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Citizen science

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  • More than half the world’s population lives in cities.3 out of every 4 people living in cities have never seen the Milky Way galaxy arch across a dark, starry sky.How do you convince them that light pollution is washing out a natural and cultural heritage that has inspired mankind for millenia?LP is affecting more than our right to see a starry night sky.30% of outdoor lighting escapes upwards into space as wasted energy at a cost of a couple of billion dollars each year in the US.Too much light at night disrupts our circadian rhythm, causing sleeping disorders. Aging eyes are affected by glare.The habits and habitats of animals are deeply affected by light pollution (e.g., migrating birds and hatching sea turtles).
  • More than half the world’s population lives in cities.3 out of every 4 people living in cities have never seen the Milky Way galaxy arch across a dark, starry sky.How do you convince them that light pollution is washing out a natural and cultural heritage that has influence mankind for millenia?In addition, 30% of outdoor lighting escapes upwards into space as wasted energy at a cost of a couple of billion dollars each year in the US.Too much light at night disrupts our circadian rhythm, causing sleeping disorders. Aging eyes are affected by glare.The habits and habitats of animals are deeply affected by light pollution (e.g., migrating birds and hatching sea turtles).And we are quickly losing our right to see a starry night sky.
  • For instance there is background information on what a magnitude is and how to find Orion, Leo and the Southern Cross (Crux) – the constellations used in the campaign.
  • Two-thirds of the survey respondents and 81% of their students who participated in the GLOBE at Night citizen-science campaign made changes in their personal use of light or light fixtures in their homes. Changes included changing fixtures, turning off outside lights/reducing light usage overall, changing to more energy efficient lights, utilizing motion sensors to reduce light use, being an advocate and educating others about light usage, becoming involved in policy/talking to officials to make changes and becoming more aware of community lighting. All but one respondent indicated that they believed that engaging students in GLOBE at Night activities increased their understanding of light pollution.
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    • 1. How to Run an EffectiveCitizen Science ActivityEileen Kane, Communications Director, Desert Rivers Audubon,Eileen.Kane@DesertRiversAudubon.orgMike McBeath, Department of Psychology, Arizona StateUniversity, m.m@asu.eduRobert McCord, Arizona Museum of NaturalHistory, Robert.McCord@mesaaz.govEric M. Proctor, Wildlife Education Coordinator,Arizona Game and Fish Department ,EProctor@azgfd.govConstance E. Walker, Senior Science EducationSpecialist, NOAO, cwalker@noao.eduSummer Waters, Water Resource Extension Agent,University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County,swaters@cals.arizona.edu#CitizenScience
    • 2. Citizen Science: “The systematic collection and analysis of data; development oftechnology; testing of natural phenomena; and the dissemination of these activitiesby researchers on a primarily avocational basis,“ or "public participation in scientificresearch.“ OpenScientist.orgOwlWatch volunteers from Desert RiversAudubon monitor the artificial urbanburrowing owl habitat installation atZanjero Park, Gilbert. Christmas BirdCount, December 14, 2012-
    • 3. in ArizonaeBird data for Lucy’s Warblersightings, South Central AZ.November-April, $15, research kit.
    • 4. Running an EffectiveCitizen Science StudyMichael K. McBeathDepartment of Psychology and adjunct inNeuroscience / Kinesiology / Electrical Engineering / Arts, Media, and EngineeringMike erroneouslyassumes that doing askateboarding studywill make peoplethink that he’s cool.
    • 5. Popular Misconceptions of How Science Works
    • 6. Best Practices of Science Studies at Public Events1. Keep it simple, only test simple, straight hypotheses2. Pick an interesting topic or no one will help facilitate3. Get permission from all institutions and participants (IRB & consent)4. Don’t compromise scientific integrity, but otherwise “go with the flow”5. Be ethical, the reputations of you, the institutions, and science are at stake
    • 7. Definition of Science:Study of the lawful behavior of natural phenomenaStrong scientific research requires the following (OPTIC):ObservationPredictionTestingInterpretationCommunicationScience typically requires a Control Comparison“There are three types of people in the world,those that can count and those that can’t.”
    • 8. Kissers favor leaning rightRight-Handers and Americans Favor Heading RightGüntürkün, O. (2003). Adult persistence ofhead turning asymmetry, Nature, 421, 711.Scharine, A.A. & McBeath. M.K. (2002). Right handers and Americansfavor turning to the right. Human Factors, 44(1), 248-256.Walk down aisle andindicate color of stickynote hidden at the end.Testing Kids at theRenaissance Fair
    • 9. Does pre-swinging a weighted baseball batincrease bat speed at the plate?Collecting data at the SciTech/Scottsdale2012 Science of Baseball Festival(Richard Hinrichs and Michael McBeath)1. Volunteer subjects overwhelmingly believed theyswung faster following practice with weighted bats.2. Speedgun results indicated reliably slower initialswings following weighted bat practice (several mph).
