Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Why “SciStarter is excellent for citizen science.”

By July 12th, 2017 at 9:00 am | Comment

Well thank you for the kind words, Pietro Michelucci (founder of EyesOnALZ, a crowdsourcing platform designed to accelerate Alzheimer’s research). Pietro is one of 15 project and platform partners we’ve been working with to test and deploy a suite of new citizen science tools.

For the past two years, thanks to support from the National Science Foundation, the SciStarter team has been hard at work building tools, partnerships, and methodologies to help connect millions of citizen scientists to thousands of projects in need of their help and, at the same time, break down barriers currently preventing participants from reaching their full potential.

SciStarter is a National Science Foundation-supported, project agnostic platform supporting recruitment and retention of volunteers into over 1,500 citizen science initiatives from hundreds of organizations. The platform also facilitates studies to improve our understanding of citizen science in partnership with Arizona State University, North Carolina State University, Colorado State University, Cornell and dozens of other collaborators, including the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science.

Last week, Dr. Caren Cooper and I had the pleasure of unveiling “SciStarter 2.0” at an event in Washington, D.C.  Attendees were from the National Science Foundation, USGS, Department of Energy, Institute for Museum and Library Services, EPA, NPR, National Parks Service, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, and other organizations.

We described some trends, opportunities, and challenges in citizen science (particularly related to recruiting, training, equipping and retaining participants) from the eye-of-the-storm perspective of SciStarter.

This event included:

– a brief overview of citizen science;

– a presentation and soft-launch of SciStarter 2.0, a smart collection of web components, including a dashboard and integrated login, designed to extend, enhance, and enrich participant experiences while at the same time supporting STEM research and enabling research on motivations and learning outcomes of participants;

– and a discussion on future directions for SciStarter 3.0, given the opportunities and challenges facing participants, project organizers/researchers, and supporting agencies and foundations.

You can watch a recording of the presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3or9U629wwE ) and view our slides by clicking on the image below or click here:SciStarter2.0_Federal-Agencies-Presentation.pptx-1 The slides provide details about the new tools we’ve deployed through a growing network of projects and platforms, as well as personal perspectives from the project owners using these tools (including quotes that made us blush, like the one from Pietro Michelucci).

We sincerely hope you enjoy the new SciStarter and we’d love to hear your ideas on how we can continue to empower people by providing better access to protocols, instruments, communities and ongoing support.  If you’re interested in working with SciStarter to advance your own research, we’d love to hear from you, too!  Please don’t hesitate to reach us at info@SciStarter.com .

Cheers!

SciStarter’s founder appointed to NAS committee on Citizen Science

By July 11th, 2017 at 12:04 am | Comment

Written by Adam Gabriele, Arizona State University. Originally published on ASUNow.

There’s an exciting change under way in the scientific community. Citizens with an avid interest in science are getting the chance to contribute to real research through data collection and analysis in collaboration with professional scientists.

Darlene Cavalier and Kiki Jenkins

Darlene Cavalier (left) and Kiki Jenkins

These “citizen scientists” — tinkerers and enthusiasts of all stripes — are being given the tools and platforms to turn their interests into real research, perhaps minimizing or even bringing to an end the stark division between academia and society.Darlene Cavalier and Kiki Jenkins, professors from the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.Download Full Image

In 2016, ASU hosted the Citizen Science Maker Summit, organized by Darlene Cavalier, professor of practice with ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS).

Diving in and developing creative solutions is a characteristic that “mirrors that of the millions of citizen scientists around the world who are contributing to our understanding of the world and how we can solve today’s problems,” Cavalier said.

ASU isn’t the only institution that’s caught on to the increasing relevance of citizen science.

The National Academy of Sciences has formed the Committee on Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning to identify and describe existing citizen science projects that support science learning in both formal and informal settings. The committee will develop a set of evidence-based principles to guide the design of citizen science.

Cavalier, founder of SciStarter — an online platform for identifying, supporting, and participating in citizen science opportunities, was invited to be a member of the committee.

“I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to work with the committee to address an important gap in citizen science literature:  understanding how to design citizen science so it can better support deeper forms of science learning,” she said.

The committee plans to evaluate the potential of citizen science to support science learning, lay out a research agenda to improve that potential, and identify promising practices and programs.

Cavalier is also the co-founder of the Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) network, co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, and a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology.

Lekelia “Kiki” Jenkins, assistant professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, has also been named a founding member of the committee.

Jenkins is an award-winning marine conservation scientist who has published extensively on adult science learning in fishery learning exchanges. She is a Ford Foundation Fellow, a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow, and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.

“I’m honored to be selected to serve on the National Academies of Science Committee on Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning,” Jenkins said. “Serving on an NAS committee helps fulfil one of my career aspirations.”

Jenkins has already begun to implement a process for creating a consensus definition of citizen science, which, she said, “is a critical first step in the committee’s work.”

