ASU and SciStarter awarded NSF Innovation CORPS grant to foster access to, and commercialization of, citizen science tools

By Darlene Cavalier June 17th, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Comment

Today, SciStarter, a research affiliate of Arizona State University, was awarded a National Science Foundation iCORPS grant (Innovation Corps).
The primary goal of NSF I-Corps is to foster entrepreneurship that will lead to the commercialization of technology that has been supported previously by NSF-funded research (SciStarter 2.0).
  • The approach to entrepreneurship uses techniques developed to validate each commercial opportunity in a recognized, effective way: customer and business model development
  • The vehicle for commercialization activities will most often be start-ups founded by the I-Corps participants; successful I-Corps projects will be prepared for business formation
  • The I-Corps programs feed the NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) andSmall Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs
  • NSF will work with the private sector to bring additional resources to the table (in the form of partnerships and finance), when warranted
Envisioned Output
SciStarter aims to extend our service to citizen science and STEM learning by making it possible for citizen scientists to build, borrow or buy the instruments needed to do these projects. Too many scientists are  not permitted to sell or even recommend tools and products required to collect and share data (rain gauge, telescopes, sensors, etc.) for their crowd-sourced research projects. SciStarter will be the place where people find and join projects AND access the tools they need. A one-stop shop for individual purchases and bulk-to-individual (classroom or district-wide) purchases.
Through the ICORPS support of the “Citizen Science Tools Team,” we will gain a better understanding on how to approach this and move forward in a way that is scalable.
SciStarter extends the promise of Citizen Science by connecting millions of citizen scientists with scientists in need of their help through formal and informal research projects. Citizen Science is a fast growing field that engages the public in scientific inquiry, most prominently through data collection projects and environmental monitoring using sensors, mini spectrometers, water testing kits and other tools. In our work in the Citizen Science community, we see thousands of examples of citizen science as well as related challenges and opportunities,including access to the tools required to get involved in Citizen Science projects.

We aim to leverage our understanding of this and our advantage of already being the “Match.com” in the Citizen Science community to scale and sustain an “Amazon for Citizen Science” to provide access to the required and recommended instruments, related consulting and other turnkey solutions.

One area of exploration will be the White House’s Makers-to-Manufacturing effort designed to support low cost, high quality tools that can be distributed to 1000 customers on average. This and other Maker/Citizen Science connections will be explored at ASU’s Citizen Science Makers Summit in October 2016.

The Citizen Science Tools Team intends to facilitate a broad adaptation of Citizen Science by reducing a yet-to-be- addressed barrier to help scientists acquire reliable citizen-generated data by making it easier for volunteers to identify, acquire, and use the right tools for each project. We imagine a holistic solution that includes projects, support, match-making, marketing and funding solutions, and optional products such as training materials, customer ratings/reviews of the tools, and on-site consulting. Our interest is in continuing to be a catalyst in Citizen Science by connecting people to opportunities to engage and in lowering barriers to public participation in scientific research while creating a hybrid academic-consumer sustainability model.
The Citizen Science Tools Team leading this effort are:
Darlene Cavalier – PI
Micah Lande – Mentor
Brianne Fisher – Entrepreneurial Lead
David Sittenfeld -Entrepreneurial Lead (2)
Erica Prange – Researcher
If you are a citizen science project owner, add your required or recommended tool to your project page on SciStarter.
If you are a Maker or manufacturer of a low-cost instrument that can be used for citizen science and you’d like to help connect your tool to researchers and participants, email tools@SciStarter.org .
To learn more about the SciStarter-ASU vision for citizen science and makers, watch this brief Public Television video.

Helping Herptiles with Citizen Science

By Eva Lewandowski June 13th, 2016 at 11:44 pm | Comment

Photo: USFWS
Amphibians and reptiles, also known as herptiles or herps, are the focus of many citizen science projects. Are you interested in frogs, turtles, and snakes? If you are, join one of the projects below to study the distribution and population status of these wonderful creatures!
Find more than 1,600 projects and events in the SciStarter Global Project Finder.
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Cuban Treefrog
Cuban Treefrogs are an invasive species causing trouble throughout the state of Florida. Report the presence of Cuban Treefrogs and native Treefrogs.

