The Center for Community and Citizen Science is a home to programs and partnerships that revolutionize how—and with whom—science gets done. Based on a foundation of research excellence, the Center helps scientists, communities, and citizens collaborate on science to address environmental problems as a part of civic life.
What are Community and Citizen Science?
Community Science and Citizen Science engage members of the public to collaborate with professional scientists to conduct research-based investigations, engage in monitoring activities, collect data and interpret results, and produce new knowledge used for natural resource management or basic research. This includes community science, which is community-driven research or monitoring in partnership with scientists.
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We’re looking forward to the upcoming Citizen Science Association (CSA) conference, right around the corner! Come catch up with us and our work at the events listed below. We are also excited to host a youth-focused community and citizen science happy hour alongside the Education Working Group on Thursday March 14th, from 6:00-8:00PM. It will be an informal evening of networking and discussing the involvement of young people in citizen and community science. See the image below for more information, and RSVP here.
For the first time ever, the Sacramento Region will be participating in the City Nature Challenge. We will be competing with more than 170 cities all over the world to see who can catalogue the most nature in just 4 days! We think that joining this global effort to discover local biodiversity through citizen science is a great opportunity for the Center, and for the region.
I practiced my poster presentation with my family the night before my flight to Washington, D.C. The poster explored features of community and citizen science (CCS) projects that had a climate change focus. We were interested in showing how, within the context of climate change, CCS has the potential to not only generate usable data for climate science, but also to provide meaningful learning experiences for participants, depending on how these projects are designed and implemented. I thought it would be a good idea to practice talking about this work with people who had no idea what citizen science is, but their puzzled looks made me feel even more nervous about going to AGU. I spent that night fighting anxious thoughts and battling the infamous “Imposter Syndrome.”
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has released a new report that takes a deep dive into research on learning through citizen science. Beyond the many challenges and recommendations it details, the report is a strong affirmation that citizen science can support both science learning and research goals. We’re proud that our work has informed this effort, including an Academy-commissioned white paper and keynote talk by Faculty Director Heidi Ballard, and Center Alums Emily Harris and Colin Dixon.
The Center for Community and Citizen Science is excited to welcome Maryam Ghadiri as the new postdoctoral fellow on the LEARN CitSci project. Maryam was recently the director of education and research at the Environmental Learning Center (ELC), a non-profit organization in Vero Beach, Florida. She worked with educators and ecologists to design, implement and evaluate different environmental education and outreach programs.
The City Nature Challenge began as a nature-observation competition between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County in 2016, organized around simple charge: “which city can find the most nature?” Since then, the competition has expanded rapidly, and this year more than 120 cities will participate worldwide!
The Center will be hosting its next CCS Collabinar event from 9:00-11:00 AM on Wednesday, December 5th in room 174 of the School of Education building. The presentation will focus on place-based citizen science in Lake Tahoe, and integrating multiple projects in a single framework.
Skye Kelty and Alfonso Aranda are graduate students at UC Davis, and Campus Affiliates of the Center for Community and Citizen Science. In this post they describe their multi-year collaboration with community members in Knights Landing, a wonderful example of student-led community science that has crossed many disciplinary and institutional boundaries.
The NAAEE is dedicated to strengthening environmental education and increasing the efficiency of the profession, while working alongside a diverse group of educators. They strive to accelerate environmental literacy and civic engagement amongst all ages through environmental education.
We are still glowing from the last three days of shared learning, planning, and camaraderie with local partners, teachers, after-school educators, school garden coordinators. With thanks to our partner, Yolo Farm to Fork, who developed the article below, we offer some initial insights from this workshop, with more to come in the near future!
We’re excited to welcome Chris Jadallah to the the Center for Community and Citizen Science this fall. Chris is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow at the UC Davis School of Education, and will be pursuing a PhD in Science and Agricultural Education. He recently completed his B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies at UC Berkeley, where he also worked as a researcher and project manager studying native bee conservation. He is interested in exploring the linkages between environmental education, conservation biology, environmental studies, and social justice with the ultimate goal of supporting healthy and empowered communities. Welcome, Chris!
Named after a mythical land from a novela when the Spanish first arrived, California was said to be paradise on Earth. However, times have changed since the Spanish first laid their eyes on the place we now call home. Social activists have spoken openly about the disasters of environmental change and many, from the top of California’s government to grassroots organizations are beginning to create much more systematic and widespread awareness and change with initiatives.
Rajul (Raj) Pandya, is the founding director of the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX). On Monday, May 7th, at the Shrem Museum, Pandya will deliver a keynote address to kick off a day of learning, discussion, and networking activities with faculty members, researchers, and other partners, sponsored by the UC Davis Office of Research.
A new paper by recently graduated Emily Harris and the Center’s Faculty Director, Heidi Ballard, provides a framework for educators to design and implement citizen science projects in the classroom to facilitate meaningful student learning. This publication adds an important component to our suite of materials aimed at helping educators use Youth-focused Community and Citizen Science in their work.
We are pleased to be hosting Gwen Ottinger at the School of Education on April 3rd & 4th. Ottinger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University, where she directs the Fair Tech Collective, a research group dedicated to using social science theory and methods to inform the development of technology that fosters environmental justice.
This blog post, authored by Ryan Meyer, Heidi Ballard, and Lila Higgins, originally appeared on the Blue Sky Funders Forum blog.
When do experiences with science lead young people to create change in their lives, landscapes, and communities? Consider this reflection from Rachel Anne Arias, a 12-year-old living in La Crescenta in Southern California: