Return to

Newsletter

Sign up and stay in-the-know about The Crowd & The Cloud and the world of citizen science.
* indicates required

#CrowdCloudLIVE After each episode's WORLD premiere in April, show host, producer, and people seen on the show participated in post-premiere roundtable discussions. Viewers like you listened in, asked questions, and were able to dive deeper into the power of Citizen Science.

Watch the recorded Facebook Live events now. Discover more about how Citizen Science is revolutionizing the ways we gather, analyze, and utilize the data that fuels scientific research, discovery, and community action.

Find your local station and showtimes here, or go to:
Aptonline.org

[

Citsci Calendar

]

November 2017

Credit: GCM Facebook
Nov
2
PAILS FOR COMPARISON Global Community Monitor

Global Community Monitor (GCM) is an environmental justice and human rights non profit that empowers industrial communities to recreate a clean healthy and truly sustainable environment.

... READ MORE
Image courtesy of SciStarter
Nov
9
BUCKETS AND GUMBO Louisiana Bucket Brigade

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is a 501(c)(3) environmental health and justice organization working with communities that neighbor the state's oil refineries and chemical plants. We use grassroots action to create an informed, healthy society that hastens the transition from fossil fuels. Louisiana is a healthy, prosperous, pollution free and just state where people and the environment are valued over profit.

... READ MORE
Image courtesy of SciStarter
Nov
13
LEADING ON LEAD Philly Unleaded

We launched the Philly Unleaded Project to obtain more precise information about lead levels in our tap water than currently required by law. Households interested in participating in the testing will be sent a kit. The water is sent to Virginia Tech for testing - the same lab used to uncover the Flint water crisis. Results will be shared publicly (but anonymously) with news media, Philadelphia Water and residents who participated.

... READ MORE
Image courtesy of SciStarter
Nov
17
A SEISMIC ACTIVITY Quake-Catcher Network

The Quake-Catcher Network provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes. It links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the world’s largest and densest earthquake monitoring system. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others.

... READ MORE
Image courtesy of SciStarter
Nov
20
SLEEPING BEAUTIES Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count

The Western Monarch Count is an annual effort of volunteer citizen scientists to collect data on the status of monarch populations along the California coast during the overwintering season, which occurs from approximately October through March. The height of this volunteer effort occurs during the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, which runs for three weeks surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday.

... READ MORE
Credit: BLM
Nov
22
TO CAP IT OFF Mushroom Observer

Mushroom Observer is a website where you can record observations about mushrooms, help people identify mushrooms they aren’t familiar with, and expand the community around the scientific exploration of mushrooms. This site is intended to address gaps by creating a place for us to talk about and record what we’ve found, as well as connect to the existing literature about mushrooms. Everyone is welcome!

... READ MORE
Credit: Marta Corcacas
Nov
24
NERDS FOR BIRDS Project FeederWatch

Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch.

... READ MORE
Credit: OpenROV
Nov
28
TREASURE ROVE OpenROV

The OpenROV community is exploring shipwrecks, finding ancient Mayan pottery, spotting elusive sea creatures, exploring lakes, hunting for buried treasure, observing pollution in metropolitan rivers, and inspiring thousands to explore.

... READ MORE

CitSci
History

Pre-History

Vivid cave paintings of nature and ancient lifestyles show our early ancestors paid careful attention to the world around them.

384 - 322 BC

Science and “natural philosophy” were one and the same in Aristotle’s time. He was a “gentleman amateur”, fascinated by weather, animals and just about everything in his environment.

8th Century

Courtiers in Japan record observations of when cherry trees blossom. Those historic records are now used in 21st Century scientific publications, demonstrating altered springtime phenology due to climate change.

1086

The Domesday Book is created through “crowdsourced” local knowledge on wildlife in lands surveyed across England. Although originally intended for tax purposes, the information becomes an important database of natural observations.

14th Century

French vintners carefully record temperature and humidity. Their data generated is used in 21st Century publications demonstrating the climate influences of North Atlantic Oscillations.

1769

Amateur observers around the globe are commissioned by The Royal Society of London, along with Navy Captain James Cook, to view the Transit of Venus across the Sun. From details on the timing of the Transit from different places on Earth, scientists are able to calculate the size of our Solar System.

1776 - 1816

Thomas Jefferson records the weather over a period of more than 40 years, providing an unbroken catalogue of observations. He is considered one of the “Founding Fathers of Citizen Science” in North America, along with another weather geek, Ben Franklin.

1833

Utilizing citizen-generated newspaper reports, Denison Olmsted of Yale crowdsources meteor observations.

1835

Volunteers in the “Great Tide Experiment” record tide levels every 15 minutes for two weeks! Coordinated by Cambridge polymath, William Whewell, participants on both sides of the Atlantic and all around the world monitor over 650 tidal stations. Whewell wins a Royal Medal for his research based on the data gathered by the experiment.

1840

Naval officer, Matthew Maury, later known as the “Father of Oceanography”, crowdsources wind and current information. By speaking to sailors from multiple nations, he creates charts that make sailing safer and faster for all.

1884

The “Lighthouse Keeper Survey” is begun by the newly formed American Ornithologist’s Union. However, the keepers use colloquial rather than scientific names for the birds they observe, making their data largely unusable to the scientific community.

1890 - Now

U.S. Congress establishes The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) which sets up stations around America for volunteers to contribute observations. This citizen sourced data forms the basis of the National Climatic Data Center.

