If you're a scientist or a representative of a citizen science organization or community group: This is the place to tell eager people about your work and get them interested in helping out.
SciStarter will bring together the millions of citizen scientists in the world; the thousands of potential projects offered by researchers, organizations, and companies; and the resources, products, and services that enable citizens to pursue and enjoy these activities. We aim to:
- Enable and encourage people to learn about, participate in, and contribute to science through both informal recreational activities and formal research efforts.
- Inspire greater appreciation and promote a better understanding of science and technology among the general public.
- Create a shared space where scientists can talk with citizens interested in working on or learning about their research projects.
- Satisfy the popular urge to tinker, build, and explore by making it simple and fun for people—singles, parents, grandparents, kids—to jump in and get their hands dirty with science.
Darlene is also the founder of Science Cheerleader a popular website and organization that works with 250 current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science and technology careers to promote science and the involvement of citizens in science and science-related policy. She has held executive positions at Walt Disney Publishing and has worked at Discover magazine for 15 years, where she now is a senior adviser and writer. She has created national science awards programs, science education initiatives, and a series of science-themed roundtable discussions for, among others, the Disney Institute, Space.com, Sally Ride's Imaginary Lines, and the Franklin Institute. She also serves on the Steering Committee for Science Debate and is a founding partner of Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, which engages experts, stakeholders, and everyday citizens in assessing the implications of emerging developments in science and technology. She originated and managed the Emmy award-winning Science of NFL Football series produced by the NFL, NBC Sports, NBC Learn, the National Science Foundation and Science Cheerleader.
A former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader, Darlene does not regret the years she gabbed through high school science classes. She earned a Master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania, studying science history, sociology, and science policy to learn more about people like herself: "hybrid actors," citizens interested in but not formally trained in the sciences. Discovering it was remarkably difficult to find opportunities to participate in science in any meaningful way, she launched SciStarter. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children, who have made it a hobby to explore the rainforests of Costa Rica. She's also a faculty associate at Arizona State University where she teaches a graduate course, aptly titled, Citizen Science.
Lily Bui holds dual degrees in International Studies and Spanish from the University of California Irvine. She has worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; served in AmeriCorps in Montgomery County, Maryland; worked for a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter; and performed across the U.S. as a touring musician. She currently works in public media at WGBH-TV and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) in Boston, MA. In her spare time, she thinks of cheesy science puns. Follow @dangerbui.
Jenna Morgan Lang
Editor, Featured Projects and Newsletter
Dr. Jenna Lang spends her days exploring the various means by which microbes rule the world. She has worked with Jonathan Eisen since 2006, first as an employee of the DOE Joint Genome Institute, then as a Microbiology PhD student, and now as a permanent fixture in his lab at UC Davis. Jenna became hooked on Citizen Science while working with Darlene on Project MERCCURI, and now aims to include a citizen science component in all future research projects. For fun, she likes to play poker, at the Bellagio, in her wedding dress.
Jonathan Brier is citizen science enthusiast from Michigan who enjoys working with Internet connected technologies a little too much. He holds a M.S. in Information and specialized in social computing from the University of Michigan School of Information and a B.S. in Media and Communication technologies from Michigan State University. His interest for science began with his continued use of the word “why” for which his father an engineer and mother a teacher took the time to give an explanation that would make any scientist proud. Jon’s citizen science passion began with his discovery of the SETI@home distributed computing project after watching the movie Contact. This branched to all things citizen science as he learned of more ways science research could harness public participation. Outside his day job as a User Experience Researcher at the University of Michigan, he works with GridRepublic on BOINC powered distributed computing projects and scours the Internet for anything and everything related to citizen science. He hopes to bring added enthusiasm and expertise to SciStarter.
Dr. John Ohab is a digital strategist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. John was previously a new technology analyst at the Department of Defense Public Web Program, providing research and evaluation of web technology initiatives. He also led Defense Department's award-winning outreach project, “Armed with Science,” a cross-agency effort to connect military scientists and engineers with the public through social media. John joined the government through consecutive American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowships at the Department of Defense (2008) and the National Institute of Mental Health (2007). John received his B.S. in biopsychology from UC Santa Barbara in 2002 and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. John was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, experienced a moderately successful run in high school varsity tennis, and is waiting patiently for that elusive Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl victory.
Director of Space-based citizen science projects
Mark Severance is SciStarter’s Space Guy and he has been a Space Guy all of his life. A NASA engineer at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Mark has spent most of his career in Mission Control Center-Houston as a Flight Controller for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. He also spent time in Mission Control Center-Moscow as a NASA Operations Lead early in the ISS program and when NASA had Astronauts working onboard the Mir space station. He has had a life-long interest in spaceflight and views the space program as a catalyst for engaging minds of all ages in a deeper understanding of science, engineering, technology and mathematics. Mark holds BS degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from SMU and MS in Physical Science, with a concentration in Orbital Mechanics, from the University of Houston. He began his hands on interest in space as teenager through his radio tracking of Soviet and Chinese human and robotic spacecraft in conjunction with the Kettering Group. He credits his satellite tracking as the most directive force in his educational and professional careers. Mark is currently a NASA engineer and manger for a space communications lab at the Johnson Space Center. Previous to this assignment, he worked in NASA’s Office of Education to start a program of educational activities and experiments onboard the ISS. He is heading up SciStarter’s in-development suite of space-related, citizen science projects.