 

ASU and SciStarter host citizen science discussion on 6/20

By June 16th, 2017 at 9:34 am | Comment

On behalf of the Center for Engagement and Training in Science and Society, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, we invite you to attend an interactive presentation, “Citizen Science: an all hands-on-deck approach to advance scientific research.”
We will describe trends, opportunities, and challenges in citizen science (particularly related to recruiting, training, equipping and retaining participants) from the eye-of-the-storm perspective of SciStarter.
SciStarter is a National Science Foundation-supported, project agnostic platform supporting recruitment and retention of volunteers into over 1,000 citizen science initiatives from hundreds of organizations. The platform facilitates studies to improve our understanding of citizen science in partnership with Arizona State University, North Carolina State University, Colorado State University and dozens of other collaborators, including the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science.
This event will include:
– a brief overview of citizen science;
– a presentation on SciStarter 2.0, a smart collection of web components, including a dashboard and integrated login, designed to extend, enhance, and enrich participant experiences while at the same time supporting STEM research and enabling research on motivations and learning outcomes of participants;
– and a discussion on future directions for SciStarter 3.0, given the opportunities and challenges facing participants, project organizers/researchers, and supporting agencies and foundations.
Please join us on Tuesday, June 20, 3:30-5pm at the beautiful District Architecture Center ( http://www.aiadc.com/dac ) which is Metro accessible via the Gallery Place/Chinatown Station and two blocks from Metro Center Station.
Meet our NSF program officer Bob Russell and others from federal agencies, think tanks, research institutions and organizations.
The event is free but seating is limited. Please RSVP to  Roxanne.Ladd@asu.edu by this Friday, 6/16.
The event will be shared via a webcast, recorded and posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3or9U629wwE .
Sincerely,
Darlene Cavalier (ASU/SciStarter), Ira Bennett (ASU), and Caren Cooper (NCSU/SciStarter)

Categories: Events

Citizen Science Association Conference Expands the Movement that Draws Everyday People into Legitimate Research

By May 11th, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Comment

Researchers to share knowledge and best practices in establishing high standards while engaging volunteer support St. Paul, MN

Scientists, community members, and educators from around the world will gather at the Citizen Science Association (CSA) “CitSci2017” Conference to share innovations and best practices for significant research collaborations between scientists and everyday citizens. CitSci2017 will be held in St. Paul, MN, May 17 – 20.

Even as the discipline of citizen science is gaining high-profile attention, practitioners are rapidly advancing research collaborations in new directions and new disciplines. It takes dedication and ingenuity to ensure that citizen science results in relevant and useful science, as well as meaningful collaboration experiences. Leading educators, researchers, community organizations, and others will come together at this event to explore how citizen science is being used across disciplines, geographic boundaries, and scientific fields. They will discuss the latest research, projects, trends, and experiments in citizen science.

“University of Minnesota researchers have long been finding innovative ways to harness the power of citizen science,” said Karen Hanson, executive vice president and provost at the U of M, which partnered with CSA as a sponsor for the event. “I am delighted that this conference will provide our researchers an opportunity to join peers from across the nation to shape the promising field of citizen science, expanding its capabilities and driving forward our understanding of the world.”

The power of citizen science will be demonstrated during two Conference Keynotes. Dr. Marc Edwards, professor of environmental and water resources engineering at Virginia Tech, was instrumental in demonstrating that Flint, MI dangerously contaminated water. He and LeeAnne Walters, a Flint, MI citizen and mother of four, will discuss how they worked together to bring Flint’s water crisis to national, and international, attention. A second keynote by Dr. Ellen Jorgensen of Genspace, a community biolab, will explore how open spaces for biotechnology research can promote both scientific literacy and new discoveries in molecular and synthetic biology.

“Citizen science allows research to expand beyond traditional limitations, not only in terms of a project’s scope but also in its connection to the public,” said Lucy Fortson, Ph.D., associate head of physics and astronomy in the College of Science and Engineering and head of U of M’s Zooniverse@UMN citizen science initiative. “This conference will help experts from across academic disciplines embrace the best citizen science practices, cultivate new ideas for research projects, and better engage their communities in conducting scientific research.”

Session leaders include:

  • Scholars, researchers, scientists, and community organizers
  • Multiple universities, including University of New Hampshire, University of Virginia, Georgetown, University of Massachusetts, Arizona State University, Cornell University
  • Federal government representatives from NIH, NOAA, USDA, U.S. Geological Survey, EPA, NSF, and more
  • International organizations including German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, University of Quebec, Queensland University of Technology, University College London, and both the European and Australian Citizen Science Associations
  • Relevant establishments such as the National History Museum of LA County, California Academy of Sciences, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, The Nature Conservancy, PBS Television

A sampling of topics:

This event also emphasizes local engagement. On Wednesday, technology enthusiasts are invited to help create new tools and platforms for citizen science in a hackathon event called Create Together Day hosted by the University of Minnesota. A Friday evening “Café Scientifique” event, A Night in the Cloud, will feature a screening of the new PBS series, The Crowd & The Cloud, with a chance to meet stars from the show. Before the screening, visitors can mingle with leaders from over 75 different projects to see the impact of participation and learn how to get involved. On Saturday, May 20, families can participate in the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Citizen Science Festival. 25 leaders will share their current projects so the public can engage in fun and practical hands-on activities, such as monitoring monarchs, exploring the impacts of light pollution, mapping precipitation, and recording water quality.

The Citizen Science Association unites expertise from educators, scientists, data managers, and others to power citizen science, which is the involvement of the public in scientific research – whether community-driven research or global investigations. Find out more at http://citizenscience.org/. See a sampling of research projects (or join one yourself) at https://scistarter.com/. ###

 

Media Contacts: Jennifer Shirk jls223@cornell.edu Kevin Coss coss@umn.edu

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

By 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, free 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.