As someone who’s always maintained a fondness for campy antics, not to mention built a strong personal identity as an environmental educator, two of my favorite tag lines are, ‘The more you look, the more you see!’ and ‘Change is the only constant!’ I’ve used these phrases way too many times with students and throughout my life in general; yet here I am, revisiting their meanings once again. These simple themes help formulate my thinking about the ethos of citizen science.
This week, the Citizen Science Association (CSA) convenes in St. Paul, Minnesota for its biennial conference, bringing together diverse and interdisciplinary groups of researchers, practitioners, community organizations, and participants from across the field. The Center for Community & Citizen Science (CCS) will be showcasing work from a number of our recent and ongoing projects. If you are attending the conference, we encourage you to check out what we’re sharing!
The YCCS team is proud to present it’s first research brief. YCCS (Youth-focused Citizen and Community Science) has been a focus for the center for the past few years, and the research brief is the product of a multi-year study on YCCS.
Here at UC Davis, explorations in community and citizen science are taking place among several groups on campus. Most recently, the Department of Science & Technology Studies hosted Professor Shun-Ling Chen from Academia Sinica in Taiwan, who gave a lecture on her work investigating questions of ethics and fairness for those who participate in crowdsourced citizen science projects.
We are grateful to the many collaborators from across UC Davis and beyond, who attended, provided support, and contributed feedback and general smartness in the lead-up to the Big Ideas Symposium, which took place on October 31st. We certainly felt the community-driven nature of this effort last Monday, as Heidi presented ideas about the Center alongside many other inspiring faculty who helped make the event a success.
Stay tuned for more information about the Big Ideas process in the coming months.
This post, written by Molly Michelson, originally appeared on the website of the California Academy of Science.
We’re going to need a lot of people to save planet Earth—scientists, for example! Their research can help policy-makers and governmental agencies make conservation decisions about the regions, animals, and plants to save. But there simply aren’t enough of these academics to go around.
We are proud, and more than just a little excited to be part of the UC Davis “Big Ideas” program. Together with many partners on and off campus, the Center’s Faculty Director, Heidi Ballard has been developing a proposal for building the Center for Community and Citizen Science to be a transformative force across the university and beyond.
The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is holding its annual conference in Madison, this week. Our friends Heidi Ballard, Jen Metes, and Emily Harris are there to talk about our work on youth focused citizen science, and ways that citizen science can better inform conservation science and management.
Now out in Biological Conservation, this new paper reports on what we are learning from our Youth-Focused Community and Citizen Science project. Looking across three in-school and community-based YCCS projects, we identify three key processes that support develop of environmental science agency (ESA) in young people: fostering youth ownership of data quality, interacting with complex social-ecological systems, and supporting youth sharing and dissemination of project findings.
Heidi Ballard, associate professor of education, has been selected as a 2014-15 Chancellor’s Fellow. The Chancellor’s Fellows Program recognizes “the rising stars who shine as teachers and campus citizens, and whose scholarly work already puts them at the top of their fields — garnering attention far and wide.” It is one of the highest and most prestigious honors on this campus.
Associate Professor Heidi Ballard, an expert in environmental science education, is embarking on two newly funded research projects to study the efficacy of employing citizen science as a learning tool and a sustainable model for rigorous research. One project will focus on adults and the other on children.
This project arose from the realization that projects involving public participation in science vary widely, and often work in isolation from each other. These range from ‘citizen science’ projects for which people submit data about birds or plants online, to environmental justice-oriented community-based participatory research, and everything in between. These projects all revolve around members of the public collaborating in some form with scientists to answer environmental science questions.
Over two days, February 22nd and 23rd, UC Davis was the site of a regional workshop for nearly 50 leaders of Public Participation in Scientific Research (PPSR) projects that address conservation, environmental stewardship, and education. The workshop was designed to allow attendees to share experiences, create connections between programs, and generate strategies for best practices that will move the rapidly expanding field of citizen science and our efforts forward, individually and collectively.