4-H and Citizen Science Basics


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This hour-long webinar introduces citizen science and opportunities for citizen science programming in 4-H contexts. It offers an overview of the wide diversity of citizen science projects (from astronomy to zoonotic diseases), outlines different participation opportunities (one-day events through individual inquiry), shares examples of what peers are doing across 4-H settings, and provides links to resources for getting started.

The webinar is a collaboration between 4-H experts in STEM and Youth Development (Nancy Schaff, NY; Jay Staker, IO; and Trudy Dunham, MN) and staff from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Jennifer Shirk, Ileana Betancourt, and Jennifer Fee).

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  • ILEANA: Quick WebEx orientation. Mention polls (just for fun). Q&A box vs. chat.
  • With funding from the Noyce Foundation, we have been working this year to specifically learn how to support citizen science in 4-H contexts. We have been working very closely with Nancy Schaff to run a pilot project primarily in New York, and many of you may have also just taken part in a national survey we conducted. And, by connecting with other people in 4-H who have already thought a lot about citizen science - like Trudy and Jay, as well as Jim Kahler at NIFA and folks at National 4-H Council, we are exploring the most promising pathways for supporting robust citizen science programming throughout 4-H. I suspect that some of you on this call may already be quite involved with citizen science, while some of you are excited to learn how to get started – part of our goal today is to open a conversation among all of us, so let’s dive in!
  • This can happen across a wide range of project types, in just about any research context you could think of. This is just a small selection – birds, stars, insects, water quality… all outdoors to all online… a one-time observation to an ongoing investigation. Projects offer ready-made research opportunities, generally with training materials and sometimes even with curriculum activities to support learning or even inquiry.
  • Dave Francis, Utah State University. 4-H partnership with elementary schools across Southern Utah.
  • Matthew Portillo – Determining Intestinal Parasites
  • 4-H and Citizen Science Basics

    1. 1. “I think this was a very fun project. We got to go outside and work hands on. I think it is a lot easier to learn when you get to do things yourself.” (8th grader) As you join, please mute phones and computer microphones for best audio quality. Thanks!
    2. 2. Cornell Lab of Ornithology 4-H & Citizen Science Jennifer Shirk CitizenScience.org Ileana Betancourt K-12, BirdSleuth 4-H/Cooperative Extension Nancy Schaff Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development State STEM Specialist Jay Staker Extension – Science, Engineering & Technology Iowa State University Trudy Dunham Extension Center for Youth Development University of Minnesota
    3. 3. WebEx Orientation
    4. 4. Mission: To interpret and conserve the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.
    5. 5. CitizenScience.org inquiry-based curriculum on birds
    6. 6. Citizen Science The engagement of volunteers and professionals in collaborative research to generate new science-based knowledge.
    7. 7. Citizen Science Members of the public engaging in real-world scientific investigations: asking questions, collecting data, and/or interpreting results.
    8. 8. It’s learning… In the Monarch Larvae Monitoring Program, youth “bond” over loving science! (Kountoupes and Oberhauser 2008) Photo, MLMP photo gallery
    9. 9. … and it’s real science! Monarch data predict ideal breeding conditions will be found further north in the future. (Batalden et al. 2007)
    10. 10. Existing Projects
    11. 11. What can youth do in citizen science? Define a question/issue Gather information Develop explanations Design data collection methods Collect samples Analyze samples Analyze data Interpret data/conclude Disseminate conclusions Discuss results/inquire further Bonney et al. 2009. CAISE Inquiry Group Report.
    12. 12. Potential benefits of Citizen Science to 4H SET/STEM Civic Engagement Why? Youth Inquiry Investigations Getting Youth Outdoors Youth Technology Experience Connections to Research 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Citizen Science topics Astronomy Other How? Weather Human Health Geography Agriculture Environmental Quality Natural Resources 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
    13. 13. • youth in 36 Utah elementary schools • plant tulips and monitor bloom times for Journey North project photo courtesy of Utah State University Extension 4-H photo courtesy of Utah State University Extension 4-H • 4-H and Junior Master Gardener partnership VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qepQNKDZKRo Utah State University TULIP JOURNEY NORTH
    14. 14. • small group of youth • partner with a University scientist • choose experiment: • system • medium • cover crop • advance knowledge for urban agriculture Photo: Steve Wagoner, U of Illinois Metro 4-H Youth Development Educator 4-H Special Interest Club, East St. Louis, Illinois GROWING AND ACCESSING ADEQUATE FOOD TO PREVENT HUNGER
    15. 15. • capacity building for adults to lead inquiry-based activities with youth • youth conduct their own experiments by collecting and/or accessing data from these projects Photo, MLMP photo gallery • groups have the opportunity to share their research with other D2D groups from around the country VIDEO: http://mediamill.cla.umn.edu/mediamill/embed/196984 University of Minnesota DRIVEN TO DISCOVER
    16. 16. What does Citizen Science provide for 4-H youth? Potential benefits of Citizen Science to 4H SET/STEM Civic Engagement Youth Inquiry… Getting Youth… Youth Technology… Connections to… 0 20 40 60 80
    17. 17. 4-H Conversation: A rich history of citizen science 4-H Origins: Taking the University research to the community through youth Canning Clubs: Food Preservation 1912, Marius Malgren, Hickory, VA 4-H Today: Citizen Science serving community and youth Youth using GIS for research with FWS Sites
    18. 18. INQUIRY??? Conclusions and next steps Data collection and analysis Designing a study Involvement of youth in the research process Designing data collection methods/protocols Developing explanations or testing hypotheses Gathering background information Defining the question or issue None Interpreting data from charts/graphs/maps Analyzing data (crunching numbers) Analyzing samples or classifying objects Recording observations and collecting data A few About half Most All Refining the question for future research Acting on conclusions Discussing conclusions with broader community Drawing conclusions 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% (Already involved)
    19. 19. Potential needs for making Citizen Science successful for 4H Help evaluating learning outcomes Access to technology or equipment Direct connections to teachers Help finding appropriate projects Curriculum materials Help getting youth interested Funding Training for 4H staff and volunteers 0 10 20 30 40 Number of responses for each potential need 50 60
    20. 20. Resources for getting started: CitizenScience.org SciStarter.com
    21. 21. VISION: Supporting a community of practice for citizen science in 4-H and other youth development contexts.
    22. 22. Upcoming webinars: Taking it Local : Making more of research than just data collection Engaging the Community : From data to decision-making inquiry-based curriculum on birds
    23. 23. Jennifer Shirk Website: citizenscience.org Twitter: @citscicentral Email: JLS223@cornell.edu BirdSleuth Twitter: @birdsleuth Facebook: BirdSleuth Website: www.birdsleuth.org Email: birdsleuth@cornell.edu