Archive for the ‘ASU’ tag

IMLS support will help public libraries serve as community hubs for citizen science

By September 6th, 2017 at 9:59 am | Comment

Please note: If you run a project that requires participants to use low cost (under $300) tools not commonly found around the house (rain gauge, sensor, telescope, water testing kit, clip on magnifying lens, recording device, bulk printed materials, etc), and this lack of access to the tools is creating a barrier to entry for your would-be-participants, please email darlene@scistarter.com. Thanks to support from IMLS, we will soon begin to evaluate the characteristics of projects and tools relative to the interests and capacities of communities and librarians, to understand ideal factors for creating and sustaining citizen science toolkits in libraries and supporting libraries as community hubs for citizen science.  If you’d like your project and tools to be considered for this new program, please send me an email. Thank you.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced 49 grants to institutions totaling $10,216,923. The awards are made through the FY 2017 second cycle of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.

“We are delighted to announce today’s grant recipients whose projects are designed to have lasting benefits for the library and archives fields,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “These grants highlight how IMLS helps steer the nation’s investments in libraries and ensure that librarians are equipped to provide citizens access to the information, resources, and services they want and need.”

National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archives fields and that have the potential to advance library and archival practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, or alliances that can be widely replicated.

One of the funded projects (IMLS LG-95-17-0158-17) will support public libraries as community hubs for citizen science through a toolkit of citizen science resources by Arizona State University, in partnership with Arizona State Library, NISE Net, and SciStarter .

The team will develop a field-tested, replicable, low-cost toolkit of citizen science resources for public libraries. The project team of librarians, citizen science experts, informal STEM educators, practitioners, and scientists, will: 1) develop and evaluate citizen science toolkits that will be available for and through the public library partners; 2) create associated resources to train, support, and communicate with librarians and citizen scientists; and 3) work with stakeholders to create a plan to scale the model to interested libraries, statewide then nationally. The project will leverage SciStarter, an online community that brings together science researchers and citizen scientists, with a database of over 1,600 citizen science projects, several requiring tools and instruments that may be made more accessible through the new pilot lending libraries. Summative evaluation will assess the library staffs’ knowledge of citizen science, their capacities, and sense of self-efficacy in engaging patrons in citizen science activities, and will also measure the extent of patrons’ participation in citizen science as a result of the library programming.

Visit the IMLS website for more information about the National Leadership Grants for Libraries program.

Superstition Area Land Trust Community Science

By January 30th, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Comment

Guest blog post from Charles Ault, Superstition Area Land Trust (SALT) community.

SALT Citizen Science program emerges in East Valley. Rhythms of Desert Citizen Science program examines the effects of El Niño on our climate.

Four organizations dedicated to advancing scientific research, public policy,  and community-based decision making, have come together to develop a program that harnesses the interests, enthusiasm and abilities of everyday people to assist in conducting important scientific work. The Superstition Area Land Trust (SALT), Apache Junction Public Library (Library) SciStarter, and Arizona State University’s Center for Engagement and Training in Science and Society (ASU) have collaborated to establish a program called Rhythms of the Desert Citizen Science. This exciting program is currently focused on assisting NASA in collecting and studying soil, cloud and rain data in order to determine the effects of El Niño on the local climate.

Several people from the area have signed up for the program since it was first announced in early December 2016. Some have already completed online training supplied by SciStarter and have begun to collect and share data. Others are in the process of training and will soon be heading out to establish sample sites and begin data collection.

The Apache Junction Library, SciStarter and Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists (YLACES) have made it easy for folks to participate by making scientific equipment kits available, free of charge, at the Library for check-out. SALT purchased an equipment kit to add to the 3 provided by SciStarter and YLACES to enable Citizen Scientists to get started sooner.

If you are a scientist or someone who was always had an interest in science but never had the opportunity to get involved, go to http://www.azsalt.org/cspreg.html to sign-up. We will get back to you and get you on the road towards becoming a Citizen Scientist.

www.azsalt.org

www.scistarter.com,

https://science.asu.edu/center-engagement-training-science-society

www.ylaces.org

Citizen Science Maker Summit 2016

By September 23rd, 2016 at 12:47 am | Comment

ASU Citizen Science Maker Summit
The ASU Citizen Science Maker Summit 2016 is a two-day event, hosted by Arizona State University in partnership with SciStarter, designed to explore the crossroads of citizen science and the maker movement. The summit is scheduled for October 26 (evening), 27 & 28, 2016 in downtown Chandler, Arizona at the ASU Chandler Innovation Center.

Registration is now open with discounts before September 30.

