Team Member Spotlight: Dan Stanton

Want to get to know the people behind the curtain a little bit better? Tune in to our “team member spotlight” series! You’ll meet the people who make SciStarter work and learn what makes them tick. One thing we all have in common? A love for citizen science. This week, we’re featuring Dan Stanton.

Picture of Dan StantonDan Stanton

Title at SciStarter Director of Library Programs

Contact email Dan@SciStarter.com

Role at SciStarter Apprentice. I am very new to the SciStarter team, and I am looking forward to learning more from my teammates about citizen science and the awesome resources available from SciStarter to support researchers and citizen scientists. I hope to encourage libraries to leverage their roles as inclusive, democratic resource centers to facilitate citizen science projects in their communities and beyond. 

Professional Experience  My path to citizen science is an unusual one. I have an undergraduate degree in Religion and Master’s in Library Science and have been a librarian at Arizona State University for nineteen years, sixteen of those as a Government Information Librarian. I first learned of citizen science when a colleague asked for contributions to a library guide, and I participated in an interview with SciStarter founder, Darlene Cavalier. After a library reorganization, one of my liaison librarian roles was to support the newly established School for the Future of Innovation in Society, a truly interdisciplinary program focused on innovation as an object of study and critique. Darlene is a Professor of Practice with the School and we have been working together for the past couple of years, looking at ways that libraries can both support and drive citizen science in their communities. For the past year, we have been Co-PIs on an Institute of Museum and Library Services funded project to facilitate libraries as community hubs for citizen science. My interest and participation have grown, and with the support of my library administration and Darlene, I am looking to get more involved in the big picture.

Why citizen science? One of the great things about being an academic librarian at a research university is the sense of being surrounded by knowledge and discovery moving forward. Even if it is not your area of expertise, there is an awareness of interesting things going on. Sometimes, osmosis occurs under the right conditions, presenting interesting new opportunities. Three years ago, I was not aware of citizen science, and now I’m blown away by the breadth and depth of projects, along with the dedication and success of practitioners. The opportunity to contribute to sustainable citizen science via trusted community organizations is exciting.

Part of SciStarter’s Mission that resonates with you most By itself, the SciStarter webpage is an incredible resource designed to facilitate researchers and citizen scientists getting together, in a win-win situation, to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge. As a newbie to citizen science, I am impressed by the experience, passion, and dedication of the SciStarter Team to make this happen behind the scenes. They share information, they promote networking, and they continually tweak the enterprise to improve the experience and facilitate success.

Something people might find surprising Library Science allows you to experiment on humans without IRB approval, and in academic regalia in the United States, the color for library science is lemon.

Favorite place to do citizen science My neighborhood.

What do you hope to accomplish in citsci? Explore and highlight the nexus of citizen science and libraries.

Project enjoyed recently ZomBee Watch. Zombies and maggots??? C’mon!!!

Categories: About Us, Citizen Science, SciStarter News, Staff Spotlight

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About the Author

Caroline Nickerson

Caroline Nickerson

Caroline Nickerson is a Master of Public Policy student at American University with a focus on environmental and climate change policy. She is passionate about science communication in the policy space and engaging citizens and voters. Caroline currently serves as secretary on the national board of the Commission on Local Debates (localdebates.org), an emerging nonprofit seeking to leverage technology to make debates for local elections better and more accessible. She also works as a textbook and curriculum development consultant for the University of Florida Psychiatry Department. In her role there, she is a project manager for the Christensen Project, which honors and furthers Dr. Richard C. Christensen's legacy of advocating for homeless and under-served individuals.