Citizen Science Day celebrates and recruits people who engage in large-scale and local research

Month-long events include hands-on activities like nature festivals, museum events, trainings, bioblitzes, and more.

The “citizen science” movement is gathering momentum, as scientists, policy makers, and the public themselves recognize that EVERYONE can make meaningful contributions to research. SciStarter is teaming up with the Citizen Science Association to raise awareness of hundreds of events and research opportunities that will be offered as part of Citizen Science Day activities throughout the month.

The month of science-focused activities continues with regional events that allow everyone to participate in science that is making a difference in the world. SciStarter’s Event Finder includes details and links to all the events. Organizations and individuals can add their own events then use SciStarter’s People Finder to invite citizen scientists within a 100-mile radius. The SciStarter Citizen Science Events Calendar will feature hand-picked events throughout the year.

“Everyone involved in citizen science benefits: volunteers become more aware of the issues that scientists are (or aren’t!) addressing, and scientists receive valuable input from a diverse group of people,” said Darlene Cavalier, founder of SciStarter and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. “Opportunities to engage range from simple tasks, like counting fireflies, to deeper, longer term commitments such as assembling and deploying sensors, and sharing and analyzing data.”

Locally-relevant activities are planned at museums, science centers, libraries, schools, parks, and nature centers, all with a goal of bringing attention to citizen science opportunities and impacts.

Here is a sampling of Citizen Science Days activities, or search here to find activities near you:

  • A BioBlitz Kick-Off in Pacific Grove, California. All you need to bring is “your curiosity, a mobile device or digital camera, and tons of enthusiasm.”
  • A citizen science fair in Cape Town, South Africa, to learn about the array of citizen science projects available in South Africa,
  • Two Kickoffs for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, a citizen science project that will take place throughout the 2018 breeding season. Attend this event and you’ll have a citizen science project to participate in yearlong.
  • City Nature Challenges across the world from April 27-April 30 including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Rome, Barcelona, Hong Kong and many other locations. The challenge includes a friendly competition to see which city can document the most wildlife. Be a citizen scientist and snap and upload photos of the wildlife you see in your backyard, schoolyard, or local park.
  • March for Science all over the United States to show your support for science. Here are ways to DO science at the marches.
  • Libraries are displaying interactive Citizen Science Day interactive posters and books, and fliers, inviting scientists to come talk about their research projects.
  • Your Mission for Citizen Science Days:  Between April 14 and May 14, participate in any three SciStarter Affiliate projects featured here to earn a SciStarter certificate, score some swag, or chat with a project scientist you helped.

Citizen science initiatives succeed because of partnerships between volunteers and organizers, educators, scientists, data managers, technology specialists, evaluators, and others. The Citizen Science Association (CSA) works to advance excellence in citizen science across all project types by uniting the expertise of diverse practitioners, sharing resources and best practices, and highlighting the impacts of public participation in scientific research. CSA conferences are held biennially, with the next one scheduled for March 13-16, 2019, in Raleigh, NC.

SciStarter enables people to find, join, and contribute to science through informal recreational activities and formal research efforts. In addition to the Event Finder, SciStarter hosts a Project Finder, featuring 2,300 searchable citizen science projects. SciStarter recruits, trains, and equips participants through partnerships with Discover Magazine, PBS, the National Science Teachers Association, Pop Warner Youth Scholars, and more. News and announcements shared on Twitter @Scistarter. #CitSciDay2018

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About the Author

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a Professor at Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter. She is also the founder of Science Cheerleader, an organization of more than 300 current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers, and a cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a network of universities, science centers, and think tanks that produces public deliberations to enhance science policymaking. She is a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences "Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning" committee. She is the author of The Science of Cheerleading and co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by Arizona State University. Darlene holds degrees from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a high school, college and NBA cheerleader. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.