Summer 2017

Newsletter Archive


Lessons Learned from the Citizen Science Association Conference

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The 2nd biannual Citizen Science Association (CSA) conference was held in St. Paul, Minnesota from May 17-20, 2017 and was attended by a strong contingent of professionals practicing in the field of citizen science (CitSci). Miistakis was proud to have three of their staff members attend and present on a variety of topics on the practice of CitSci. Danah Duke with Krista Tremblett, Indigenous and Citizen Science Program Lead, Environmental Monitoring, Alberta Environment and Parks, presented a talk on barriers and strategies to accelerate the use of citizen science by government agencies. Tracy Lee presented a talk on the role of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) in Advancing Citizen Science. And Holly Kinas presented a poster on the Quality Control Considerations for Public Engagement in Urban Biodiversity Monitoring. Some of the highlights from the conference include:

  1. An inspiring joint presentation from Dr. Marc Edwards from Virginia Tech and Lee Anne Walters, a Flint Michigan citizen demonstrating the power of integrating science and citizen engagement to overcome an environmental disaster in Flint Michigan
  2. Lessons learned from practitioners in the Environmental Protection Agency, United States Geological Survey, NASA and US Fish and Wildlife on enabling citizen science in the Federal Government. These talks provided important lessons that can inform government agencies in Alberta to advance the use of citizen science.
  3. Confirmation of big societal trends including smart cities, citizen science, and big data challenges which has led to an increase in urban citizen science programming.
  4. An opportunity to talk with several Zooniverse staff to discuss people powered research via their new project builder platform. Zooniverse is an incredible on-line portal that enables crowd-sourcing of large volumes of scientific data (check out Chimp and See). These folks gave us much needed advice as we advance an urban citizen science wildlife monitoring project in the City of Calgary.