What does it mean to be a citizen scientist?
The definition of Citizen Science is scientific research conducted in whole or in part by amateur scientists.
Who are amateur scientists? You and I can fit the bill.
Citizen science, sometimes described as public participation in scientific research, can be community driven research or global investigation. Everyday people collect information and share it with the scientific community.
In citizen science, the public participates as volunteers in the scientific process to contribute to the solution of real world problems. This could include gathering research data, conducting scientific experiments, analyzing data, interpreting results, making observations and new discoveries, developing technologies and applications, and solving complex problems.
What’s great about Citizen Science is that activities and projects are local. We believe that global problems have local solutions. Citizen Science allows us to find local ways to make a difference in protecting endangered species, safeguarding water sources, collecting valuable data on projects in the environment, even disease and medical research.
Citizen Science projects include a wide variety of topics and can be sorted by your location, time or tools available, age group including kids, and if you want to participate in person or online. A few sample projects areas are:
- Medicine & Health
- Water Conservation
- Ocean & Marine Life
So is Citizen Science a form of Crowdsourcing? As a collaboration between scientists, researchers, and people who want to get involved, it certainly can be.
How can you get involved? Here are a few resources to learn more and find projects near you. Looking for curriculum is Ecology and Conservation Contact Us.
Resources library at citizenscience.gov
citizenscience.org the power of citizen science
scistarter.com science we can do together
noaa.gov a resource for science data and hands on projects
inaturalist.org a community for naturalists
National Geographic Resource Library Citizen Science