Citizen Science
Citizen Science at North Carolina State University

Citizen Science at North Carolina State University

January 24, 2020
North Carolina State University -- typically referred to as NCSU, NC State, or just State -- is a public research university in Raleigh, North Carolina and a leader in public engagement in science. In this episode, Caren Cooper, professor at NCSU, and student citizen science leader, Brianna Johns, discuss all the different components of a citizen science campus: the Citizen Science Club, the SciStarter Educational Portal, themed citizen science programs, researchers with important projects that need citizen scientists’ help, and more. 
How to Start a Citizen Science Club (Blog by Brianna Johns)
Projects mentioned in the episode:
Music for this episode is from Blue Dot Sessions, used under a Creative Commons license. A transcript is available here.
Cultural Heritage Institutions and Citizen Science - Part 1

Cultural Heritage Institutions and Citizen Science - Part 1

November 22, 2019
This is the first of two episodes that will focus on how citizen science can be done by and within cultural heritage institutions, including libraries, archives, and museums. In this episode, we’ll focus on how natural history museums and public libraries have involved members of their communities in projects that can contribute to local, national, and global understandings of scientific questions. 
We speak with Richard Smart, one of the managers of the Community Science program at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; Sara Medina, a volunteer community scientists at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles; Dan Stanton, a librarian at Arizona State University who supports the School for the Future of Innovation in Society; and Robin Salthouse,  the Adult Services Supervisor Librarian at the Southeast Regional library in Gilbert, Arizona.

Listen to learn how the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County studies urban biodiversity with the help of community scientists, how Arizona State University and local public libraries collaborate to create citizen science kits for library patrons to check out and more! 

Music for this episode is from Blue Dot Sessions, used under a Creative Commons license. A transcript is available here.

Resources for Natural History Museums

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - Community Science

NHM Community Science Projects

Resources for Libraries

SciStarter IMLS Grant: Libraries as Community Hubs for Citizen Science

Librarian's Guide to Citizen Science

Maricopa County Library System

Maricopa County Citizen Science Webinar

Arizona State University Library Guide on Citizen Science

NASA's GLOBE project

GLOBE - SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive)

Measuring Light in the Night Kit

Globe at Night

Exploring Biodversity Library Kit

Zombee Hunting Library Kit

iNaturalist and Appalachian Mountain Club

iNaturalist and Appalachian Mountain Club

October 8, 2019

iNaturalist allows anyone, anywhere to contribute to a global record of biodiversity by uploading pictures of plants and animals with their smartphone or computer. In this episode, co-host Justin Schell talks with Dr. Carrie Seltzer, the Stakeholder Engagement Strategist for iNaturalist, about how the platform works, the iNaturalist community, and how iNaturalist advances scientific research. Featured in this episode is the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), the oldest outdoor group in the United States. The AMC runs multiple citizen science projects, and in this episode, Georgia Murray, a staff scientist at AMC; Annie Evankow, a Research Assistant with AMC; and Alina Michelewicz, a volunteer with a number of AMC projects speak about their citizen science work with iNaturalist — how they have been able to supplement the core data fields on iNaturalist with some specific to their project, as well as how they have approached citizen science and research with the Northeast Alpine Flower Watch project.  Music for this episode is from MWD, used under a Creative Commons license from the Free Music Archive. Special thanks to Jill Nugent for conducting the interview with the AMC team. A transcript is available here. 

For those of you who have accounts on SciStarter, add your iNaturalist username to your SciStarter dashboard, and you’ll get credit for your contributions.




Appalachian Mountain Club


Global Biodiversity Information Facility

National Phenology Network

Toilet weasel publication 

Justin's (Mistaken) Coyote Identification

Minisode - Smart Recommendations in SciStarter

Minisode - Smart Recommendations in SciStarter

September 25, 2019

With thousands of projects listed on SciStarter, a main challenge can be finding the right project, one that really suits your needs and your interests. After meeting at workshop on the Open Science of Learning hosting by the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity, Kobi Gal, a leading expert in human-centered artificial intelligence, and Darlene Cavalier, the founder of SciStarter, collaborated, with support from NESTA, a UK-based innovation foundation, to create a smart recommendation system to help SciStarter users find the right project. Kobi and Na'ama Dayan, another team member working on this project, sit down with Caroline Nickerson from the SciStarter team to talk about the new system and how YOU can help us test it. A transcript is available here. Music in this episode is by Discount Fireworks, used under a Creative Commons license via the Free Music Archive. 