North Carolina Sea Turtle Project
Volunteers along the North Carolina coast are needed to search for sea turtle tracks and report nests and strandings. These activities help biologists monitor and protect the turtles.

Photo: Janalee Caldwell
OK Amphibian Disease Testing
Students and teachers in Oklahoma are needed to catch frogs, quickly swab their skin, and send the collected samples in to be tested for a fungal disease. Lesson plans are available.

Photo: Mike Pingleton
HerpMapper
Whenever you see a reptile or amphibian of any kind, you can report it to HerpMapper. You can easily keep a record of your own sightings and contribute to a larger database of herptile populations.

Photo: Henry Doorly Zoo
Amphibian Conservation and Education Project
Volunteers throughout Nebraska can participate in this project by monitoring amphibian populations, testing for diseases, and monitoring the quality of aquatic habitats.

Explore the Frontiers of CitizenScience in New Book from ASU.

The latest volume in “The Rightful Place of Science” series is a cutting-edge look at the changing relationship between science and the public. Co-edited by SciStarter Founder, Darlene Cavalier, with a blurb from Bill Nye the Science Guy.Get your copy today!

Princeton American Chemical Society, Science Cafe on June 16: Adult Science Literacy

By Darlene Cavalier June 6th, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Comment

Princeton ACS Science Café
Thursday, June 16, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Princeton University, Frick Chemistry Laboratory, Taylor Commons

How highly do you value science?
In what ways is science important to society?
What is our collective scientific IQ?
How can we improve scientific literacy?

Join us for an informal café-style discussion of the role of science with some very engaging panelists:

Darlene Cavalier — Professor at Arizona State University’s Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Founder of Science Cheerleader and SciStarter

Andrew Zwicker — Physicist, Head of Education Programs at Princeton Plasma Physics, and NJ State Assemblyman

Craig Shelton – Aeon Holistic Agriculture Founder and CEO, Instructor Princeton University’s Environmental Institute, and Chef & Culinary Expert

The event kicks off with your participation in science myth busting, with prizes. It includes hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Fee is $10 per attendee, collected at the door. Reserve your place by June 10 by sending email to louise.lawter@gmail.com. Frick Laboratory is located at the east end of the pedestrian bridge on Washington Rd, adjacent to the Weaver Track and Field Stadium. Parking is available in Lot 21, corner of Faculty Road and Fitzrandolph Road or other lots along Ivy Lane.

Boat Trips for Bat Monitoring: How Wisconsin Residents are Helping Bat Conservation

By Eva Lewandowski June 4th, 2016 at 10:36 pm | Comment

Bat Monitoring on Boats (Image Credit: WDNR, Wisconsin Bat Program)

Bat Monitoring on Boats (Image Credit: WDNR, Wisconsin Bat Program)

These volunteers are part of the Wisconsin Bat Program, a citizen science project run by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. There are three different ways that Wisconsin residents can contribute to our understanding of bat populations across the state. The most involved, and for many the most fun, is to conduct night time acoustic monitoring using special handheld bat detectors. Read the rest of this entry »

Citizen Science: How Communities, Scientists, and Libraries Can Engage Together in Scientific Discovery

By Darlene Cavalier June 3rd, 2016 at 12:58 am | Comment

Join us at the Special Libraries Association’s annual conference.

Citizen Science: How Communities, Scientists, and Libraries Can Engage Together in Scientific Discovery
Tue. June 14| 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM | Philadelphia, PA Convention Center, Room 204-A

Citizen science is scientific research conducted by amateur or non-professional scientists. Learn about how the general public is contributing to professional scientific research in their communities and beyond, as well as what roles are available for libraries and librarians, from bringing citizens and scientists together to participating in citizen science projects themselves.

Presented by: Environment & Resource Management Division, Biomedical & Life Sciences Division, Science-Technology Division

SPEAKERS
Darlene Cavalier, Founder, SciStarter
Patricia Dawson, Science Librarian, Rider University – Library
Lara Roman, Research Ecologist, US Forest Service

Learn more.

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