Citizen Science 2015 Conference

Citizen Science 2015 Conference

Citizen Science 2015 is the inaugural conference of the Citizen Science Association (CSA). It will be held at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California, USA, February 11-12, 2015. Join us for two days of building connections and exchanging ideas across a wide spectrum of disciplines and experiences. Participate and help to shape the future of citizen science!
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Plans underway for membership, Board

Plans underway for membership, Board

The work of building the association is beginning to take shape. With much to be done towards establishing membership, leadership, and the infrastructure to support association services, the Governance Committee met in January, 2014, at the Commons Lab of the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Questions facing a new association include: who are potential members, and what do members need? What are the mission, vision, and scope of the association? How can support structures be put in place (and funded) to serve those members? To address these early needs, an interim Steering Committee has been established that will serve until…
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Identify and address barriers – Tualatin Riverkeepers

Identify and address barriers – Tualatin Riverkeepers

Challenges to successfully engaging underrepresented communities may be found anywhere. Project administrators must strive to become aware of and work to address their own organizational constraints. Care must also be taken to become aware of context specific barriers or constraints that can be uncovered through community partnerships and open discussion with communities. Using the languages spoken at home by participants and building awareness of and confidence with project activities and their requirements may be essential for successful partnerships. However, there is also a need to understand family work time constraints so that activities and meetings can be scheduled at convenient…
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Sustain genuine and equitable contact – Celebrate Urban Birds

Sustain genuine and equitable contact – Celebrate Urban Birds

Personal contact means doing more than talking with community members simply to get their input on project activities. Whether speaking directly with project participants or community leaders, the most productive conversations are genuinely equitable, personally meaningful, and sustained over time. It also involves having someone knowledgeable and passionate about the project available to explain it, to express their passion in person, and to figure out how to reach common goals through the project. Celebrate Urban Birds (CUBS) grew out of efforts by the Lab of Ornithology to create a citizen science project that would be of interest to and relevant…
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Develop collaborative partnerships – Hopa Mountain

Develop collaborative partnerships – Hopa Mountain

Partnerships built on a sharing of knowledge, goals, and resources between participants, their families, PPSR practitioners, community leaders, and organizations that serve underrepresented groups have been successful at bridging the gap between practitioners and underrepresented groups. Effective local leaders and organizations are ideally situated to be good interpreters and liaisons who can help develop new PPSR projects or adapt existing ones so that they are relevant to and accessible by the communities they serve. Developing an understanding of the needs and goals of local leaders and organizations and providing them with some of the resources to accomplish their missions are…
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Provide concrete benefits – Rocking the Boat

Provide concrete benefits – Rocking the Boat

Scientists and science centers generally begin PPSR projects with goals that motivate their own participation, such as facilitating advances in science, providing STEM education to local communities, or addressing environmental concerns. For many communities, the opportunity to make a contribution to science or to help the environment is not, by itself, enough to make the PPSR project a community priority. The goals and aspirations that motivate communities to act in other realms are as diverse as the communities involved. One reason to invest time in building relationships between PPSR practitioners and community members is to understand the goals of each…
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Building on what is familiar – Nosotros Radio

Building on what is familiar – Nosotros Radio

Engaging underrepresented communities through Public Participation in Scientific Research (PPSR) involves finding common ground and bringing together the strengths of the projects with the strengths of the communities. PPSR, science more broadly, and the environmental movement can all be enhanced by the diversity of geographically, culturally, and historically grounded perspectives, interests, priorities, experiences, practices, knowledge, and skills that underrepresented communities can bring to bear on today’s most pressing issues. To truly succeed, PPSR must find ways not only to respect but to tap into and provide additional outlets for the expression of these capacities. Examples of strategies that have been…
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Promising Practices for Community Partnerships

Promising Practices for Community Partnerships

"How do we engage more diverse audiences?" If you and your program are asking this question, you are not alone. This question was heard again and again from educators and administrators attending a series of 2012 workshops on citizen science at science centers. The same question was explored by citizen science project leaders at a 2012 workshop facilitated by the Center for Diversity and the Environment. With support from the Association of Science-Technology Centers, a task force was convened to address this question and provide insights for the field. A team of PPSR practitioners and researchers, science center administrators, and…
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