1900 - Now

The annual Christmas Bird Count is founded by dedicated birder Frank Chapman, and continues today through The Audubon Society. Every year around Christmas volunteers follow set protocols for counting birds in a specified “circle.” The CBC is one of the longest running citizen science programs in the United States, and now extends internationally to other countries

1946

Ship lieutenants give researcher George H. Lowery Jr., observations from their ocean voyages. He uses these data in a ground-breaking study on trans-Gulf bird migration.

1950s

The Insect Migration Association is founded by zoologists Nora and Fred Urquhart, which evolves into today’s Monarch Watch. Volunteer naturalists and butterfly lovers capture, tag, and release monarchs, contributing to a dataset that’s invaluable to researchers.

1952

In an effort to count migrating birds, George H. Lowery Jr. organizes astronomers to provide their observations of traveling birds as they pass in front of the moon.

1962

Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” is published, sparking the beginning of the U.S. Environmental Movement. Two citizen science projects, The Breeding Bird Survey (which continues to this day) and Nest Record Cards (which later becomes NestWatch), begin in 1966/67.

1970

On the heels of “Silent Spring,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is legislated into existence.

1975

A lone, tagged monarch butterfly (see 1950 entry) is spotted in the mountains of Mexico, delivering the first solid evidence of the North American migration.

1976

The Ontario Bird Feeder Program begins, which develops into today’s “Project Feederwatch.”

1990

The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project is founded, dedicated to the conservation of milkweed plants-essential butterfly habitat-and monarch populations.

1994

Following the dawn of the Internet, the first web-based citizen science project, “Community Internet Intensity Map” initiated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is born. This project later becomes “Did You Feel It?”, which continues today.

1995

Alan Irwin, a University of London Professor, coins the term “Citizen Science” to describe the contributions of everyday people doing environmental monitoring as complementary to scientific research.

1995

The term “Citizen Science” is coined by Professor Alan Irwin, of the University of London. It’s meant to describe the contributions of everyday people doing environmental monitoring complementary to scientific research.

1995

In that same year, Rick Bonney, of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, starts using the same term. Multiple citizen science projects are initiated by the CLO to involve birders and nature enthusiasts in scientific research.

1998

The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) is founded to monitor dead seabirds in an effort to measure marine ecosystem health (see Episode 4, Related Projects).

1999

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) establishes its SETI@Home project with the aim of discovering life outside in our solar system and beyond. It’s the first distributed computing volunteer network, recruiting over 1.5 million users as of January 2015.

2000

Neighborhood Nestwatch is initiated by the Smithsonian.

2001

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology initiates the eBird website, encouraging professional birders and amateur citizen scientists alike, to record their observations of birds in the field (see Episode 4 Related Projects and web video).

2002

The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BIONC) deploys its volunteer and grid computing endeavor, creating a platform for distributed applications like SETI@Home (see Episode 3 Related Projects).

2007

“Celebrate Urban Birds” is born, with the goal of reaching diverse urban audiences and involving them in scientific discoveries.

2007

First cross-disciplinary meeting of citizen project leaders took place at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (funded by the NSF), resulting in a Toolkit for project design and leading to the idea for a Citizen Science Association.

2008

When oaks began dying mysteriously in the United States, the NSF-NIH-USDA Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Program implored residents in the San Francisco Bay area to report outbreaks of disease. The data collected by volunteers contributed to a predictive model which led to new findings about Sudden Oak Death.

2008

The online puzzle-game FoldIt is released, inviting the public to devise innovative solutions to protein folding possibilities for medical research.

2008

iNaturalist is released for birders, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts to record their observations online.

2010

The Bellybutton Biodiversity Project pops up, revealing data about the diverse world of bacteria in human bellybuttons.

2010 - 2011

“SciStarter”, a massive, and expanding database of citizen science projects, evolves out of “Science For Citizens”. The project finder application functions to connect a growing number of volunteers with personalized project options based on preferences like location or age group.

2011

A series of projects called “Your Wild Life” is initiated which later transforms into “Students Discover”, lesson plans for students from K-12.

2012

Portland, Oregon, hosts the first conference on “Public Participation in Scientific Research,” establishing a professional network for practitioners and academics now known as the U.S. Citizen Science Association.

2013

Federal Community of Practice on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science is established.

2013

The Executive Branch of government enacts The Second National Action Plan, leading to the Open Innovation Toolkit, and encouraging Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing programs.

2013

The Obama Administration enacts its Second National Action Plan, leading to the “Open Innovation Toolkit,” which encourages local, regional, and national Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing programs.

2014

The European and Australian Citizen Science Associations are established.

2014

The European (ECSA) and Australian Citizen Science Associations (ACSA) are established.

2015

The White House hosts an event to celebrate Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing, and unveils the new Federal Toolkit.

2015

The White House hosts an event to celebrate Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing, unveiling its new, user-friendly application the Federal Toolkit. President Obama’s Science Advisor, and the heads of NSF, NOAA and AAAS, address citizen scientists from across the nation.

2015

The bipartisan “Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2015” is introduced by Senator Coons (D-DE) and Steve Daines (R-MT).

2016

The White House launches www.citizenscience.gov, with resources for federal employees including the Federal Catalog.

2016

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issues a Memorandum on Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing, and the NSF establishes a priority area for Public Participation in Scientific Research.

2016

The White House launches www.citizenscience.gov for federal employees. It’s an innovative and inclusive website with resources like the Federal Catalogue created in 2015, designed to empower users.

2016

The Citizen Science Association (CSA) launches the first issue of its journal, “Citizen Science: Theory & Practice”.

2017

SciStarter 2.0 debuts with a new and improved project finder, encompassing some 1,600 citizen science projects.

2017

THE CROWD & THE CLOUD premieres on public television!