USGS Citizen Science Workshop

Science Center Objects

What USGS programs use citizen science? How can projects be best designed while meeting policy requirements? What are the most effective volunteer recruitment methods? What data should be collected to ensure validation and how should data be stored? What standard protocols are most easily used by volunteers? Can data from multiple projects be integrated to support new research or existing scien...

What USGS programs use citizen science? How can projects be best designed while meeting policy requirements? What are the most effective volunteer recruitment methods? What data should be collected to ensure validation and how should data be stored? What standard protocols are most easily used by volunteers? Can data from multiple projects be integrated to support new research or existing science questions? To help answer these and other questions, the USGS CDI supported the development of the Citizen Science Working Group (CSWG) in August 2011 and funded the Working Group’s proposal to hold a USGS Citizen Science Workshop in fiscal year 2012.



The USGS Citizen Science Workshop goals were:

  • To raise awareness of research within the USGS that incorporates citizen science
  • To create a Community of Practice from which knowledge and expertise can be shared
  • To provide a forum to discuss the challenges of and opportunities for incorporating citizen science into research at the USGS
  • To educate and support scientists and managers whose projects may benefit from public participation in scientific research

Benefits

  • Increased exposure and recognition for USGS CS projects within the larger scientific community, not just in their local Science Centers
  • Greatly expand data collection potential by harnessing citizen scientists. Citizen scientists can provide a broad geographic 'sensor network' beyond our scientists' reach
  • USGS researchers made aware of internal and external citizen science projects and their potential value to non-participating research programs
  • Potential to leverage existing work and achievements from other initiatives such as DataOne's Public Participation in Science and Research and Cornell's Citizen Science Central
  • Potential to leverage efforts of and create synergy among the CS researchers and the USGS External Communications and Citizen Engagement team in the Office of Communications, and other DOI initiatives such as the Youth In the Great Outdoors and the White House's America's Great Outdoors programs
  • Snapshot of status of citizen science research within the USGS/DOI Agencies and partners
  • Increased awareness of citizen science activities within USGS/DOI and partner agencies; workshop report can be distributed to other agencies to inform and educate on our efforts
  • Make USGS science more approachable and understandable to students, teachers, and the general public
  • Expand science knowledge and scientific literacy among citizen participants

Deliverables (note: some still in progress)

  • Open-File Report 2013–1234 : “Partnering for Science: Proceedings of the U.S. Geological Survey Workshop on Citizen Science” authored by several CSWG members. This document provides a detailed overview of each Workshop session, the presentation questions and discussions, and other artifacts from the meeting. 
  • USGS Citizen Science Workshop Website - offering information about presenters, access to notes, presentation slides and recordings of the presentations and discussions.
    • Workshop Agenda
    • Session Notes (linked from each session heading)
    • Presenter slides and recordings (linked from each presentation on agenda)
  • Presentation given at CDI-hosted Webinar (September 2012)
  • Core Science Systems Brown Bag presentation - Delivered shortly after the Workshop on September 17, 2012, summarizing our efforts and new ideas stemming from the discussion with USGS researchers and external participants.
    • Mailing list and contacts development
  • Internal CDI Project Progress Report (Appendix C of 2012 CDI Annual Report)

  note: this description is from the FY2012 CDI Annual Report