk. The wide spread of technologies and sensors useful for data collection (e.g. via smartphones) enable the involvement of citizens in the measurement, transmission and analysis of data. The research concerns the development of a web - application, called CITHYD (Citizen Hydrology) for the collection of hydrometric measurements in rivers from citizens. CITHYD is an application that receives water level data, collected and sent by citizens, in river cross sections instrumented with a staff gauge and an information panel, performs simple reliability checks, stores the data, publishes them and creates statistics freely available for all (under Italian Open Data License 2.0). The application needs an information panel containing a unique QR code for every staff gauge. Through smartphones and TLC network the citizen can transmit the water level seen on a staff gauge existing on a river basin to a geodatabase with web interface. The user, thanks to the QR code, immediately accesses the data entry mask form related to that staff gauge and can insert the water level just read. Data are published almost in real time on a map and the data, inserted by all users, can be read and downloaded, as text files, tables and graphics. The Open Data stored in the DB can be used for scientific research, for calibration and validation of models, to improve the knowledge of the territory and for planning and design. The Citizen Science
Snik, F.; Rietjens, J.H.H.; Apituley, A.; Volten, H.; Mijling, B.; Di Noia, A.; Heikamp, S.; Heinsbroek, R.C.; Hasekamp, O.P.; Smit. , J.M.; Vonk, J.; Stam, D.M.; van Harten, G.; de Boer, J.; Keller, C.U.; iSPEX citizen scientists; Stuut, J.B.W.; Wernand, M.R.; Philippart, C.J.M.
To assess the impact of atmospheric aerosols on health, climate, and air traffic, aerosol properties must be measured with fine spatial and temporal sampling. This can be achieved by actively involving citizens and the technology they own to form an atmospheric measurement network. We establish this
Full Text Available Monitoring the dynamics of the productivity of ocean water and how it affects fisheries is essential for management. It requires data on proper spatial and temporal scales, which can be provided by operational ocean colour satellites. However, accurate productivity data from ocean colour imagery is only possible with proper validation of, for instance, the atmospheric correction applied to the images. In situ water reflectance data are of great value due to the requirements for validation and reflectance is traditionally measured with the Surface Acquisition System (SAS solar tracker system. Recently, an application for mobile devices, “HydroColor”, was developed to acquire water reflectance data. We examined the accuracy of the water reflectance measures acquired by HydroColor with the help of both trained and untrained citizens, under different environmental conditions. We used water reflectance data acquired by SAS solar tracker and by HydroColor onboard the BC ferry Queen of Oak Bay from July to September 2016. Monte Carlo permutation F tests were used to assess whether the differences between measurements collected by SAS solar tracker and HydroColor with citizens were significant. Results showed that citizen HydroColor measurements were accurate in red, green, and blue bands, as well as red/green and red/blue ratios under different environmental conditions. In addition, we found that a trained citizen obtained higher quality HydroColor data especially under clear skies at noon.
Jenerette, D.; Wang, J.; Chandler, M.; Ripplinger, J.; Koutzoukis, S.; Ge, C.; Castro Garcia, L.; Kucera, D.; Liu, X.
Large uncertainties remain in identifying the distribution of urban air quality and temperature risks across neighborhood to regional scales. Nevertheless, many cities are actively expanding vegetation with an expectation to moderate both climate and air quality risks. We address these uncertainties through an integrated analysis of satellite data, atmospheric modeling, and in-situ environmental sensor networks maintained by citizen scientists. During the summer of 2017 we deployed neighborhood-scale networks of air temperature and ozone sensors through three campaigns across urbanized southern California. During each five-week campaign we deployed six sensor nodes that included an EPA federal equivalent method ozone sensor and a suite of meteorological sensors. Each node was further embedded in a network of 100 air temperature sensors that combined a randomized design developed by the research team and a design co-created by citizen scientists. Between 20 and 60 citizen scientists were recruited for each campaign, with local partners supporting outreach and training to ensure consistent deployment and data gathering. We observed substantial variation in both temperature and ozone concentrations at scales less than 4km, whole city, and the broader southern California region. At the whole city scale the average spatial variation with our ozone sensor network just for city of Long Beach was 26% of the mean, while corresponding variation in air temperature was only 7% of the mean. These findings contrast with atmospheric model estimates of variation at the regional scale of 11% and 1%. Our results show the magnitude of fine-scale variation underestimated by current models and may also suggest scaling functions that can connect neighborhood and regional variation in both ozone and temperature risks in southern California. By engaging citizen science with high quality sensors, satellite data, and real-time forecasting, our results help identify magnitudes of climate and
Wilson, Teresa; Kantamneni, A.; Bartlett, J. L.; Nemiroff, R. J.
