(also referred to as Community Science)
As scientists find ways to solve important, global issues, it has become increasingly apparent that scientists alone cannot cover every detail involved in scientific research. Enter Citizen Science: a collaboration between scientists and everyday people who are just curious or concerned and motivated to make a difference in our world.
What is Citizen Science?
Citizen science involves participants from all walks of life and all ages (depending on the project). Because of this, there is so much to offer youth and educators in regards to making STEM learning accessible, relevant, and meaningful.
There are four common features of citizen science practice: 1) anyone can participate, 2) participants use the same protocol so data can be combined and be high quality, 3) data can help real scientists come to real conclusions and 4) a wide community of scientists and volunteers work together and share data to which the public, as well as scientists, have access.
How can you get involved?
There are a number of citizen science projects that cover a vast array of fields including: ecology, astronomy, medicine, computer science, statistics, psychology, genetics, engineering and many more. Each project differs in the amount of time that participants commit to the project, and the method to which citizen scientists conduct the research varies. Projects can be hands-on (in person) and/or digital (remote).
Resources for Citizen Science Projects:
Insights’ Citizen Science, Civics, and Resilient Communities (CSCRC) Project:
Through funding awarded by NOAA and in partnership with the Museum of Science, the CSCRC project will study the impacts of extreme heat through citizen science in the El Paso region.
- Using ISeeChange we are asking our El Paso community to help us gather data and their experiences with extreme heat from May 1 – Sept. 30.
- Community observations and data will be shared with city resilience planners and used to help plan a course of action on how to mitigate extreme heat in El Paso – creating green spaces (parks), for example, that can help cool vulnerable communities.
- Anyone can participate (kids and adults). For more details and instructions on how to make observations: Visit our informational brochures
1) Join our project by filling out this form
2) Sign up for a SciStarter Account: [here]
3) Download ISeeChange from:
*Be sure to use the same email address for both SciStarter and ISeeChange
4) Make observations 2-3 times per week
Join the National Forum:
Participants are invited to attend a national virtual forum hosted by the Museum of Science on July 7, 3:30-5:30pm MST where you can explore the social, economic, and environmental impacts of extreme heat, work with others to recommend resilience strategies, and learn how you can help inform scientists.
Click [HERE] for more information on the forum.
City Nature Challenge
An international effort for people to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. Participate in El Paso’s 2021 City Nature Challenge [here]
One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Learn more [here]
A globally acclaimed, online citizen science hub where more than 3,000 projects, searchable by location, topic, age level, etc, have been registered by individual project leaders or imported through partnerships with federal governments, NGOs, and universities. Learn more [here]