River Keeping in New Mexico

By Sharman Apt Russell April 25th, 2017 at 9:00 am | Comment

Volunteers across the country participate in River Keeper programs. Photo: Virginia State Parks CC BY 2.0

River Keeper. Watershed Keeper. There’s something poetic—maybe a bit Celtic—about these terms, which in the world of citizen science refer to someone monitoring a waterway for soil erosion, contaminants, and loss of biodiversity. Across the United States, with sonorous names like Willamette River Keepers and Chattahoochee River Keepers, citizen scientists are keeping watch over the environmental health of our rivers, lakes, and estuaries.

Where I live in southwestern New Mexico, the Silver City Watershed Keepers are mostly teenagers—a high school class and their dedicated teacher, Maddie Alfero, organized by a local environmental group, Gila Resources Information Project (GRIP), with support from the New Mexico Environmental Department. A GRIP staff member, A.J. Sandoval, coordinates the program. A retired Environmental Department staff member, Dave Menzie, acts as their Quality Assurance Officer. Read the rest of this entry »

Engaging the public to tackle climate change

By Carolyn Graybeal April 20th, 2017 at 10:59 am | Comment

Public engagement is critical to address the challenges of climate change, a complex issue with environmental, social, political and economic ramifications. Common forms of public engagement include public events such as science festivals or café informal settings for experts to share their knowledge with the community. Or public policy forums where community members voice concerns to government representatives and other decision makers.

While useful, these approaches to public engagement maintain a separation between those with expertise and power and community members. This failure to tap into the knowledge and experience within the community is an unfortunate oversight. In reality, these so called ‘non-experts’ bring valuable insight with the potential to identify overlooked problems and generate novel and at times surprisingly simple solutions. Read the rest of this entry »

Gaming Competition Supports Alzheimer’s Research

By Guest April 18th, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Comment

By Egle Marija Ramanauskaite, Citizen Science Coordinator at EyesOnALZ


Stall Catchers
– a citizen science game by the EyesOnALZ project, has just introduced a team feature and is running a team competition to #CrushALZ. The competition has kicked-off during the #CrowdCloudLIVE hangout following the premiere of The Crowd & The Cloud documentary on citizen science on April 6th.

In Stall Catchers, participants analyze movies of a live mouse brain to identify “stalls” – blocked capillaries where blood is not flowing. Immediately after the kick-off, Stall Catchers players hit all previous records, with more than 3 thousand vessels analyzed in the first 4 hours of the competition, which climbed to 13 thousand at the end of Day 1. This amount would take weeks to analyze in the lab! Read the rest of this entry »

Join SciStarter at the March for Science

By Catherine Hoffman April 18th, 2017 at 9:59 am | Comment

March for Science logoSciStarter is proud to be a March for Science partner. This non-partisan event champions “science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” Citizen science is a gateway to support and advocate for science for all: anytime, any place.

The March for Science in Washington D.C. will be on April 22nd with satellite Marches across the country. Find a March near you.

SciStarter is also an official presenter during the Earth Day Network and March for Science teach-in on the National Mall. Look for Catherine (SciStarter’s Managing Director) and come learn about citizen science, get trained on projects you can do while marching, and discover how SciStarter can help you find, join, and track your contributions to citizen science.

Our first teach-in will be at 9:00am in Tent #8 in D.C. with a follow-up teach-in at 11:30am at the American Association for the Advancement of Science tent. For additional details, please see the March for Science event page.

Can’t make the March in Washington D.C.? How about Philadelphia? Darlene (SciStarter’s Director) will be emceeing the grand finale of the Philly March on Penns Landing.   Or… you can “just add citizen science” no matter where you are marching. Check out our comprehensive guide of March for Science citizen science projects.

The March for Science is just one of hundreds of events celebrating citizen science during Citizen Science Day! Find more events near you and share your experience on social media using the hashtag #CitSciDay.

Citizen Science Recruitment, Retention, Research & Evaluation Workshop at Citizen Science Association Conference

By Catherine Hoffman April 13th, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Comment

The SciStarter 2.0 Research and Evaluation team will host a hands-on workshop on May 17, the first day of the Citizen Science Association conference.  (Note: there’s still time to register for the conference and workshop!)

When: Wednesday May 17, 2017 11:30am – 12:30pm Meeting Room 11

With an Advancing Informal STEM Learning (Pathways) grant from the National Science Foundation, SciStarter, Arizona State University and North Carolina State University (in collaboration with a dozen citizen science project owners and citizen scientists, a panel of advisors, and a team of evaluators)  developed a suite of new project-agnostic tools and functionality to better support volunteers and project owners. This workshop will showcase to practitioners the opportunities presented by the SciStarter 2.0 tools to deepen volunteer engagement, learning and growth by addressing cross-project skew, evolving motivations, seasonal gaps, untapped synergies across projects via movements of volunteers, and other unanticipated factors that can be addressed with intentional planning in the SciStarter network but cannot be addressed via management within project silos. One goal of this workshop is to solicit input from project owners and evaluation/researchers to further improve the tools and prepare for the expansion of SciStarter 2.0 across hundreds of projects. The workshop will include a brief review of the new tools and functionality,  hands-on demonstrations and test-drives of the tools, and discussions.

We hope to empower project owners to consider how they can make the most of these free tools, leverage synergies with other projects, and demonstrate to evaluator/researchers how they can expand their repertoire of techniques beyond surveys to include embedded tracking of volunteer activity across projects and embedded assessments. 

Sign up for this free workshop when you register for the conference.

This is part of a series of posts about the Citizen Science Association Conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Citizen Science