Current models that predict the times of sunrise and sunset are only accurate, typically, to a few minutes. Variations in atmospheric refraction contribute to the differences between computed and observed times. At high latitudes, slight changes in refraction can cause the Sun to remain continuously above the horizon instead of appearing to set. A substantial collection of observations would help constrain atmospheric models, which should, in turn, complement astronomical observations through improved understanding of air stability, refraction, and transparency. We report on a small project recording data from a few smartphones as a proof of concept for a possible larger scale citizen science effort.
Wald, Dara M; Longo, Justin; Dobell, A R
Citizen science initiatives encourage volunteer participants to collect and interpret data and contribute to formal scientific projects. The growth of virtual citizen science (VCS), facilitated through websites and mobile applications since the mid-2000s, has been driven by a combination of software innovations and mobile technologies, growing scientific data flows without commensurate increases in resources to handle them, and the desire of internet-connected participants to contribute to collective outputs. However, the increasing availability of internet-based activities requires individual VCS projects to compete for the attention of volunteers and promote their long-term retention. We examined program and platform design principles that might allow VCS initiatives to compete more effectively for volunteers, increase productivity of project participants, and retain contributors over time. We surveyed key personnel engaged in managing a sample of VCS projects to identify the principles and practices they pursued for these purposes and led a team in a heuristic evaluation of volunteer engagement, website or application usability, and participant retention. We received 40 completed survey responses (33% response rate) and completed a heuristic evaluation of 20 VCS program sites. The majority of the VCS programs focused on scientific outcomes, whereas the educational and social benefits of program participation, variables that are consistently ranked as important for volunteer engagement and retention, were incidental. Evaluators indicated usability, across most of the VCS program sites, was higher and less variable than the ratings for participant engagement and retention. In the context of growing competition for the attention of internet volunteers, increased attention to the motivations of virtual citizen scientists may help VCS programs sustain the necessary engagement and retention of their volunteers. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.
Rosas, Lisa G; Salvo, Deborah; Winter, Sandra J; Cortes, David; Rivera, Juan; Rodriguez, Nicole M; King, Abby C
Middle- and low-income countries bear 80 % of the global chronic disease burden. Population-level, multi-sectoral approaches to promoting healthful lifestyles that take into local physical, socioeconomic, and sociocultural characteristics of both the environment and the population are needed. The "Nuestra Voz (Our Voice)" is one such approach that involves neighborhood residents acting as "citizen scientists" to systematically gather information on the barriers and facilitators of physical activity in their neighborhoods and then use their data to collectively advocate for local environmental- and policy-level changes to support active living. We pilot tested this approach in Cuernavaca, Mexico with adults and adolescents. This community-engaged and participatory approach is driven by residents, who utilize a GPS-enabled electronic tablet-based application with simple audio-based instructions to take photographs and record audio narratives of facets of their neighborhood that promote or hinder active living. After collecting these data, the citizen scientists come together in a community meeting and use their data to prioritize realistic, multi-level changes for promoting active living in their neighborhoods. A survey assessed participants' acceptability of the approach. Participating citizen scientists included 32 adults and 9 adolescents. The citizen scientists rated the acceptability of five of the nine acceptability survey items with an average of 4.0 or higher out of 5.0, indicating they thought it was "fun," were comfortable carrying the tablet, were likely to use it again, and would recommend it to friends and family. Items with average scores of less than 4 were all related to safety concerns. The most common barriers reported by citizen scientists using the tablet were poor sidewalk quality, presence of trash, negative characteristics of the streets, unpleasant aesthetics (e.g., graffiti), and presence of parks and recreational facilities. The Our Voice
Full Text Available Volunteers are increasingly being recruited into citizen science projects to collect observations for scientific studies. An additional goal of these projects is to engage and educate these volunteers. Thus, there are few barriers to participation resulting in volunteer observers with varying ability to complete the project's tasks. To improve the quality of a citizen science project's outcomes it would be useful to account for inter-observer variation, and to assess the rarely tested presumption that participating in a citizen science projects results in volunteers becoming better observers. Here we present a method for indexing observer variability based on the data routinely submitted by observers participating in the citizen science project eBird, a broad-scale monitoring project in which observers collect and submit lists of the bird species observed while birding. Our method for indexing observer variability uses species accumulation curves, lines that describe how the total number of species reported increase with increasing time spent in collecting observations. We find that differences in species accumulation curves among observers equates to higher rates of species accumulation, particularly for harder-to-identify species, and reveals increased species accumulation rates with continued participation. We suggest that these properties of our analysis provide a measure of observer skill, and that the potential to derive post-hoc data-derived measurements of participant ability should be more widely explored by analysts of data from citizen science projects. We see the potential for inferential results from analyses of citizen science data to be improved by accounting for observer skill.
Philippoff, Joanna; Baumgartner, Erin
The scientific value of citizen-science programs is limited when the data gathered are inconsistent, erroneous, or otherwise unusable. Long-term monitoring studies, such as Our Project In Hawai'i's Intertidal (OPIHI), have clear and consistent procedures and are thus a good model for evaluating the quality of participant data. The purpose of this study was to examine the kinds of errors made by student researchers during OPIHI data collection and factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of these errors. Twenty-four different types of errors were grouped into four broad error categories: missing data, sloppiness, methodological errors, and misidentification errors. "Sloppiness" was the most prevalent error type. Error rates decreased with field trip experience and student age. We suggest strategies to reduce data collection errors applicable to many types of citizen-science projects including emphasizing neat data collection, explicitly addressing and discussing the problems of falsifying data, emphasizing the importance of using standard scientific vocabulary, and giving participants multiple opportunities to practice to build their data collection techniques and skills.
In the last few years, the use of smartphone-apps has become a daily routine in our life. However, only a few approaches have been undertaken to use apps for transferring scientific knowledge to the public audience. The development of learning apps or serious games requires large efforts and several levels of simplification which is different to traditional text books or learning webpages. Current approaches often lack a connection to the real life and/or innovative gamification concepts. Another almost untapped potential is the use of Virtual Reality, a fast growing technology which replicates a virtual environment in order to simulate physical experiences in artificial or real worlds. Hence, smartphone-apps and VR provides new opportunities for capacity building, knowledge transfer, citizen science or interactive engagement in the realm of environmental sciences. This presentation will show some examples and discuss the advantages of these immersive approaches to improve the knowledge transfer between scientists and citizens and to stimulate actions in the real world.
Full Text Available The scientific value of citizen-science programs is limited when the data gathered are inconsistent, erroneous, or otherwise unusable. Long-term monitoring studies, such as Our Project In Hawai‘i's Intertidal (OPIHI, have clear and consistent procedures and are thus a good model for evaluating the quality of participant data. The purpose of this study was to examine the kinds of errors made by student researchers during OPIHI data collection and factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of these errors. Twenty-four different types of errors were grouped into four broad error categories: missing data, sloppiness, methodological errors, and misidentification errors. “Sloppiness” was the most prevalent error type. Error rates decreased with field trip experience and student age. We suggest strategies to reduce data collection errors applicable to many types of citizen-science projects including emphasizing neat data collection, explicitly addressing and discussing the problems of falsifying data, emphasizing the importance of using standard scientific vocabulary, and giving participants multiple opportunities to practice to build their data collection techniques and skills.
Jisming-See, Shi-Wei; Sing, Kong-Wah; Wilson, John-James
The "rings" belonging to the genus Ypthima are amongst the most common butterflies in Peninsular Malaysia. However, the species can be difficult to tell apart, with keys relying on minor and often non-discrete ring characters found on the hindwing. Seven species have been reported from Peninsular Malaysia, but this is thought to be an underestimate of diversity. DNA barcodes of 165 individuals, and wing and genital morphology, were examined to reappraise species diversity of this genus in Peninsular Malaysia. DNA barcodes collected during citizen science projects-School Butterfly Project and Peninsular Malaysia Butterfly Count-recently conducted in Peninsular Malaysia were included. The new DNA barcodes formed six groups with different Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) representing four species reported in Peninsular Malaysia. When combined with public DNA barcodes from the Barcode Of Life Datasystems, several taxonomic issues arose. We consider the taxon Y. newboldi, formerly treated as a subspecies of Y. baldus, as a distinct species. DNA barcodes also supported an earlier suggestion that Y. nebulosa is a synonym under Y. horsfieldii humei. Two BINs of the genus Ypthima comprising DNA barcodes collected during citizen science projects did not correspond to any species previously reported in Peninsular Malaysia.
Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A; Mackay, Murray; Stockwell, Jason D; Thiery, Wim; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Augusto-Silva, Pétala B; Baulch, Helen M; de Eyto, Elvira; Hejzlar, Josef; Kangur, Külli; Kirillin, Georgiy; Pierson, Don C; Rusak, James A; Sadro, Steven; Woolway, R Iestyn
Citizen science projects have a long history in ecological studies. The research usefulness of such projects is dependent on applying simple and standardized methods. Here, we conducted a citizen science project that involved more than 3500 Swedish high school students to examine the temperature difference between surface water and the overlying air (T w -T a ) as a proxy for sensible heat flux (Q H ). If Q H is directed upward, corresponding to positive T w -T a , it can enhance CO 2 and CH 4 emissions from inland waters, thereby contributing to increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The students found mostly negative T w -T a across small ponds, lakes, streams/rivers and the sea shore (i.e. downward Q H ), with T w -T a becoming increasingly negative with increasing T a . Further examination of T w -T a using high-frequency temperature data from inland waters across the globe confirmed that T w -T a is linearly related to T a . Using the longest available high-frequency temperature time series from Lake Erken, Sweden, we found a rapid increase in the occasions of negative T w -T a with increasing annual mean T a since 1989. From these results, we can expect that ongoing and projected global warming will result in increasingly negative T w -T a , thereby reducing CO 2 and CH 4 transfer velocities from inland waters into the atmosphere.
Raddick, Jordan; Lintott, C.; Bamford, S.; Land, K.; Locksmith, D.; Murray, P.; Nichol, B.; Schawinski, K.; Slosar, A.; Szalay, A.; Thomas, D.; Vandenberg, J.; Andreescu, D.
We have developed Galaxy Zoo, a citizen science project in which volunteers classify images of galaxies by shape. The site has been hugely successful in reaching large numbers of people - more than 125,000 people have signed up. As a result, each galaxy has been classified more than 30 times, resulting in high-quality science results. We are studying the motivations of these volunteers to determine what about our site made it so captivating. We have some ideas - people enjoy helping science, looking at beautiful galaxy images, and the "game" nature of the interface. But we want to study the motivations systematically, to learn who thinks what, and how this affects what they do. We have designed a methodology in which we begin with interviews, asking open-ended questions of volunteers about their motivation. Then, we design a survey to collect motivation data for a larger sample. Lastly, for volunteers who agreed to give us their site username, we examine how they classified galaxies to look for correlations between motivation and behavior. In this poster, we describe our methodology and present preliminary results of our research.
Hebets, Eileen A.; Welch-Lazoritz, Melissa; Tisdale, Pawl; Wonch Hill, Trish
Increased integration and synergy between formal and informal learning environments is proposed to provide multiple benefits to science learners. In an effort to better bridge these two learning contexts, we developed an educational model that employs the charismatic nature of arachnids to engage the public of all ages in science learning; learning that aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas associated with Biodiversity and Evolution). We created, implemented, and evaluated a family-focused, interactive science event—Eight-Legged Encounters (ELE)—which encompasses more than twenty modular activities. Volunteers facilitated participant involvement at each activity station and original artwork scattered throughout the event was intended to attract visitors. Initial ELE goals were to increase interest in arachnids and science more generally, among ELE participants. In this study, we tested the efficacy of ELE in terms of (i) activity-specific visitation rates and self-reported interest levels, (ii) the self-reported efficacy of our use of volunteers and original artwork on visitor engagement, and (iii) self-reported increases in interest in both spiders and science more generally. We collected survey data across five ELE events at four museum and zoo sites throughout the Midwest. We found that all activities were successful at attracting visitors and capturing their interest. Both volunteers and artwork were reported to be effective at engaging visitors, though likely in different ways. Additionally, most participants reported increased interest in learning about arachnids and science. In summary, ELE appears effective at engaging the public and piquing their interest. Future work is now required to assess learning outcomes directly, as well as the ability for participants to transfer knowledge gain across learning environments. PMID:29495395
Hebets, Eileen A; Welch-Lazoritz, Melissa; Tisdale, Pawl; Wonch Hill, Trish
Increased integration and synergy between formal and informal learning environments is proposed to provide multiple benefits to science learners. In an effort to better bridge these two learning contexts, we developed an educational model that employs the charismatic nature of arachnids to engage the public of all ages in science learning; learning that aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas associated with Biodiversity and Evolution). We created, implemented, and evaluated a family-focused, interactive science event- Eight-Legged Encounters (ELE )-which encompasses more than twenty modular activities. Volunteers facilitated participant involvement at each activity station and original artwork scattered throughout the event was intended to attract visitors. Initial ELE goals were to increase interest in arachnids and science more generally, among ELE participants. In this study, we tested the efficacy of ELE in terms of (i) activity-specific visitation rates and self-reported interest levels, (ii) the self-reported efficacy of our use of volunteers and original artwork on visitor engagement, and (iii) self-reported increases in interest in both spiders and science more generally. We collected survey data across five ELE events at four museum and zoo sites throughout the Midwest. We found that all activities were successful at attracting visitors and capturing their interest. Both volunteers and artwork were reported to be effective at engaging visitors, though likely in different ways. Additionally, most participants reported increased interest in learning about arachnids and science. In summary, ELE appears effective at engaging the public and piquing their interest. Future work is now required to assess learning outcomes directly, as well as the ability for participants to transfer knowledge gain across learning environments.
Eileen A. Hebets
Full Text Available Increased integration and synergy between formal and informal learning environments is proposed to provide multiple benefits to science learners. In an effort to better bridge these two learning contexts, we developed an educational model that employs the charismatic nature of arachnids to engage the public of all ages in science learning; learning that aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas associated with Biodiversity and Evolution. We created, implemented, and evaluated a family-focused, interactive science event—Eight-Legged Encounters (ELE—which encompasses more than twenty modular activities. Volunteers facilitated participant involvement at each activity station and original artwork scattered throughout the event was intended to attract visitors. Initial ELE goals were to increase interest in arachnids and science more generally, among ELE participants. In this study, we tested the efficacy of ELE in terms of (i activity-specific visitation rates and self-reported interest levels, (ii the self-reported efficacy of our use of volunteers and original artwork on visitor engagement, and (iii self-reported increases in interest in both spiders and science more generally. We collected survey data across five ELE events at four museum and zoo sites throughout the Midwest. We found that all activities were successful at attracting visitors and capturing their interest. Both volunteers and artwork were reported to be effective at engaging visitors, though likely in different ways. Additionally, most participants reported increased interest in learning about arachnids and science. In summary, ELE appears effective at engaging the public and piquing their interest. Future work is now required to assess learning outcomes directly, as well as the ability for participants to transfer knowledge gain across learning environments.
