Explore biodiversity around you

By cnickerson | October 10, 2019 8:53 am

Do you want to know more about the world around you?

iNaturalist allows anyone, anywhere to contribute to a global record of biodiversity by uploading pictures of plants and animals with their smartphone or computer. In a new podcast episode, co-host Justin Schell talks with Dr. Carrie Seltzer, the Stakeholder Engagement Strategist for iNaturalist, and with representatives and a volunteer from the Appalachian Mountain club.

Tip: add your iNaturalist username to your SciStarter dashboard, and you’ll get credit for your contributions.

Read More

AI-Powered, Smart Project Recommendations on SciStarter

By cnickerson | September 30, 2019 12:39 pm

Portions of this blog post are excerpted from the accompanying podcast episode and from notes shared between the SciStarter team and Kobi Gal’s research team.

Smart Project Recommendations on SciStarter

With thousands of projects listed on SciStarter, a main challenge can be finding the right project, one that really suits your needs and your interests. After meeting at a workshop on the Open Science of Learning hosting by CRI, Kobi Gal, a leading expert in human-centered artificial intelligence, and Darlene Cavalier, the founder of SciStarter, collaborated (with support from NESTA, a UK-based innovation foundation) to create a smart recommendation system to help SciStarter users find the right project. 

In a new podcast episode, Kobi and Na’ama Dayan, a graduate student at Ben Gurion University and a member of Kobi Gal’s research team, chat with Caroline Nickerson from the SciStarter team about the new system and how YOU can help us test it over the next few weeks. A transcript is available here.

Read More

Citizen Science Around the World

By lshell | September 22, 2019 10:09 am

Join the global movement.

Citizen science provides many ways to explore topics you are curious or concerned about, from anywhere in the world.

Find a project near you using the SciStarter Project Finder. Enable the “near me” feature to find local projects in need of your help.

Below, we highlight projects and outcomes from every continent.

The SciStarter Team

Read More

Citizen Science in Australia: Spotlight on Michelle Neil

By cnickerson | September 21, 2019 7:17 am

As the interviewer and the author of this post, I’ll reveal my bias now: meeting Michelle Neil, the secretary and social media moderator of the Australian Citizen Science Association, was a highlight of the Citizen Science Association’s conference for me. I’m an unabashed Michelle fan. She sat down with me this past March in Raleigh for a wide-ranging discussion of how she got into citizen science, citizen science in Australia, and her future plans for this work. Michelle wrote about her experience at the conference in this blog post. 

Michelle and I with our “citizen scientist” buttons! If you look closely, a small koala has also adopted my button as its new habitat.
Read More
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Education, Event

“How To” Become a Citizen Scientist in Minutes

By lshell | September 7, 2019 2:22 pm

Virtually join a SCUBA diver as she takes a fish survey. Watch scientists explain the goals of their research, how YOU can get involved, and what they’ll do with the data you collect. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the videos we feature below. You’ll discover how you can become a citizen scientist, in minutes!

Nature TV and WNET produced this video about citizen science and SciStarter, too. Find more citizen science project videos on SciStarter’s “How To” YouTube channel. If you’re a project leader, here are some tips on how to make a video for your project!

Read More
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, videos

Rhetoric and Citizen Science in a Digital World

By Guest | September 6, 2019 3:21 pm

Wynn, James. Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science, and Public Engagement. The University of Alabama Press, 2017. 224 pages. Paperback $US 24.95.

Citizen scientists have repeatedly faced resistance from skeptics questioning their experience, training, and ability, but recent technological advances have brought citizen science into the digital age, transforming many aspects of the process. This ranges from the experience of being involved in a project as a citizen scientist to implementing project design and communicating results as a practitioner.

James Wynn, in his 2017 book, Citizen Science in the Digital Age, investigates how researchers reach public audiences and how the public participates in scientific research in a modern context. Wynn employs astute rhetorical analysis to better understand the communication strategies and social outcomes of projects. Throughout, he emphasizes not only interactions between scientists and laypersons, but also the ways in which the digital environment shapes these interactions.

Read More
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Book Review, Citizen Science
MORE ABOUT: Book, digital, Technology

Project MartinRoost: A Scavenger Hunt in Your Backyard

By Guest | August 30, 2019 11:36 am

This post is part of a collaboration between SciStarter and Career in STEM, in which writers spotlight different citizen science projects, interview project leaders about their careers, and create educational content for teachers and students. This series is available on the Science Connected, Career in STEM, SciStarter, and Discover Magazine blog platforms. 


Project Profile

As the sun sinks low below the horizon and the crisp night air begins to descend, a miraculous sight can be seen in many areas across the continental United States. Hundreds of thousands of birds will suddenly appear at dusk, swarming in vast numbers as they move across the sky before quickly tucking their wings into their bodies and rapidly diving into their shared roost for the night. This behavior is characteristic of the Purple Martin, North America’s largest swallow species. Interest in this particular behavior is also what led to the founding of the Purple Martin Project, a conservation effort designed to help protect this bird species. 

Purple martins swarm at sunset before returning to their nightly roost Image credit: the Purple Martin Conservation Association
Purple martins swarm at sunset before returning to their nightly roost. Image credit: the Purple Martin Conservation Association
Read More
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment

Citizen Science Heads Back To School

By Guest | August 25, 2019 10:54 am

No matter what age you are, you can do real scientific research as a citizen scientist!

Below, SciStarter’s editors feature 10 great citizen science projects for formal and informal science learning settings.

Citizen science has been identified as an effective approach to support student learning in science by engaging students in the science practices as outlined by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

To learn more about integrating citizen science into your curriculum, onto your campus, and across your community, view the Citizen Science Association’s webinar featuring SciStarter Education, here. 

We wish everyone a phenomenal school year!

The SciStarter Team

Read More

Human Impact: Climate Change and Citizen Science

By cnickerson | August 19, 2019 7:35 pm

This blog post is an edited excerpt from Human Impacta new publication from Science Connected. Edited by Kate Stone and Shayna Keyles, Human Impact delivers 17 true tales of how humanity has changed the Earth, for better or for worse. This chapter appears in Human Impact as “Act Now: Engaging in Citizen Science,” and includes contributions from Caroline Nickerson, Kristin Butler, and Julia Travers.

Read More

Five ways your dog can do science. Woof!

By cnickerson | August 10, 2019 10:27 am

We’re in the dog days of summer, and National Dog Day is August 26.

You and your dog can celebrate by doing a little science together (that’s right!)…and help researchers in the process.

The SciStarter Team

Read More
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Newsletter
MORE ABOUT: dogs, pets

Citizen Science Salon

Scistarter logo

Citizen Science Salon, brought to you by SciStarter, is where science enthusiasts can join forces with top researchers. We'll feature weekly collaborative, crowdsourced, and DIY research projects that relate to what you're reading about in Discover, so you can take science into your own hands. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

See More


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar