What’s What: Citizen scientists are using science to address local and global problems. Want to help?

Amava Take: SciStarter, a research affiliate of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU, is the largest online database of searchable citizen science projects. Millions of people turn to SciStarter to find, join, and contribute to more than 3,000 searchable research projects in need of their help. Citizen scientists track their contributions to projects across websites and apps making SciStarter a data-rich research platform.

Questions and Answers:

What is citizen science?

Citizen science is collaborative research done by everyday people, anytime, anywhere, to help answer questions scientists can’t answer alone.

Why do scientists need help from regular people?

Scientists can’t be everywhere and they don’t know everything. That’s why they need you. You can help collect and share data and observations (for scientists who need data), or analyze online pictures or audio/video files (for scientists who have too much data). By following protocols, you can jump in and help answer questions they cannot answer without you.

How does SciStarter contribute to research?

SciStarter works with researchers at NC State University and Arizona State University to study patterns of participation in citizen science. When working with researchers and sharing data, SciStarter ensures that users’ personal information is protected. Of course, by connecting awesome participants like you to research projects in need of your help, SciStarter facilitates scientific research.

What kinds of projects can I help with?

Amava has set up a page on SciStarter just for you. You’re invited to participate in the projects featured on this page.  The projects include Alzheimer’s research, tree squirrel ecology, studying light pollution, dog and cat temperaments and more. If you’re new to “citizen science,” there is a self-guided “Introduction to Citizen Science” tutorial on this page.

Special Requirements: Just a computer, tablet or smartphone and whatever the individual project of your choice asks of you.

Setting it Up: Here you go, Amava Members, let’s contribute to science together!