Contents: Social conditions for citizen initiatives - technical change and employment - crisis behaviour - socio-psychological analysis of political planning; legitimation - presentation and criticism - conditions for citizen initiatives coming into being within the field of tension citizen : administration - legal problems of citizen initiatives - environmental protection in the energy discussion; participation; models. (HP) [de
Gugliucci, Nicole E.; Gay, P. L.; Bracey, G.; CosmoQuest Team
CosmoQuest launched as a citizen science portal in January 2012 and has since expanded to include three projects in planetary surface mapping, one completed project searching for KBOs, and several more on the way with various astrophysical science goals. We take a close look at how our users move through the site, how much time they spend on various tasks, project retention rate, and how many use multiple projects on the site. We are also piloting a citizen science motivation survey given to random site users to find out why citizen scientists join new projects and continue to participate. This is part of a larger project using online and real-life interactions to study citizen scientist behaviors, motivations, and learning with a goal of building better community with researchers, volunteers, educators, and developers.
Scott, Catherine M.
Preservice elementary teachers' lack of confidence in teaching science is an ongoing concern. Only 29% of elementary teachers in the field felt "very well prepared to teach life science," according to the National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education. Research has suggested that bridging informal and formal science education can…
Garcia-Martí, Irene; Zurita-Milla, Raul; Swart, Arno; Wijngaard, van den Kees C.; Vliet, van Arnold J.H.; Bennema, Sita; Harms, Margriet
Tick populations and tick-borne diseases like Lyme borreliosis have been steadily increasing since the mid-1990s. Realizing the threat that ticks pose to public health, two Dutch citizen science projects have collected tick bite reports since 2006. This unique volunteered geographical dataset,
Guertin, L. A.
Environmental monitoring projects on the grounds of a campus can serve as data collection sites for undergraduate research. Penn State Brandywine has utilized students in independent study projects to establish two citizen science programs and to begin collecting data, with the data sets serving as a foundation for authentic inquiry-based exercises in introductory-level Earth science courses. The first citizen science program is The Smithsonian Institution's Global Tree Banding Project, which contributes to research about tree biomass by tracking how trees respond to climate. We are going beyond the requirements of the Smithsonian project. Instead of only taking two measurements each in the spring and fall, undergraduate researchers are taking measurements every two weeks throughout the year. We started taking measurements of ten trees on campus in 2012 will continue until each tree outgrows its tree band. The data is available for download in Google Spreadsheets for students to examine changes in tree diameter within one or between growing seasons, supplemented with temperature and precipitation data (see http://sites.psu.edu/treebanding/). A second citizen science program we have begun on campus is the NASA-funded Digital Earth Watch (DEW) Picture Post Project, allowing students to monitor the environment and share observations through digital photography. We established four Picture Post sites on campus, with students taking weekly photos to establish an environmental baseline of the campus landscape and to document future environmental changes pre- and post-construction. We started taking digital photos on campus in 2014 will continue well past the completion of construction to continue to look for changes. The image database is less than a year old, but the images provide enough information for some early analyses, such as the variations in "greenness" over the seasons. We have created a website that shares the purpose of our participation in the Picture Post
Riebeek Kohl, H.; Low, R.; Boger, R. A.; Schwerin, T. G.; Janney, D. W.
The spread of disease vectors, including mosquitoes, is an increasingly significant global environmental issue driven by a warming climate. In 2017, the GLOBE Observer Program launched a new citizen science initiative to map mosquito habitats using the free GLOBE Observer App for smart phones and tablets. The app guides people to identify mosquito larvae and breeding sites, and then once documented, to eliminate or treat the site to prevent further breeding. It also gives citizen scientists the option to identify the mosquito larvae species to determine whether it is one of three genera that potentially could transmit Zika, dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, and other diseases. This data is uploaded to an international database that is freely available to the public and science community. GLOBE Observer piloted the initiative with educators in the United States, Brazil, and Peru, and it is now open for global participation. This presentation will discuss lessons learned in the pilot phase as well as plans to implement the initiative worldwide in partnership with science museums and science centers. GLOBE Observer is the non-student citizen science arm of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, a long-standing, international science and education program that provides students and citizen scientists with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. GLOBE Observer data collection also includes cloud cover and cloud type and land cover/land use (in late 2017).