Arizona State University is a thought leader in both the citizen science and maker movements. Through the SciStarter website (a research initiative of ASU), we host a collection of more than 1,600 citizen science projects and events. ASU also led the first university collaboration with the TechShop maker space. In 2014, ASU hosted the inaugural Maker Summit, focusing on the Maker movement in higher education. It attracted 200 attendees from around the country.

By bringing together our larger national network, the ASU Citizen Science Maker Summit seeks to promote cross-pollination, learning and future collaborations among makers, designers, scientists, citizen scientists, and higher education institutions in support of making and citizen science.

The ASU Citizen Science Maker Summit 2016 will facilitate the sharing of best practices and help jump-start opportunities for the citizen science and making communities to learn from each other. The event will include a combination of breakout sessions, skill-building workshops and networking events, as well as multiple keynote speakers and optional tours/activities.

Learn more about the speakers and the goals by visiting https://makersummit.asu.edu/ .

Citizen Science Isn’t Just About Collecting Data

By August 16th, 2016 at 11:19 am | Comment

Nonscientists should take part in discussions about research priorities and more.
This article, Citizen Science Isn’t Just About Collecting Data, originally appeared in Slate AUG. 15 2016 7:31 AM
The earthquake near Washington, D.C., five years ago in August 2011—the one that damaged the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral but had little other noticeable impact—caught me by surprise. Sitting in an office on the 12th floor of a building downtown, I thought it might have been an improbably large truck on the street below, until a co-worker suggested we probably ought to leave the building. We spent the rest of that sunny afternoon milling around with other office workers before calling it a day and heading to happy hour.

What I did not do, but really wish that I had, was enter a description of my experience into the U.S. Geological Survey’s crowdsourcing initiative, Did You Feel It? The system collects data from people who have felt tremors to determine the extent and intensity of earthquakes in near-real time. The submitted data are used in the USGS ShakeMaps, which help organizations like the Federal Emergency Management Agency prepare for and respond to earthquakes.
Read the full article here.

Categories: In the News

Tags: , ,

Crowdsource Your Data Collection?

By July 6th, 2016 at 9:32 am | Comment

Here are some excerpts from a recent article about SciStarter, as originally published by Environmental BioPhyics, “a group of scientists passionate about measuring the environment.”

enviro_biophysics_logo-011-300x83

Measuring and Modeling the Environment

Credit: EnvironmentalPhyics.org

Credit: EnvironmentalPhyics.org

Crowdsource Your Data Collection?

What can you do when you need data from all over the world in a short amount of time?  Many scientists, including ones at JPL/NASA, are crowdsourcing their data collection.

Darlene Cavalier, Professor of Practice at Arizona State University is the founder of SciStarter, a website where scientists make data collection requests to a community of volunteers who are interested in collecting and analyzing data for scientific research.

Cavalier is determined to create pathways between citizen science and citizen science policy. She says, “The hope is after people engage in citizen science projects, they will want to participate in deliberations around related science policy. Or perhaps policy decision makers will want to be part of the discovery process by contributing or analyzing scientific data.”  Darlene has partnered with Arizona State University and other organizers to form a very active network called Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST).  This group seeks to unite citizens, scientific experts, and government decision makers in discussions evaluating science policy. Cavaliers says, “The process allows us to discover ethical and societal issues that may not come up if there were only scientists and policy makers in a room.  It’s a network which allows us to take these conversations out of Washington D.C.  The conversations may originate and ultimately circle back there, but the actual public deliberations are held across the country, so we get a cross-section of input from different Americans.” ECAST has been contracted by NASA, NOAA, the Department of Energy, and others to explore specific policy questions that would benefit from the public’s input.

Overcoming Obstacles

Another obstacle to some types of research is access to instrumentation.  Darlene comments, “The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) project really opened our eyes to how many obstacles can exist between the spectrum of recruiting, training, equipping, and fully engaging a participant.”  This year, SciStarter is building a database of citizen science tools and instruments and will begin to create the digital infrastructure to map tools to people and projects through a “Build, Borrow, Buy” function on project pages.

earth-11047_640

“The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) project really opened our eyes to how many obstacles can exist to full engagement.”

What’s Next?

Darlene says that sometimes scientists who want accurate data without knowing about or identifying a particular sensor for participants to use often create room for data errors.   To address this problem, SciStarter and Arizona State University will be hosting a Citizen Science Maker summit this fall where scientists, citizen scientists, and commercial developers of instrumentation will meet to determine if it’s possible to fill gaps to develop and scale access to inexpensive, modular instruments that could be used in different types of research.  You can learn more about crowdsourcing your data collection with SciStarter.

Read the full article: Crowdsource Your Data Collection?