    • 10. Best Practices of Science Studies at Public Events1. Keep it simple, only test simple, straight hypotheses2. Pick an interesting topic or no one will help facilitate3. Get permission from all institutions and participants (IRB & consent)4. Don’t compromise scientific integrity, but otherwise “go with the flow”5. Be ethical, the reputations of you, the institutions, and science are at stake
    • 11. STARTFINISH020406080ClassSkatSurvSkatBehaRandomChance27%61%76%ClassSurveySkateboardSurveySkateboardBehaviorPercent Choosing Correct RouteWhich route is faster, red or blue?Skateboarder Physics Study
    • 12. Route Histograms(With children’s maze scaled to match the adult size)MazeStartMazeExitRaceEnd-Line1’3’5’7’-1’-3’-5’-7’8’2’StraightRouteMeanRouteAdultsChildren 11 AngularDeviationThese extreme cases exhibitover 50 Angular DeviationR2=0.2171024681012141601234567Series1-5 -3 -1 1 3 52 71614121086420TimetoCompletion(sec.)Maze Curvature (Deviation in Feet)Time as a Function of CurvTime minima occursat curvature 2.1’(15.0 )The optimum curvature for minimizingtask time occurs near the averagecurvature preference(Best quadratic fit for task time vs.curvature, averaging left and right maze trials)R2 = 0.297McBeath, Brimhall, Miller, &Holloway (2010). Journal ofVision, 10(7): 1021.
    • 13. Difficulty Gleaning Much Without a Comparison Condition
    • 14. Dr. McBeath – Certified Mad Scientist
    • 15. • Allow for different levels of participation by a wide variety ofaudiences.• Grab people’s interest (plus no cost; require minimal time).• Be something people can feel a part of – contributing value to alarger database.• Be well-structured; easy to use, web-based to reach largeaudiences.• Provide feedback on contributed measurements (e.g, map ofworld that’s easily accessible).• Be available to multiple venues (formal & informal) & amenable todifferent types of learners.• Be evaluated regularly to know what works and what does not.A Successful CitizenScience Campaign Must…
    • 16. Citizen Science andGLOBE at NightConnie WalkerNational Optical Astronomy ObservatoryTucson, AZSept 10, 2012 1AZ Science Festival
    • 17. GLOBE at Night Campaign• Citizen-scientists record the brightness of the night sky; online• Grown to five 10-day campaigns/yr: Jan.-May 2013 (no Moon)• 2012: 16,850 measurements; 83,000 in 7 yrs• 2012: 92 countries participated; 115 different countries total• 2012: 40% USA; 25% Europe; 35% other• 55% have limiting magnitude 3 or 4 in 2012; trend getting brighter
    • 18. GLOBE at Night Websitehttp://www.globeatnight.org• 5 step citizen science program –simple to participate• Background information on keyconcepts• Interactive games• Fun quizzes to check proficiency• Teacher and Family Guides in 16different languages• Postcards, flyers en español también!• Report page turn-key: web app• Map page with data in various formats• Mapping tool: map app• Facebook, Twitter, audio podcasts• Kits, scaffolded lesson plans
    • 19. Dark Skies EducationWorkshops, Classroom andEvening Sessions, and Kit
    • 20. Overview of Survey Results fromthe GLOBE at Night Campaign• Two-thirds of the educators and 81% oftheir students made changes in theirpersonal use of light and fixtures in theirhomes since participating in the GLOBE atNight citizen-science campaign.• Changes included…..• All but one respondent indicated thatengaging students in GLOBE at Nightincreased their understanding of lightpollution.
    • 21. Simple Report FormCloudinessTablet/PadCellPhoneDesktop/LaptopMeasurements• are downloadable as datasets in various formats• can be examined online via Google Earth or other tools• used as the basis of research in a classroom or science fairproject or even to inform the development of public policy
    • 22. Educational ValueGLOBE at Night DataWith the downloadable data sets,• Compare data over time• Compare to population density• Compare with photography orspectroscopy• Use in a lighting survey• Search for dark sky oases• Monitor ordinance compliance• Study effects of light pollution on– human health, animals or plants– safety, security, energyconsumption, cost Tucson, Arizona
    • 23. Projects Done by StudentsHigh school studentswith amateurastronomers fromNorman, OklahomaElementary & middleschool students nearSouth Bend, IN
    • 24. GLOBE at Night 2013During the Arizona SciTech Festival, Arizona towns will be challenged to competein the GLOBE at Night campaign using the “adopt-a-street” method. The Arizonatown with the most measurements gets a star party from GLOBE at Night staff.

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