Badr, Kamal F.; Dove, Edward S.; Endrenyi, Laszlo; Geraci, Christy Jo; Hotez, Peter J.; Milius, Djims; Neves-Pereira, Maria; Pang, Tikki; Rotimi, Charles N.; Sabra, Ramzi; Sarkissian, Christineh N.; Srivastava, Sanjeeva; Tims, Hesther; Zgheib, Nathalie K.; Kickbusch, Ilona
Abstract Biomedical science in the 21st century is embedded in, and draws from, a digital commons and “Big Data” created by high-throughput Omics technologies such as genomics. Classic Edisonian metaphors of science and scientists (i.e., “the lone genius” or other narrow definitions of expertise) are ill equipped to harness the vast promises of the 21st century digital commons. Moreover, in medicine and life sciences, experts often under-appreciate the important contributions made by citizen scholars and lead users of innovations to design innovative products and co-create new knowledge. We believe there are a large number of users waiting to be mobilized so as to engage with Big Data as citizen scientists—only if some funding were available. Yet many of these scholars may not meet the meta-criteria used to judge expertise, such as a track record in obtaining large research grants or a traditional academic curriculum vitae. This innovation research article describes a novel idea and action framework: micro-grants, each worth $1000, for genomics and Big Data. Though a relatively small amount at first glance, this far exceeds the annual income of the “bottom one billion”—the 1.4 billion people living below the extreme poverty level defined by the World Bank ($1.25/day). We describe two types of micro-grants. Type 1 micro-grants can be awarded through established funding agencies and philanthropies that create micro-granting programs to fund a broad and highly diverse array of small artisan labs and citizen scholars to connect genomics and Big Data with new models of discovery such as open user innovation. Type 2 micro-grants can be funded by existing or new science observatories and citizen think tanks through crowd-funding mechanisms described herein. Type 2 micro-grants would also facilitate global health diplomacy by co-creating crowd-funded micro-granting programs across nation-states in regions facing political and financial instability, while
Hendry, Martin A.; Hammond, Giles; Simmons, Mike
2015 represents both the centenary of General Relativity and International Year of Light - the latter marking the 150th anniversary of James Clerk Maxwell's ground-breaking paper on "A dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field". These landmark dates provide an exciting opportunity to set up a global citizen science project that re-enacts the seminal 1675 experiment of Ole Romer: to measure the speed of light by observing the time eclipses of the satellites of Jupiter. This project - which has been set up by astronomers at the University of Glasgow, UK in partnership with Astronomers without Borders - is an ideal platform for engaging the amateur astronomy community, schools and the wider public across the globe. It requires only simple observations, with a small spotting scope or telescope, and can be carried out straightforwardly in both cities and dark-sky locations. It highlights a fascinating chapter in astronomical history, as well as the ongoing importance of accurate astrometry, orbital motion, the concept of longitude and knowing one's position on the Earth. In the context of the GR centenary, it also links strongly to the science behind GPS satellites and a range of important topics in the high school curriculum - from the electromagnetic spectrum to the more general principles of the scientific method.In this presentation we present an overview of our global citizen science project for IYL2015: its scope and motivation, the total number and global distribution of its participants to date and how astronomers around the world can get involved. We also describe the intended legacy of the project: a extensive database of observations that can provide future astronomy educators with an accessible and historically important context in which to explore key principles for analysing large astronomical datasets.
Rogers, M. A.; Schranz, S.
The Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado is a region particularly susceptable to both wildfire and flash flooding. As the population of Colorado continues to boom, it is critical to enhance the familiarity of resources that are available to the general public to understand, predict, and react to these dangers. At the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), a NOAA Cooperative Institute in partnership with Colorado State University, several research products related fire and precipitation processes have been evaluated and developed for public use. As part of a pilot program under development at CIRA, extensive use of CIRA public-facing products are now being used as part of teacher professional development programs available to educators on an ad-hoc basis along the Front Range. These PD programs address state standards in weather prediction, hazard mitigation, and natural disaster awareness, and are designed to incorporate NOAA resources into the classroom, including use of satellite imagery products such as the Satellite Loop Interactive Data Explorer in Real-Time (SLIDER) package, fire weather products developed at the Earth Systems Research Laboratory, and others. Resilience-focused efforts are drawn from fire weather training resources developed for and used by NWS IMET teams, and state suggestions for fire and flood mitigation efforts, tying in these concepts to the basic science made observable using NOAA products. Teachers become proficient in using products as teaching elements in the classroom, with the end goal of improving both awareness and resiliency while improving the awareness of NOAA products. Citizen science programs also incorporate these elements in ad-hoc presentations to museum groups and through partnerships with citizen science networks along the Front Range. Subject-matter expert presentations to community members of local organizations such as the Soaring Eagle Ecology Center and the Anythink Library Network
Snik, Frans; Rietjens, Jeroen H. H.; Apituley, Arnoud; Volten, Hester; Mijling, Bas; Di Noia, Antonio; Heikamp, Stephanie; Heinsbroek, Ritse C.; Hasekamp, Otto P.; Smit, J. Martijn; Vonk, Jan; Stam, Daphne M.; Harten, Gerard; Boer, Jozua; Keller, Christoph U.
