Citizen Science/class

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Citizen science involves the public in the generation of scientific knowledge. With a new professional society and an emerging journal, citizen science has reached a stage of explosive growth with new opportunities for citizen scientists appearing weekly. This course is open to graduate students from any discipline but might be of greatest interest to those in the sciences and education. Topics will include, but are not limited to, project typologies, best practices, project evaluation, user motivations, broadening participant diversity, and data quality. Both onsite and online engagement will be discussed. Additional information can be found in the blog post.

Course Objectives

This course will introduce participants to the field of citizen science. Citizen science covers many aspects of public participation in scientific research and these will be explored through class discussion of shared readings, guest lectures by (and conversations with) experts in the field, explorations and assessments of existing projects, development of a 1-page methods section for engaging citizen scientists in a student's research, and a field trip. Practical considerations of citizen science will be discussed within the broader context of developed and emerging practices in the field. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to (1) evaluate and develop citizen science projects, (2) integrate the work of citizen scientists into their own research, and (3) be conversant in the latest citizen science literature and topics.

Course Information

This course is being taught at FSU, King Life Science Building, Room 4009, Wednesdays 4-5pm through April 22 with the exception of March 11.

Concurrently, it is also being offered at UF, iDigBio Building 105, Room 310, every Wednesday with the exception of March 4.

Remote participation is available via Adobe Connect.

Webinar recordings

Four experts in the field gave presentations over AdobeConnect: Greg Newman, David Bonter, Tina Phillips, and Laura Whyte. Recordings of their webinars are available upon request. Email Libby Ellwood ( or Austin Mast ( to receive a link to the recording.


Bonney, R., et al. 2014. Next steps for citizen science. Science 343: 1436–7.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Citizen Science Toolkit (

Dickinson, J. L., B. Zuckerberg, and D. N. Bonter. 2010. Citizen science as an ecological research tool: challenges and benefits. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 41: 149–72.

Dickinson, J.L., J. Shirk, D. Bonter, R. Bonney. R.L. Crain, J. Martin, T. Phillips, and K. Purcell. 2012. The current state of citizen science as a tool for ecological research and public engagement. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 291–295

Miller-Rushing, A., R. Primack, and R. Bonney. 2012. The history of public participation in ecological research. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 285–290.

Newman G., A. Wiggins, A. Crall, E. Graham, S. Newman, and K. Crowston. 2012. The future of citizen science: emerging technologies and shifting paradigms. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2012 10:6, 298–304

Shirk, J. L., et al. 2012. Public participation in scientific research: a framework for deliberate design. Ecology and Society 17: 29.

Wiggins, A., et al. 2013. Data Management Guide for Public Participation in Scientific Research. DataONE Public Participation in Scientific Research Working Group.

Projects at,, and