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Measuring and Modeling the Environment
Crowdsource Your Data Collection?
What can you do when you need data from all over the world in a short amount of time? Many scientists, including ones at JPL/NASA, are crowdsourcing their data collection.
Darlene Cavalier, Professor of Practice at Arizona State University is the founder of SciStarter, a website where scientists make data collection requests to a community of volunteers who are interested in collecting and analyzing data for scientific research.
Cavalier is determined to create pathways between citizen science and citizen science policy. She says, “The hope is after people engage in citizen science projects, they will want to participate in deliberations around related science policy. Or perhaps policy decision makers will want to be part of the discovery process by contributing or analyzing scientific data.” Darlene has partnered with Arizona State University and other organizers to form a very active network called Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST). This group seeks to unite citizens, scientific experts, and government decision makers in discussions evaluating science policy. Cavaliers says, “The process allows us to discover ethical and societal issues that may not come up if there were only scientists and policy makers in a room. It’s a network which allows us to take these conversations out of Washington D.C. The conversations may originate and ultimately circle back there, but the actual public deliberations are held across the country, so we get a cross-section of input from different Americans.” ECAST has been contracted by NASA, NOAA, the Department of Energy, and others to explore specific policy questions that would benefit from the public’s input.
Another obstacle to some types of research is access to instrumentation. Darlene comments, “The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) project really opened our eyes to how many obstacles can exist between the spectrum of recruiting, training, equipping, and fully engaging a participant.” This year, SciStarter is building a database of citizen science tools and instruments and will begin to create the digital infrastructure to map tools to people and projects through a “Build, Borrow, Buy” function on project pages.
Darlene says that sometimes scientists who want accurate data without knowing about or identifying a particular sensor for participants to use often create room for data errors. To address this problem, SciStarter and Arizona State University will be hosting a Citizen Science Maker summit this fall where scientists, citizen scientists, and commercial developers of instrumentation will meet to determine if it’s possible to fill gaps to develop and scale access to inexpensive, modular instruments that could be used in different types of research. You can learn more about crowdsourcing your data collection with SciStarter here.
Read the full article: Crowdsource Your Data Collection?
SciStarter founder and Professor at ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society appointed to EPA Advisory Council.
SciStarter founder and Professor at School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU , appointed to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Advisory Council .
Darlene Cavalier has been invited to serve as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. The council provides independent advice to the agency’s Administrator on environmental-policy, technological and management issues. Cavalier will represent ASU’s Center for Engagement & Training in Science & Society (CENTSS) and will serve for two years.
Cavalier spoke at the White House Water Summit in March regarding two initiatives she leads: SciStarter and Science Cheerleader. Cavalier also appeared in an interview for SciTech Now , in which she spoke about the great variety of opportunities for citizens to contribute to ongoing scientific projects available through SciStarter.
The Science Cheerleaders (current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers) frequently engage people in these citizen science opportunities.
Interested in learning more about Citizen Science? Order a copy of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, (Cavalier, Kennedy 2016). It’s been called “the best introduction to the dynamic landscape of citizen science and those seeking to expand its boundaries. ” Bill Nye the Science Guy agrees: “Do you look at the world around you and try to figure out what’s going on? Do you like to think? You can do citizen science. Start with this book.” Now available on Amazon.com
Philadelphia Inquirer and SciStarter partner to inform and engage millions of readers and local science leaders in citizen science
A “citizen science” movement is sweeping the country and now millions of Philadelphians who want to collaborate with leading scientists can visit Philly.com to join cutting-edge research projects.
The Philadelphia Media Network (Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly.com and Philadelphia Daily News) is teaming up with SciStarter, a Philadelphia-based company with global reach, to present featured citizen science projects, events, and instruments through a dynamic project showcase and blog. Each week, SciStarter’s editorial team will feature a new opportunity for millions of Philadelphians to take part in, from SciStarter’s curated Project Finder. There will be something for everyone, ranging from opportunities to analyze and classify cancer cells online to participating in outdoor bioblitzes to track migratory paths of local species and more. The goal is to make it simple for everyone to jump in and contribute to scientific research. Read the rest of this entry »
What do Buzz Aldrin’s shoe, the Liberty Bell & sports arenas all have in common? Watch Space to Ground, your weekly update on what’s happening aboard the International Space Station.
SciStarter’s Project MERCCURI, a research project to compare microbes on Earth and in space (presented by the Eisen Lab and UC Davis, SciStarter and Science Cheerleader, with support from the Sloan Foundation, Space Florida and NanoRacks), was featured on NASA’s “Space to Ground,” a weekly update on what’s happening aboard the International Space Station. Click here to read more about the status of this project!
The Knight Foundation today announced the latest winners of its Knight Prototype Fund. Eighteen projects will receive $35,000 to help them bring their concepts closer to fruition and one of the 18 projects is ours:
SciStarter ‘s project will connect data journalists and researchers with citizen scientists who are interested in helping them collect data about specific issues (i.e. water quality in a particular neighborhood).
The fund, launched in 2012, also gives winners a support network and the opportunity to receive human-centered design training in an effort bring early stage media ideas to a formal launch.
We are very honored to be in such great company and will post developments here.
Learn more about the other winners and the Knight Prototype Fund.
Image Credit: Knight Foundation