To assess the impact of atmospheric aerosols on health, climate, and air traffic, aerosol properties must be measured with fine spatial and temporal sampling. This can be achieved by actively involving citizens and the technology they own to form an atmospheric measurement network. We establish this new measurement strategy by developing and deploying iSPEX, a low-cost, mass-producible optical add-on for smartphones with a corresponding app. The aerosol optical thickness (AOT) maps derived from iSPEX spectropolarimetric measurements of the daytime cloud-free sky by thousands of citizen scientists throughout the Netherlands are in good agreement with the spatial AOT structure derived from satellite imagery and temporal AOT variations derived from ground-based precision photometry. These maps show structures at scales of kilometers that are typical for urban air pollution, indicating the potential of iSPEX to provide information about aerosol properties at locations and at times that are not covered by current monitoring efforts.
Stevens, Georgia L.
Consumer educators can help students develop consumer/citizen roles through curricula linking consumer rights with citizen responsibilities. Dialogue about issues, community needs assessment, and community volunteer service enable students to practice citizen roles. (SK)
Rozell, E.; Wang, H.; West, P.; Zednik, S.; Fox, P.
Use cases for data discovery and analysis vary widely when looking across disciplines and levels of expertise. Domain experts across disciplines may have a thorough understanding of self-describing data formats, such as netCDF, and the software packages that are compatible. However, they may be unfamiliar with specific vocabulary terms used to describe the data parameters or instrument packages in someone else's collection, which are often useful in data discovery. Citizen scientists may struggle with both expert vocabularies and knowledge of existing tools for analyzing and visualizing data. There are some solutions for each problem individually. For expert vocabularies, semantic technologies like the Resource Description Framework (RDF) have been used to map terms from an expert vocabulary to layperson terminology. For data analysis and visualization, tools can be mapped to data products using semantic technologies as well. This presentation discusses a solution to both problems based on the S2S Framework, a configurable user interface (UI) framework for Web services. S2S unifies the two solutions previously described using a data service abstraction ("search services") and a UI abstraction ("widgets"). Using the OWL Web Ontology Language, S2S defines a vocabulary for describing search services and their outputs, and the compatibility of those outputs with UI widgets. By linking search service outputs to widgets, S2S can automatically compose UIs for search and analysis of data, making it easier for citizen scientists to manipulate data. We have also created Linked Data widgets for S2S, which can leverage distributed RDF resources to present alternative views of expert vocabularies. This presentation covers some examples where we have applied these solutions to improve data discovery for both cross-disciplinary and non-expert users.
Chou, H. K.; Ochoa-Tocachi, B. F.; Buytaert, W.
Community land surface models such as JULES are increasingly used for hydrological assessment because of their state-of-the-art representation of land-surface processes. However, a major weakness of JULES and other land surface models is the limited number of land surface parameterizations that is available. Therefore, this study explores the use of data from a network of catchments under homogeneous land-use to generate parameter "libraries" to extent the land surface parameterizations of JULES. The network (called iMHEA) is part of a grassroots initiative to characterise the hydrological response of different Andean ecosystems, and collects data on streamflow, precipitation, and several weather variables at a high temporal resolution. The tropical Andes are a useful case study because of the complexity of meteorological and geographical conditions combined with extremely heterogeneous land-use that result in a wide range of hydrological responses. We then calibrated JULES for each land-use represented in the iMHEA dataset. For the individual land-use types, the results show improved simulations of streamflow when using the calibrated parameters with respect to default values. In particular, the partitioning between surface and subsurface flows can be improved. But also, on a regional scale, hydrological modelling was greatly benefitted from constraining parameters using such distributed citizen-science generated streamflow data. This study demonstrates the modelling and prediction on regional hydrology by integrating citizen science and land surface model. In the context of hydrological study, the limitation of data scarcity could be solved indeed by using this framework. Improved predictions of such impacts could be leveraged by catchment managers to guide watershed interventions, to evaluate their effectiveness, and to minimize risks.
Rodriguez Bueno, R. A.; Byrne, J. M.
The Environment Service Center of Matanzas (ESCM), Cuba and the University of Lethbridge are collaborating on the development of climate mitigation and adaptation programs in Matanzas province. Tourism is the largest industry in Matanzas. Protecting that industry means protecting coastal zones and conservation areas of value to tourism. These same areas are critical to protecting the landscape from global environmental change: enhanced tropical cyclones, flooding, drought and a range of other environmental change impacts. Byrne (2014) adapted a multidisciplinary methodology for climate adaptation capacity definition for the population of Nicaragua. A wide array of adaptive capacity skills and resources were integrated with agricultural crop modeling to define regions of the country where adaptive capacity development were weakest and should be improved. In Matanzas province, we are developing a series of multidisciplinary mitigation and adaptation programs that builds social science and science knowledge to expand capacity within the ESCM and the provincial population. We will be exploring increased risk due to combined watershed and tropical cyclone flooding, stresses on crops, and defining a range of possibilities in shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The program will build ongoing interactions with thousands of Matanzas citizens through site visits carried out by numerous Cuban and visiting students participating in a four-month education semester with a number of Lethbridge and Matanzas faculty. These visits will also provide local citizens with better access to web-based interactions. We will evaluate mitigation and adaptive capacities in three municipalities and some rural areas across the province. Furthermore, we will explore better ways and means to communicate between the research and conservation staff and the larger population of the province.
