Strategic Plan

Guiding our growth through 2022

In a rapidly evolving field, one that thrives on challenging the traditional roles and norms of science, how can this young association build a new kind of engaged community to advance our collective work?

Based on insights shared by members, potential members, and leaders in boundary fields, we have crafted a plan for three years of strategic growth. Together, we will work to build CSA as a responsive association, one that reflects the dynamic nature and collaborative spirit distinguishing this community and practice.

Below is an overview of the plan’s four primary goals. We encourage you to read the full document for details on strategies, foundational work, and a reflection on our values and our niche.

“The Citizen Science Association (CSA) is a member-driven organization that connects people from a wide range of experiences around one shared purpose: advancing knowledge through research and monitoring done by, for, and with members of the public. …”

Opening of CSA’s strategic plan

Strategic goals

These four goals interact and reinforce each other, and build momentum in the field to support, recognize, and advance excellent work by our members, our partners, and the broader community invested in citizen science.

Text box with an orange border. Header, in orange, reads: Elevate attention to integrity and excellence in citizen science. Body text says: Millions of people worldwide contribute to citizen science efforts and outcomes, but appreciation for the integrity and complexity of the practice has not kept pace. We serve as, and support, ambassadors to focus attention on exemplary practices, innovations, and the investments needed for transformational work.
Text box with a red border. Header, in red, reads: Create spaces that connect people across a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary field. Body text reads: People from a plurality of disciplines, roles, perspectives, and places are seeking opportunities to advance and share their efforts. This range of interests defines our audience and also enriches the field. We work to strengthen, adapt, and augment our core services to facilitate generous knowledge exchange, limit duplication of efforts, and amplify impact.
Text box with teal border. Header, in teal, reads: Facilitate and support efforts to confront challenges that span boundaries. Body text reads: We inspire, enable, and mobilize collaborative efforts among members across practices, locations, and disciplines to address cross-cutting issues and challenges. In doing so we learn, extend our collective capacity, elevate new leaders, and add value to the field.
Text box with purple border. Header, in purple, reads: Build a vibrant association with an open, transparent, and engaged culture. Body text reads: The dynamic nature and collaborative spirit of this field demands new thinking about how an association functions. We are forward-thinking in creating structures, cultures, and partnerships that reflect the values of this community, and that complement and engage other organizations, to best serve our members and practitioners across the field.

Read the full plan

Thank yous

The Citizen Science Association would like to thank the over 100 individuals, from across this community and beyond, who participated in phone interviews, online forms, and in-person focus groups to inform CSA’s strategic directions. Special thanks go to Anne Bowser, Mark Chandler, Shannon Dosemagen, Sheldon Greaves, Sarah Kirn, Alison Parker, Kris Stepenuck, and Bill Zoellick for their vision, reflection, and synthesis, and to David Miller for his guidance in this process.

We are grateful for the ongoing support of the Schoodic Institute, and for their assistance as fiscal sponsor of this grant.

Support for this effort was provided by a grant from the Pisces Foundation, which seeks ways to accelerate to a world where people and nature thrive together.

Photo credits

First cover strip Citizen science monitoring in Old Woman Creek Natural Estuarine Research Reserve, Ohio (© Emily Kuzmick ODNR); Second cover strip Land cover observations (GLOBE) and Disk Detective/Zooniverse (NASA/Jonathan Holden); Third cover strip CitSci2019 poster session (© Marilú López-Fretts); Fourth cover strip Stall Catchers event and app (courtesy of Human Computation Institute, CC BY-SA 4.0); Page 3 IDAH2O (© Jim Ekins); Page 5 FoldIt (FoldIt); Page 6 CitSci2019 poster session (© Marilú López-Fretts). Layout by Barkland,