NNLM Reading Club: Citizen Science

NNLM Reading Club: Citizen Science


Topic: Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing
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Citizen Science

Citizen science is research done by everyday people, anytime, anywhere, to help answer questions scientists can’t answer alone. In order to turn curiosity into impact, Citizen Science Month is recognized annually in April. 

Community libraries can serve as a hub for citizen science by mobilizing patrons to collect data and spread the word about their efforts, and participants can develop a deeper understanding of scientific and health literacy through their active involvement in the scientific process. The Library and Community Guide to Citizen Science PDF

SciStarter

Field Guide to Citizen Science book coverThe Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), a program of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), has expanded its partnership with SciStarter and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University to support Citizen Science Month. Visit scistarter.org/nlm to find projects to help your community explore the impact of the environment on everyone's health.

The Field Guide to Citizen Science: How You Can Contribute to Scientific Research and Make a Difference | Darlene Cavalier, Catherine Hoffman, and Caren Cooper | Timber Press | 2020 | 188 pages | ISBN 978-1604698473

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Science Literacy

PISA is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Programme for International Student Assessment. PISA measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. In 2015, PISA defined science literacy as the ability to engage with science-related issues, and with the ideas of science, as a reflective citizen. A scientifically literate person, therefore, is willing to engage in reasoned discourse about science and technology which requires the competencies to:

  1. Explain phenomena scientifically: Recognize, offer, and evaluate explanations for a range of natural and technological phenomena.
  2. Evaluate and design scientific inquiry: Describe and appraise scientific investigations and propose ways of addressing questions scientifically.
  3. Interpret data and evidence scientifically: Analyze and evaluate data, claims and arguments in a variety of representations and draw appropriate scientific conclusions (OECD 2016a, p. 7).

Citizen Science projects can improve scientific literacy.

CitizenScience.gov

CitizenScience.gov is an official government website designed to accelerate the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science across the U.S. government. The site provides a portal to three key components: a catalog of federally supported citizen science projects, a toolkit to assist federal practitioners with designing and maintaining their projects, and a gateway to a community of hundreds of citizen science practitioners and coordinators across government as called for in the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2016 (15 USC 3724). You can learn more about the activities of the Federal Community of Practice on Crowd Sourcing and Citizen Science in this two-page overview document.

Air Quality Monitoring for Citizen Science

The National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences has a mission to discover how the environment affects people in order to promote healthier lives. Take part in their mission.

Kids Environment Kids Health

Engage young citizen scientists with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) resource for kids, parents, and teachers to find fun and educational materials related to health, science, and the environment we live in today.

Book: Citizen Scientist
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

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Join Us for a Discussion of Citizen Science

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Discussion Guide for Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction 
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Book

Citizen Scientist Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction book cover

Award-winning writer Mary Ellen Hannibal has long reported on scientists’ efforts to protect vanishing species, but it was only through citizen science that she found she could take action herself. As she wades into tide pools, spots hawks, and scours mountains, she discovers the power of the heroic volunteers who are helping scientists measure—and even slow—today’s unprecedented mass extinction. Citizen science may be the future of large-scale field research—and our planet’s last, best hope.ebook icon Audio book icon

San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2016 | 2016 Nautilus Award winner in Ecology & Environment | 2017 Northern California Book Award finalist

Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction | Mary Ellen Hannibal | The Experiment | Reprint 2017 | 432 pages | ISBN: 978-1615193981

Author

Mary Ellen Hannibal is a long-time journalist focused on natural history and literature. She is a recipient of the National Association of Science Writer’s Science and Society Award, among other honors, and is currently a Stanford media fellow. Mary Ellen Hannibal’s work has appeared in The New York TimesSan Francisco ChronicleEsquire, and Elle, among many other outlets.

Official Website of Mary Ellen Hannibal

Book: The Crowd and the Cosmos
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NNLM Reading Club Book 

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

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Discussion Guide for The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse 
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Book

Crowd and the Cosmos book cover image

In this book, Chris Lintott describes the exciting discoveries that people all over the world have made, from galaxies to pulsars, exoplanets to moons, and from penguin behavior to old ship's logs. This approach builds on a long history of so-called "citizen science," given new power by fast internet and distributed data. Discovery is no longer the remit only of scientists in specialist labs or academics in ivory towers. It's something we can all take part in. As Lintott shows, it's a wonderful way to engage with science, yielding new insights daily. You, too, can help explore the Universe in your lunch hour.ebook icon Audio book icon

The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse | Chris Lintott | Oxford University Press | 2020 | 288 pages | ISBN: 978-0198842224

Author

Chris Lintott is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a research fellow at New College. As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team that runs the world's most successful citizen science projects, allowing more than a million people to discover planets, transcribe ancient papyri, or explore the Serengeti. For this work, he has received awards from the Royal Society, American Astronomical Society, and Institute of Physics among others. A passionate advocate of the public understanding of science, he is best known as co-presenter of the BBC's long-running Sky at Night program and the author, with Queen guitarist Brian May and Sir Patrick Moore, of two books (Bang!: The Complete History of the Universe (Carlton Books, 2007) and The Cosmic Tourist (Carlton Books, 2012), both available in more than 13 languages.

Official Website of Chris Lintott

Book: Diary of a Citizen Scientist
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NNLM Reading Club Book 

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information from this page.

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Discussion Guide for Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World
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Book

Diary of a Citizen Scientist book cover

Diary of a Citizen Scientist is a timely exploration of the exploding world of citizen science where hundreds of thousands of volunteers are monitoring climate change, tracking bird migration, finding stardust for NASA, and excavating mastodons. The story is told through the lens of nature writer Sharman Apt Russell’s yearlong study of a little-known species, the Western red-bellied tiger beetle. In a voice both humorous and lyrical, Russell recounts her persistent and joyful tracking of an insect she calls “charismatic,” “elegant,” and “fierce.” Patrolling the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico, collector’s net in hand, she negotiates the realities of climate change even as she celebrates the beauty of a still-wild and rural landscape.​

Winner 2016 John Burroughs Medal | 2015 WILLA Award Best Creative Nonfiction | Finalist 2015 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards

Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World | Sharman Apt Russell | Oregon State University Press | 2014 | 224 pages | ISBN: 978-0870717529

Author

Sharman Apt Russell headshot photo

Falling in love with the diversity of citizen science, Sharman Apt Russell participates in crowdsourcing programs that range from cataloging galaxies to monitoring the phenology of native plants. She applauds the growing role of citizen science in environmental activism and marvels at the profusion of projects around the world. Russell was born at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and settled in southern New Mexico. She is a professor emeritus in the Humanities Department at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, where she teaches writing for graduate students. Russell received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and her B.S. in Conservation and Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.

Official Website of Sharman Apt Russell

Article

Reading icon imageIt's a Fair Question: Why Do I Do Citizen Science? by Sharman Apt Russell. Citizen Science Center

Listen icon imageScience Committed by Talented Amateurs by Geoffrey Riley and Emily Cureton. The Jefferson Exchange Program. August 19, 2016