Liu, Wei; Ming, Meng; Lu, Ye; Jin, Wei
The world's mountains host some of the most complex, dynamic, and diverse ecosystems and are also hotspots for natural disasters, such as earthquake, landslide and flood. One factor that limits the mountain communities to recover from disasters and pursue sustainable development is the lack of locally relevant scientific knowledge, which is hard to gain from global and regional scale observations and models. The rapid advances in ICT, computing, communication technologies and the emergence of citizen science is changing the situation. Here we report a case from Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuary World Natural Heritage in China on the application of citizen science in a community reconstruction project. Dahe, a mountainous community (ca. 8000 ha in size) is located covering part of the World Heritage's core and buffer zones, with an elevation range of 1000-3000 meters. The community suffered from two major earthquakes of 7.9 and 6.9 Mw in 2008 and 2013 respectively. Landslides and flooding threat the community and significantly limit their livelihood options. We integrated participatory disaster risk mapping (e.g., community vulnerability and capacity assessment) and mobile assisted natural hazards and natural resources mapping (e.g., using free APP GeoODK) into more conventional community reconstruction and livelihood building activities. We showed that better decisions are made based on results from these activities and local residents have a high level of buy-in in these new knowledge. We suggest that initiatives like this, if successfully scale-up, can also help generate much needed data and knowledge in similar less-developed and data deficient regions of the world.
Zuckerberg, B.; McCabe, J.; Yin, H.; Pidgeon, A. M.; Bonter, D. N.; Radeloff, V.
Urbanization causes the simplification of animal communities dominated by exotic and invasive species with few top predators. In recent years, however, many animal predators (e.g., coyotes, cougars, and hawks) have become increasingly common in urban environments. As predator recovery is central to the mission of conservation biology, this colonization of urban environments represents a unique experiment in predator colonization and its associated ecological consequences. One such predator that is recovering from decades of widespread population declines are accipiter hawks. These woodland hawks are widely distributed throughout North America and are increasingly common in urban and suburban landscapes. Using data from Project FeederWatch, a national citizen science program, we quantified 25 years (1990-2015) of changes in the spatiotemporal dynamics of accipiter hawks in Washington D.C. and Chicago. We estimated change in hawk occupancy over time and identified the environmental characteristics associated with occupancy for two accipiter hawk species, Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) and Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus), using Bayesian hierarchical models and remotely-sensed temperature (MODIS) and land cover data (NLCD). We found the proportion of sites recording the presence of accipiter hawks increased from 10% in the early 1990's to over 80% in 2015. This increase in occupancy followed a discrete pattern of establishment, growth, and saturation. Colonizing hawks were more strongly associated with remnant forest patches in urban environments. Over time, we found hawks became more tolerant of urban landscapes with higher amounts of impervious surface, suggesting that these predators became adapted to urbanization. The implications of returning predators and altered ecological dynamics in urban environments is of critical importance to conservation biology, and integrating remote sensing observations and citizen science allowed for an unprecedented
Yanamandra-Fisher, Padma A.
The Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy (PACA) project promotes and supports the professional-amateur astronomer collaboration in scientific research via social media and has been implemented in several comet observing campaigns. In 2014, two comet observing campaigns involving pro-am collaborations were initiated: (1) C/2013 A1 (C/SidingSpring) and (2) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG), target for ESA/Rosetta mission. The evolving need for individual customized observing campaigns has been incorporated into the evolution of The PACA Project that currently is focused on comets: from supporting observing campaigns of current comets, legacy data, historical comets; interconnected with social media and a set of shareable documents addressing observational strategies; consistent standards for data; data access, use, and storage, to align with the needs of professional observers in the era of astronmical big data. The empowerment of amateur astronomers vis-à-vis their partnerships with the professional scientists creates a new demographic of data scientists, enabling citizen science of the integrated data from both the professional and amateur communities.While PACA identifies a consistent collaborative approach to pro-am collaborations, given the volume of data generated for each campaign, new ways of rapid data analysis, mining access and storage are needed. Several interesting results emerged from the synergistic inclusion of both social media and amateur astronomers. The PACA Project is expanding to include pro-am collaborations on other solar system objects; allow for immersive outreach and include various types of astronomical communities, ranging from individuals, to astronmical societies and telescopic networks. Enabling citizen science research in the era of astronomical big data is a challenge which requires innovative approaches and integration of professional and amateur astronomers with data scientists and some examples of recent projects will be highlighted.