Archive for the ‘EPA’ tag
Environmental Protection Belongs to the Public: A #CitSciChat about the report for EPA on the role of citizen science
Last month, the National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), an EPA advisory council, transmitted a report to EPA titled Environmental Protection Belongs to the Public: A Vision for Citizen Science at EPA outlining thirteen specific recommendations for EPA. (Learn more about the report, its genesis, and NACEPT, in this post, coauthored byShannon Dosemagen, Public Lab and Alison Parker, ORISE Fellow hosted by EPA.)
Tomorrow, January 11, 3-4pm ET, join some of the co-authors of the NACEPT report for a #CitSciChat, presented by Caren Cooper @CoopSciScoop and sponsored by @SciStarter.
Darlene Cavalier @scicheer and @SciStarter
Bridgett Luther @BridgettCLuther
Alison Parker @athousandflies
Post questions and/or weigh in on questions including:
In NACPET @EPA report, what are key take-home messages abt #CitizenScience?
How can @EPA best support #CitizenScience (big data) & #CommunityScience (small data)?
How can #CitizenScience support @EPA_research? How can #CitSci support regulatory role of @EPA?
What sort of #CitizenScience might @EPA @EPA_research hope to fund in future?
How much do #sensor innovations matter to future of @EPA #CitizenScience?
Join this critical conversation on Twitter by following #CitSciChat tomorrow between 3pm and 4pm ET.
SciStarter founder and Professor at ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society appointed to EPA Advisory Council.
SciStarter founder and Professor at School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU , appointed to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Advisory Council .
Darlene Cavalier has been invited to serve as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. The council provides independent advice to the agency’s Administrator on environmental-policy, technological and management issues. Cavalier will represent ASU’s Center for Engagement & Training in Science & Society (CENTSS) and will serve for two years.
Cavalier spoke at the White House Water Summit in March regarding two initiatives she leads: SciStarter and Science Cheerleader. Cavalier also appeared in an interview for SciTech Now , in which she spoke about the great variety of opportunities for citizens to contribute to ongoing scientific projects available through SciStarter.
The Science Cheerleaders (current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers) frequently engage people in these citizen science opportunities.
Interested in learning more about Citizen Science? Order a copy of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, (Cavalier, Kennedy 2016). It’s been called “the best introduction to the dynamic landscape of citizen science and those seeking to expand its boundaries. ” Bill Nye the Science Guy agrees: “Do you look at the world around you and try to figure out what’s going on? Do you like to think? You can do citizen science. Start with this book.” Now available on Amazon.com
Looking for ways to fund citizen science research? Check out the Citizen Science Funding Resource Guide!
Jessica Clemente, an environmental science graduate thought she would be doing work outside of her community once she got her degree. But she is an asthmatic, and when she found out there was an asthma study taking place in the area of her home in South Bronx she became involved and eventually took the lead. “Living day-to-day in an area where all I saw was high traffic volumes, poor air quality and adding more waste to our community got me enraged,” she says in an EPA video interview. Her anger prompted action, and she looked at the tools to empower herself and her community—education and advocacy.
In many cases, there is a connection between socioeconomic status and air quality. Some call it environmental justice—why should a factory spew tons of filth into the same air that a poor, young family across the road breathes? Amanda Kaufman, the Environmental Health Fellow in the Air Climate and Energy Program Office at the EPA says, “We are currently working with a community in Newark, New Jersey that has faced environmental justice issues in the past and still faces many to this day. We hope to collaborate with the community action group to establish a community-led air monitoring project.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on a new mission: to encourage citizen scientists to learn more about the air, water, and resources around them.
Earlier this year, the EPA’s Region 2 office announced its newest tool, MyEnvironment. This project provides immediate access to a cross-section of environmental data for any geographical location in the U.S. Users of the official site can choose the location and environmental issue to examine.
Some examples of locations and issues that users can examine are
- Air, water, land
- Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) — information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities in the U.S.
- Population health status
- Energy-generating facilities
The tool emphasizes sharing data (via social media, e-mail, or other venues) within your community. Their MyCommunityfeature allows users to give a “shout out” to community-based efforts by uploading information about events. This feature also connects people by enabling users to look up events happening around them in case they want to join in.
“Citizen science [has become] a regional priority with the focus on protecting children’s health, and advancing environmental justice,” says Patricia Sheridan, a scientist at the EPA. “By supporting citizen scientists, the EPA is expanding its own scientific base and building collaborations with communities that are working to reduce pollution.”
MyEnvironment has a strong emphasis on making environmental data accessible; the site is printable and exportable in various formats—information ripe for sharing publicly. The EPA Region 2 website identifies that one of the biggest issues citizen scientists face is getting their data taken seriously by regulators and industry. This is an interesting opportunity to examine varying perspectives about the way that citizen science data is used once submitted. Patricia expounds on the complementary relationship between citizen science and formal research:
“Individuals and community groups have long collected data to better understand their local environmental and address issues of concern to them. However, citizen science collected data does not replace the need for government scientists. […] With increasingly limited government resources, citizen science can certain complement the work of EPA and state regulatory agencies.”
The EPA Region 2 spearheaded their initiative in citizen science by holding various workshops starting in 2012. These citizen science workshops brought together over 250 federal, state, local governments, academic, citizen and community based groups to advance the use of citizen science monitoring in community environmental and public health protection. Session topics included how to start a citizen program; funding sources; community and government /academic partnerships; success stories for both air and water; and data interpretation and use; the future of monitoring technologies and a demonstration of current and emerging tools.
The EPA Region 2’s citizen science program is unique in that it’s one of the few federally supported citizen science initiatives in existence today. Will more Federal government agencies look to serious crowdsourcing strategies for future research? Does this indicate that citizen science is more than just a trend for government agencies? What intended or unintended role might these efforts play in policy making? These are questions to consider as the field of citizen science grows and as larger entities become more attuned to what public participation in science can contribute.
For more, check out out database of 500+ projects using our Project Finder!
For those of you in the New York and New Jersey areas, the EPA will be hosting a FREE workshop on Citizen Science. The New York workshop is on the June 19th in New York City, and the New Jersey workshop is June 20th in Edison. Both are all day long, however, there is a great selection of individual topics available including how to start a project and how to get funding.
Participants must register by June 17th and space is limited so sign up quick!
The EPA has recently expressed interest in getting involved in Citizen Science, and has even recently announced up to 10 new citizen science project grants totaling $125,000 in New York City alone. This is surely to be informative and will be absolutely worth the FREE admission!