One goal of citizen science is to encourage dissemination of citizen-made observations and knowledge gained about the interactions between the human-made and natural environments—even if that knowledge makes us uncomfortable in confronting  potentially damaging cultural traditions. Here we see something as seemingly innocent as a celebratory balloon release can have disastrous consequences. — LFF — Excerpt:…

Read More

“There’s no plan(et) B” we saw on many of the recent signs on Earth Day marches; however there may be a Planet Nine! Thanks to tens of thousands of citizen scientists who logged four years worth of effort in just three days, there are now four Planet Nine candidates for follow-up. That’s real people-powered research….

Read More

The acceptance of citizen science as a valid method for research and participatory monitoring uses rests on the quality of the data produced. Instead of “blaming” citizen participants for providing bad data, this article refreshingly makes it clear that data quality rests on many factors including good project design and training. — LFF — Abstract:…

Read More

Editor’s Choice: Biological observations require patience. Biological conservation calls for urgency. When citizen science works in concert with national policy, it allows us to coordinate slow and rapid paced efforts. This is necessary to gain traction on challenging issues. For specific actions you can take to help the rusty patched bumble bee, read the species…

Read More

The intent of this project is just wonderful and one of the most intriguing uses of citizen science I have seen. The authors combine the need to collect water quality data with the need to motivate patients who require rehabilitation with a lot of repetitive motion. While the study is somewhat contrived, the results show real…

Read More

Matching the right tool with a compelling narrative. For David Lang, this was the ah-ha moment at OpenROV’s inception. “Tool plus narrative” provides an interesting lens to examine citizen science and, perhaps, a useful recipe for the development of new citizen science projects. A narrative is a way of embedding a research question within the…

Read More

This article is a must-read for anyone thinking about “going mobile” with citizen science projects. The meticulous work shows that while the use of a smart-phone app may draw more engagement, it can lead to “casual quality data”. Another example of the usual tradeoff in citizen science – data quality against engagement.  -LFF Abstract: Technology-supported…

Read More

This is a fascinating article that tracks the change in attitudes towards science as well as content learning that occurred with a group of high school students who participated in the full cycle of a research project from asking the question to presenting results. I particularly liked one of the findings the authors recommend to incorporate in…

Read More

This story has all the elements: a citizen scientist, a mobile phone, and the frankly astonishing complexity of Earth’s ecosystems. Our citizen scientist protagonist, C R Naik, sets a model for how to infuse biodiversity monitoring with vigilant attention. This kind of attention blends multiple senses and sets aside assumptions, letting us dig deeper into…

Read More