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 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:
We asked our partners – expert researchers and practitioners — what it looks like when youth participate in community and citizen science. The resulting video speaks to the tremendous potential of youth-focused community and citizen science (YCCS) in the classroom, in the field, in a science museum, or anywhere in between.
Co-edited by Dr. John Cigliano and our Faculty Director, Heidi Ballard, this new volume provides a broad range of case studies exploring the utility and feasibility, as well as limitations, of using marine and coastal citizen science for conservation to leverage these resources and address these tensions.
Center researchers collaborated with colleagues on a new paper that points to the importance of engaging directly with existing knowledge when attempting to bring new knowledge and practices into farming communities. Working in Uganda, the researchers examined similarities and differences between smallholder farmers’ knowledge about soil health and scientific concepts. In cases of dissimilarity, they find that new concepts are unlikely to be assimilated without concerted effort and they recommend hands-on experimentation with novel practices as a means of building confidence with improved soil management practices.
If you’re attending the California Science Teachers Association meeting in Sacramento this weekend, we’d love to see you at our Saturday afternoon workshop, led by our wonderful colleagues Erin Bird, and Peggy Harte:
Mark Schwartz is a faculty affiliate of the Center. This post, which explores integration of science and society through natural resource management, and gaps in scholarship that could help to advance this mission, appeared earlier this summer at Nature’s Confluence.
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.
In February, we teamed up with Pepperwood Preserve and Sonoma County K-5th grade educators to run a workshop on how to facilitate community and citizen science in the classroom. Activities included observational sketching, a mini bioblitz, and sharing the YCCS Environmental Science Agency framework. Educators left eager and equip to try out new projects in creative ways with their students.
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.
The Center for Community and Citizen Science and Public Lab have received funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to explore a shared interest in discovering what effect participating in community science has on civic engagement. The research team – Shannon Dosemagen, Liz Barry, Gretchen Gehrke from Public Lab, and Dr.