Abstract: Citizen science is emerging as an increasingly viable way to support existing water monitoring efforts. This article assesses whether water quality data collected by large numbers of volunteers are as reliable as data collected under strict oversight of a government agency, and considers the potential of citizen science to expand spatial and temporal coverage…

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Excerpt: My greatest frustration with science class when I was in school was during labs. For some reason I saw them for what they were…rule-following exercises. Think about it for a second. The lab stations are set up the same way, everyone gets the same handout, and there are correct conclusions that everyone should come…

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Abstract: This study explores the motivations and barriers for participation and persistence in an innovative citizen science pilot project with Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers. The project combines self-guided online training, in-person meetings, and collaboration through social networking and “mental modeling” to support on-the-ground development and execution of citizen science projects developed by participants. Results suggest…

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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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Abstract: In the last few years, contributions of the general public in scientific projects has increased due to the advancement of communication and computing technologies. Internet played an important role in connecting scientists and volunteers who are interested in participating in their scientific projects. However, despite potential benefits, only a limited number of crowdsourcing based…

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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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Editor’s Choice: This paper attempts to disentangle the complex relationship between the folks that are “paid” to run the Zooniverse and the unpaid volunteers who provide the classifications. At what point does it become the responsibility of the paid professionals to move from a simple transactional relationship with the volunteers to a more democratized relationship…

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