Editor’s Choice: A warm & fuzzy story about creepy crawlies. Though slightly tangential to citizen science, this story illustrates a key ingredient to successful science outreach: scientists seeing a little bit of themselves in their audience. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Morgan Jackson and Sophia Spencer interviewed on NPR, via the…

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Excerpt: People who give up their time for online volunteering are mainly motivated by a desire to learn, a new study has found. The research surveyed volunteers on ‘citizen science’ projects and suggests that this type of volunteering could be used to increase general knowledge of science within society. The study, led by Dr Joe…

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Excerpt: Fred Isberner is a retired healthcare professor in Carbondale, Illinois. But on 21 August, the 69-year-old will be collecting data about the Sun’s superheated outer atmosphere during a total solar eclipse. Isberner is one of thousands of people across the United States who plan to gather data during the event. Their combined efforts will…

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Excerpt: Saturday, citizen scientists throughout the U.S. gathered at watersheds to celebrate National Lakes Appreciation Month by conducting similar studies. Vincent Kaping, 10, of Felton, said he was surprised the disk wasn’t a more complex tool. He thought it would have some filter or other contraptions attached to it. “I was thinking that it would…

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Excerpt: The Cuyahoga Valley National Park will work to make students “citizen scientists,” with help from a $1 million donation to the National Park Foundation. Starting with Woodridge High School, which sits on national park land in Peninsula, the park’s Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center will provide lesson plans and materials to classrooms, like a…

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Excerpt: At a lab inside the 2,650-acre Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, bones are stacked on shelves, centuries-old clay smoking pipes are reassembled and imported shells once used to make buttons are stashed in a drawer. Outside the lab Wednesday, a half-dozen citizen scientists worked in the sweltering heat to uncover more artifacts and…

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At your own risk

Abstract: In this article, the author proposes that the emergence of digital, disease-tracking applications over the past ten years like HealthMap (healthmap.org) and Flu Near You (flunearyou.org) that allow non-experts to contribute information about emergent public health threats have facilitated a “do-it-yourself (DIY)” risk assessment ethic. Focusing in particular on Flu Near You (FNY), a…

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Editor’s Choice: What helps people connect with science on a personal level? Insights into this question may emerge in a new, compelling project coming out of Alaska. The investigators of “Winterberry” have designed this interdisciplinary project to integrate different ways of knowing and meaning-making into more familiar forms of participatory data collection. Their motivation? Making…

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Excerpt: (C)itizen science provides a way to question how science is done and who is doing it. Within citizen science, it is important to notice that scientific degrees don’t always translate to leadership. The keynotes speakers were Dr. Marc Edwards (Virgina Tech) &  LeeAnne Walters (Coalition for Clean Water). Marc started in an area of…

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How can museums advance citizen science? The City Nature Challenge makes evident at least three themes: First, a belief that “science is open to all” is consistent with museums’ values of inclusivity and access. Second, museums know partnerships. (To realize this competitive bioblitz event, the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of…

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