Margie Sheppard – Technology Coordinator
Citizen Science joins the general public with the scientific community in creating a collaborative relationship to increase scientific knowledge. All kinds of people can take part in citizen science projects by collecting and sharing data. The possibilities are endless, and the contributions are immense!
NLM and NIH have made Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science (CCS) a priority area for NNLM. Using citizen science and crowdsourcing as a vehicle, NNLM can involve communities in societal needs and accelerating biomedical science, technology, and innovation. In 2019, NNLM and SciStarter joined forces to promote Citizen Science in libraries with a goal of increasing awareness of citizen science in communities across the U.S. and to help people understand how the environment affects their health.
In 2020, the daylong event was expanded to a monthlong celebration! Citizen Science Month is celebrated annually in April to bring attention to the exciting and fascinating work members of the public are doing to advance scientific research. Projects range from simple to complex, big or small, done inside or out, engage technology or not! COVID-19 has altered some of the ways people take part in some projects, but many activities can be done from the comfort of home. The good news is you don’t need to wait for April to get started. Take time to explore the possibilities as we settle into the winter months.
Need some inspiration and ideas? Check out these places:
Start with the SciStarter/NLM partner gateway. You can find a variety of projects that help scientist answer questions about human and environmental health. SciStarter/NLM.
Contribute to science by connecting to iNaturalist. Record your observations, share with fellow naturalists and discuss what you found. Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science! iNaturalist
Browse and join hundreds of projects on any topic at Zooniverse.org/projects.
Join the Christmas Bird Count! For information on how to take part go to Audubon’s 121st Christmas Bird Count.
Take advantage of the winter months participate in citizen science. This is an opportunity to participate in science and advance actual research. Go to the NNLM Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science website to learn more!