August 25, 2019

The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (or COASST, for short) project is a network of citizen scientists that monitor marine resources and ecosystem health at over 400 beaches across northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. COASST works to translate long-term monitoring into effective marine conservation solutions. Co-host Caroline Nickerson chats with Dee Richie, a citizen scientist who volunteers with COASST, and Hillary Burgess, the science coordinator for COASST, about how to get involved with COASST and citizen science focused on marine ecosystem health. A transcript can be accessed here. 

Music in this episode: “Smile for Me, Sun” from Adam & Alma, used under a Creative Commons license via the Free Music Archive.  

Other resources mentioned in this episode:

Community Snow Observations

Community Snow Observations

July 29, 2019

NASA-funded Community Snow Observations (CSO) project recruits citizen scientists to help collect snow depth observations – anytime and anywhere, and then they can submit their observations via the mobile-sharing platform Mountain Hub. Co-host Caroline Nickerson chats with one of the project leaders, David Hill, and one of CSO’s volunteers, Katie O’Connell, talk about the importance of collecting snow depth data around the world--how that informs both local knowledge of things like avalanches and water availability, to how data contributed by everyday hikers can better inform global models of snow availability and its relationship to the water cycle. You can find a transcript here.

EarthEcho Water Challenge

EarthEcho Water Challenge

July 1, 2019

This episode spotlights EarthEcho International and one of the organization’s signature programs, the EarthEcho Water Challenge. Kicking off in March each year on World Water Day, EarthEcho encourages participation in the Water Challenge year-round. Founded by the grandchildren of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, EarthEcho's mission is to inspire young people throughout the world to take action for a more sustainable future. Caroline Nickerson talks with Sean Russel, the Manager for EarthEcho's Water Challenge program, and Katelyn Higgins, a student leader in EarthEcho and member of the group's Youth Leadership Council. They discuss what it means to incorporate youth voices at every level of the organization, how to explain water chemistry to kids, how water monitoring can turn into water action, and how you can get involved in the science to better understand and protect the waters where you live. A transcript is available here.



June 5, 2019

This episode is all about trees and how users of the Curio can map and monitor urban and community trees globally. Terrence Pickles is the founder of Exeter Trees, which attempts to document and preserve every tree in Exeter, in the UK, using both YouTube and the Curio app, which was developed by our second guest, Paul Hickey. Co-host Caroline Nickerson talks to Terrence and Paul about their motivations for doing the work they do, the kinds of results they’ve had so far, and how you can get started using Curio to better see and understand the whole of the world, or at least the trees you walk by every day. A transcript can be accessed here.

Music: Discount Fireworks, "Dots 1" and "Five," used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 US license. 


May 15, 2019

This episode features a conversation between Samantha Harrington, ISeeChange's Digital Community Manager, and Amber Kleinman, a volunteer who uses ISeeChange to document weather events in Paonia, a small town in western Colorado. ISeeChange is a platform to help users and their communities document weather in their own backyards, bringing greater visibility to effects of climate change through multimedia storytelling. Samantha and Amber chat with Caroline, Citizen Science's co-host, about how they got started with ISeeChange, the work that they do, and their recommendations for others to get started documenting changes in weather and climate. A transcript can be accessed here.

Reef Life Survey and GBIF

Reef Life Survey and GBIF

April 30, 2019

This episode features a conversation between Kyle Copas, Communications Manager at the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, which is known as GBIF, and John Turnbull, the Sydney, Australian coordinator for Reef Life Survey. The focus of this conversation is citizen science data: how it’s collected, what happens to it, and what is the process from collection by citizen scientists to the transformation and processing that brings the data into GBIF’s index. A transcript can be accessed here.