In 2019, we celebrated and explored the deep roots and broad branches that form the strong core of this field.

The Citizen Science Association hosted it’s second biennial conference in Raleigh, NC on March 13-17, 2019. This was our largest conference to date, with 818 registered delegates from 28 countries presenting more than 350 talks, workshops, symposia, and posters representing many different topics and fields. We introduced new conference networking features, hosted an insightful panel on environmental justice, and brought in exciting keynote speakers highlighting three special tracks.

CitSci2019 wove together three special tracks:

Problem-driven Citizen Science – confronting challenges to collecting the data, and building the trust, needed to address specific management questions.

Environmental Justice – data collection to improve human and environmental health, discussed by community-based organizations and engaged partners.

Education – planned for educators, by educators, exploring citizen science both in classrooms and out-of-school.

The full program is available on the CitSci2019 Ex Ordo website (computer best).

Our local hosts

Image courtesy of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Raleigh, North Carolina, is a hotspot for citizen science, home of the Environmental Justice movement, and a city that proudly proclaims its theme of All Are Welcome Here. We are pleased to have planned events in partnership with a local host committee including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS), North Carolina State University, West End Revitalization Association (WERA), North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN), and others.

Learn more about Raleigh in a welcome letter from our local host committee, this post by CSA Board members regarding our return to the state, and this guide to Raleigh post all on our blog.

Sponsors, supporters, and partners

We are grateful for financial and in-kind support from the following  sponsors and partners. Visit the sponsor registry to learn more.

Conference schedule at a glance

Keynotes and plenary presentations

Meet our keynote speakers, including the full set of panelists for Friday.

Max Liboiron – Memorial University, Newfoundland

Max Meopar photo by David howells in 2016

Dr. Max Liboiron is an Assistant Professor in Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she directs the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), marine science laboratory that specializes in community-based environmental monitoring of marine plastic pollution. Liboiron’s research bridges the natural and social sciences by creating open scientific tools and protocols out of feminist and anti-colonial thought. Liboiron is also a member of the Global Open Science Hardware Movement (GOSH), which seeks to reduce barriers between creators and users of scientific tools to support the pursuit and growth of diverse forms of knowledge. Read the full blog post about her work here.

Rachael Polmanteer (and students), River Bend Middle School in Raleigh, North Carolina

Rachael Polmanteer and students in woods camera trapping

“If you are going to do science, it might as well be ‘real’ science” is the motto of Rachael Polmanteer’s eighth grade science classroom at River Bend Middle School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Rachael’s science journey began when she graduated from Coastal Carolina University in 2009 with a B.S. in Marine Science. After working in various biological fields, she decided to take her passion for science into the classroom. In 2016, Rachael was award the Kenan Fellowship for Teacher Leadership and was paired with citizen scientist Dr. Stephanie Schuttler and the eMammal program, writing curriculum to incorporate citizen science into her classroom. After attending and doing a poster presentation at the 2017 CSA conference, Rachael decided to change her entire lab structure to incorporate a variety of citizen science projects. Rachael has organized citizen science professional development for teachers across the state, installed outdoor pollinator classrooms, organized BioBlitzs, and continues to develop new curriculum based on citizen science projects. Read the full blog post about her work here.

Environmental Justice and Community Science: A Social Movement for Empowerment, Compliance, and Action, A Panel Discussion

Moderator: Dr. Sacoby M. Wilson, Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH), Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, University of Maryland-College Park

Viola “Vi” Waghiyi, Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
Margaret L Gordon, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, Oakland, CA
Vincent Martin, Community Organizer Against Petroleum Refineries, Detroit, MI
Carmen Velez Vega, PhD, MSW, Tenured Full Professor, University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus
Omega R. Wilson, West End Revitalization Association (WERA), Mebane, NC
Beverly Wright, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and Dillard University, New Orleans, LA

Read the full blog post about this panel and convened panelists.

Rob Dunn – NC State University, Applied Ecology

From Rob’s website: “Most of the living world remains poorly or totally unknown. In my lab we study the species around us in our everyday lives, species we tend to think of us as well known. Most of those species are not well known and so there are many things to discover in your backyard, in your bedroom, or even on your roommate. Some days I work to study these species myself, bending down to figure out whether the fungus on my neighbor’s foot is a new species. More often I spent my time working with students and other researchers to help along their own discoveries. I also write about the world around us, which is a chance to share the stories of the scientists who have devoted their lives to understanding species, organs, cells, genes or ecosystems that influence us every day. In my building alone I am surrounded by biologists who study prairie voles, rare butterflies, fish ovaries, dinosaurs with long, long, claws, the decisions we make when threatened with death, alcoholic fruitflies, fungus farming beetles, and much, much more. It is a good job, this thing called science, silly at times, serious at others, but nearly always good.” Read the full blog post about Rob’s work.

Code of conduct

The Citizen Science Association (CSA) works to promote a welcoming conference environment at CitSci2019 that is safe, collaborative, supportive, and productive for all, including attendees, volunteers, exhibitors, invited speakers, stakeholders, service providers and all others (hereafter ‘participants’). CSA values diversity, respect and collaboration, accessibility, participation, integrity and transparency and works to ensure these values are reflected in interactions amongst all participants. We come together at this conference to learn and work together for positive, productive outcomes.

Full details on the code of conduct are available here, including practices for a positive, equitable, and open culture, and procedures for responding to or reporting concerns. All who registered for the event agreed to abide by this code and should review for familiarity with its contents.