YD Bar-Ness is a conservation ecologist based in the far corner of Australia, on the island of Tasmania. As a conservationist, he seeks to use geography and photography to create environmental education materials, and as a scientist, he specializes in climbing trees to explore the canopy biodiversity. He has previously been based in Delhi, Seattle, Perth, San Francisco, and Bangalore. He reckons the wilderness of Tasmania is the perfect venue for a Citizen Science Field Institute, and publishes Tasmanian Geographic, a free online documentary magazine at www.TasmanianGeographic.com.
Dr. Caren Cooper is also a blogger for Scientific American and the Public Library of Science. She is a research associate at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program. She is co-chair of the publications committee of the newly forming Association for Citizen Science and co-editor of an upcoming special feature on citizen science in the open-access journal Ecology & Society. She has authored over 35 scientific papers, co-developed software to automate metrics of incubation rhythms, and is co-creator of NestWatch, CamClickr, Celebrate Urban Birds, YardMap, and the House Sparrow Project. Follow her @CoopSciScoop. She likes to propel herself on one wheel, two wheel, and eight wheel devices.
Dr. Carolyn Graybeal holds a PhD in neuroscience from Brown University. She is a former National Academies of Science Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow during which time she worked with the Marian Koshland Science Museum. In addition the intricacies of the human brain, she is interested in the influence of education and mass media in society's understanding of science.
Melinda T. Hough
Dr. Melinda T. Hough is a freelance science advocate and communicator. Her previous work has included a Mirzayan Science and Technology Graduate Policy Fellowship at the National Academy of Sciences (2012), co-development of several of the final science policy questions with ScienceDebate.org (2012), consulting on the development of the Seattle Science Festival EXPO day (2012), contributing photographer for JF Derry’s book “Darwin in Scotland” (2010) and outreach projects to numerous to count. Not content to stay stateside, Melinda received a B.S in Microbiology from the University of Washington (2001) before moving to Edinburgh, Scotland where she received a MSc (2002) and PhD (2008) from the University of Edinburgh trying to understand how antibiotics kill bacteria. Naturally curious, it is hard to tear Melinda away from science; but if you can, she might be found exploring, often behind the lens of her Nikon D80, training for two half-marathons, or plotting her next epic adventure.
Ashley Rose Kelly
Ashley Rose Kelly is a Ph.D. candidate in the Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media program at North Carolina State University. Ashley studies how emerging technologies may be changing science communication. She also teaches scientific and technical writing courses as well as an introductory course on science, technology, and society. You can find Ashley on Twitter as @ashleyrkelly
Emily Lewis is a PhD candidate in chemistry at Tufts University, where she analyzes industrially important catalysts on the nanoscale. She received her BS and MS degrees from Northeastern University, and her thesis work investigated fuel cell catalysts under real operating conditions. She loves learning about energy and the environment, exploring science communication, and examining the intersection of these topics with the policy world. When she’s not writing or in the lab, you’ll probably spot Emily at the summit of one of the White Mountains in NH. Follow her: @lewisbase, www.emilyannelewis.com
Pete Madden is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles, California. He holds an M.S. in Digital Media from the Columbia Journalism School and a B.A. in Communication Studies and English from Vanderbilt University. He is currently Content Coordinator at Escape Apps, a tech startup that creates travel and local discovery smartphone apps, and he has worked for the Los Angeles Times, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, and Regis High School, a tuition-free prep school in New York City. An avid swimmer and diver, Pete has been lucky enough to explore the reefs in Australia, Belize, and the Galapagos, and when he's not writing about citizen science, you can find him planning his next underwater adventure.
Dr. Alex Reis is a freelance science writer, with a particular expertise in the field of biology and genetics. She holds a degree and MSc in Animal Science, topped up with a PhD in Embryology. In a ‘previous life’ as a researcher, she worked in the field of cell and molecular biosciences and published various scientific manuscripts including in Nature. Nowadays, however, she spends most of her time reading and writing science articles for several news outlets. Recent work includes articles published in The Munich Eye, Decoded Science, United Academics Magazine, BitesizeBio and Science NOW. After moving around the UK for a while, she now lives in the Highlands of Scotland. When not working, she can be found trying to get friendly with the ‘locals,' from deer to seals, otters or even sea eagles.
Arvind Sureh is a graduate student in Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from PSG College of Technology, India. For his thesis, he has been studying the molecular mechanisms behind uterine contraction during pregnancy. He is also an information addict, gobbling up everything he can find on and off the internet. He enjoys reading, teaching, talking and writing science, and following that interest led him to SciStarter. Outside the lab and the classroom, he can be found behind the viewfinder of his camera. www.suresharvind.com
Ian Vorster has a MS in Environmental Communications and most recently served as director of communications at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts. Prior to that he worked in the health communications field. Ian has served as a designer, writer, photographer, editor and project leader in the field of science, and now works freelance in a blend of these roles.
We're looking for volunteer contributors and interns! If you interested in science, Web publishing, and being part of an exciting, creative new venture, send a note describing your qualifications to email@example.com.