Thursday 20th February, 2014
2:50pm to 3:10pm
*This talk is part of the TECHNOLOGY AND CITIZEN SCIENCE track*
Citizen science and community-based monitoring programs are increasing in number, breadth, and popularity. These programs operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales, address myriads of issues, generate volumes of diverse scientific data, and involve numerous stakeholders. To be effective, such programs must ask questions, form teams, manage members, identify protocols, collect data, share results, and evaluate success. On face value, these tasks may seem simple. In reality, they are diverse, complex, and demanding of limited program resources. To address these challenges, we built an open and comprehensive cyber-infrastructure support system for citizen science programs (www.citsci.org) to support the full spectrum of program management and data management, analysis, and visualization needs. The system affords program coordinators the opportunity to create their own projects, manage project members, build their own data sheets, streamline data entry, visualize data on maps, automate custom analyses, and get feedback. Thus far, CitSci.org has engaged 78+ programs resulting in some 12,838+ species observations and 33,694+ site characteristics. The majority of programs are bottom-up, grassroots efforts with conservation biology-oriented goals and objectives. Here, we discuss the unique opportunities afforded by CitSci.org platform to support the needs of citizen science programs; connect people, nature, and research; and encourage and foster meta-analyses across domains and projects.
Dr. Greg Newman is a research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) at Colorado State University (CSU). He received his PhD from CSU in citizen science, community-based monitoring, and ecological informatics. His current research focuses on designing and evaluating the effectiveness of cyber-infrastructure support systems for citizen science programs. His research interests include evaluating various citizen science program models, understanding the socio-ecological benefits of engaging the public in scientific research, designing and evaluating data management systems for socio-ecological research, assessing the value of local and traditional ecological knowledge for conservation and education outcomes, and developing spatial-temporal decision support systems. He is the director of the CitSci.org platform.
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