Citizen science networking call recap

Posted by Lauren Hertel on Tuesday, February 4 2014


Last week fourteen Switzer Fellows participated in our first networking conference call of 2014 on the topic of citizen science. One outcome of the call is that we have created a Citizen Science listserv, open to all Fellows, to continue the conversation around these topics (see full list of groups to request membership).

Topics of interest on the call included:

  • camera trapping
  • using citizen science in public health work
  • developing mobile apps to allow citizens to collect data
  • implementing citizen science strategies at different spatial scales
  • making citizen science more scientifically rigorous and measuring impact via academic studies
  • getting ongoing participation in data entry
  • working in field stations with citizen scientists
  • expanding programs from one region to another internationally
  • hiring citizen science staff for projects, networking with others in the New York City area
  • reaching out to a variety of volunteer demographics
  • using citizen science in the oil and gas extraction industry
  • citizen science as environmental education with very young children
  • participatory monitoring in Latin America
  • how to get citizen scientists involved using web-based tools 

The most discussed topics during the call were on resources for those who are new to citizen science work, how to keep citizen scientists motivated throughout projects, streamlining the mechanics of submitting data, and ways that indigenous knowledge here and abroad can inform the design of more rigorous citizen science projects.

Several important resources were mentioned during the call including:

In addition, one Fellow sent me the following resources after the call:

Look for queries to the listserv this week regarding other topics that came up during the call that we felt required more discussion. We’re planning a few more calls and at least one webinar around these topics this year, including a broader discussion on how to create mobile apps for science.

In the meantime, please feel free to post additional queries and resources in the comments section of this post, and don’t forget to join the new Citizen Science listserv to connect directly with Fellows interested in these topics. Also look for additional networking calls, which we'll be announcing on the Switzer Fellows listserv over coming months.  If you have a topic you'd like to add to our roster, please email me directly.

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Zooniverse project

Vickie Bakker and I, along with other collaborators on our science team, have been selected by Zooniverse ( to help them create a website for citizen scientists to analyze data from California condor feeding station photos in order to evaluate if condor social network behavior is a predictor for risk of lead poisoning (the number one mortality factor for condors). We are new to the citizen science arena and are hoping to maximize our impact with this project. Thus, we would appreciate any and all thoughts on how to make the most of this amazing opportunity. The beta test site is launching in the next few weeks and once it is up, we will post the link if anyone wants to give it a try - we would love to hear what people think on ease of use, etc. thank you very much! Myra and Vickie.

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