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 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:
Our new Senior Researcher, Déana Scipio will join us in September, and we’re excited to welcome her to the team. Dr. Scipio comes to us from TERC, a nonprofit education research and development organization based in Massachusetts. Here in Davis, she’ll be leading our youth-focused citizen science research efforts in collaboration with academic and museum partners in California and the UK.
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.
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.
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.
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.