Citizen Science: n. the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.
This month we celebrate the opportunity for the general public to engage in science projects and data collection that can make a massive impact! How it works: when you go out in your back yard for example and take a data sample, though this can feel like just one small action, this data can be put together with many others’ collection results and contribute to a very large-scale sample size, thus making it easier for scientists to analyze an area.
To get started with citizen science: SciStarter wants to help people get involved with citizen science by sharing a bunch of resources, projects you can join, and suggestions for creating your own projects.
Check out these Citizen Science focused presentations, with recommendations to join in and participate yourself.
David Hill’s work studying snow through citizen science
In this science talk, David Hill discusses how scientists have joined forces with the general public to study the depth of snowpack in remote areas that are not cost effective to travel to. When people are going to be out in the backcountry recreating anyway, they can help by taking snow depth measurements and reporting them so scientists can analyze the data.
Get involved: Get the mountain hub app to start reporting snowpack data on your own adventures.
Mary Ellen Hannibal’s life as an author and citizen scientist
Mary Ellen is the author of several titiles including The Spine of The Continent and Citizen Scientist: Searching For Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction. Her books talk about how citizen science has impacted her life and ways you can get involved.
Get involved: start with Mary Ellen’s books by checking out her website. Mary ellen also recommends the iNaturalist app, where people can submit data from anywhere about what they observe in the world.
Spencer Eusden’s citizen science butterfly project
Headwater’s former mentor and Program Director Spencer gave this fun talk on his passion for trail running and science, and how they intersected. By becoming a citizen scientist, he was able to collect butterfly data at remote locations he ran to in the Sierra Nevada. He along with other runners and hikers contributed data to a larger overall project about butterfly migration.
Get involved: play your part in helping collect data while adventuring out in the world. You can start by checking out Adventure Scientists.