A monthly newsletter with links to upcoming and past events related to open innovation.
Featured on FEMA.gov homepage and available on FEMA PrepTalk website.Dr. Sophia B Liu shares her journey in studying the use of social media in disasters since 2005 with Professor Leysia Palen, researching the use of citizen science to inform earthquakes and coastal hazard models at
Check out the YouTube Video and Discussion Materials which includes COVID-19 Open Innovation Resources.
), and helping to initiate the FEMA Crowdsourcing Unit at the National Response Coordination Center with Chris Vaughan and Emily Martuscello. In the past 15 years, the use of social media and interactive maps has evolved to become effective communication channels in disasters, emergency managers and hazard scientists are integrating data from the public to provide actionable intelligence during emergency response, and digital volunteers are becoming vital in curating data across the internet and untraditional channels during disasters to inform situational awareness. PrepTalks are sponsored by FEMA, International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Naval Postgraduate School, and National Homeland Security Consortium. Other FEMA PrepTalks that might be of interest are:
Crowdsourcing, citizen science, and prize competitions are open innovation techniques for engaging, educating, and empowering the public to contribute their talents to a wide range of scientific and societal issues. Often these contributions come from a large number of volunteers and can vary in the types of information or activity being requested. When the federal government collects information from 10 or more non-federal people, this often requires Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) Clearance to ensure we reduce the burden on the public for collecting information. Although these open innovation activities are often voluntary and not typically seen as a burden on the public, there is still growing confusion on if PRA applies to these public engagement projects and how to complete the PRA process. In this Ignite Open Innovation (OI) Forum, we have three Information Collection Clearance Officers from DOI (Jeff Parrillo), USGS (James Sayer), and FWS (Madonna Baucum) that will explain the basics of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), discuss how the PRA applies to crowdsourcing, citizen science, and prize competition activities, as well as a Q&A discussion with the audience.
- Jeff Parrillo - Department of Interior (DOI) Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer
- Madonna Baucum - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Information Collection Clearance Officer (DOI alternate)
- James Sayer - U.S. Geological Survey (USGS
Upcoming Open Innovation Meetings
- April is Citizen Science Month!
- Citizen Science Month resources
- Distance Learning at Home and with Citizen Science
- Share educational resources to learn at home for kids
- Federal and other citizen science projects for kids
- Background on the Paperwork Reduction Act
- A Guide to the PRA - Digital.Gov Resources
- DOI Generic Information Collection Request for Crowdsourcing for Citizen Science
- Request for potential projects that want to use DOI Generic ICR
- Request for feedback on draft 60 Day Notice
Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science (FedCCS) Community: All Things Geo Crowdsourcing
Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 2:30 - 4:30 PM ET
Past Open Innovation Community Meetings
March 16, 2020 - Jefferson ChangFebruary 26, 2020 - Sheree Watson and Sophia B Liu
- ) Information Collection Clearance Officer
- Background on the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)
- Discussion on how the PRA applies to Crowdsourcing, Citizen Science, and Prize Competition activities
The hydrology of the Yukon River Basin has changed over the last several decades as evidenced by a variety of discharge, gravimetric, and geochemical analyses. The Indigenous Observation Network (ION), a community-based project, was initiated by the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC) and USGS. Capitalizing on existing USGS monitoring and research infrastructure and supplementing USGS collected data, ION investigates changes in surface water geochemistry and active layer dynamics throughout the Yukon River Basin. Over 1600 samples of surface water geochemistry (i.e., major ions, dissolved organic carbon, and 18O and 2H) have been collected at 35 sites throughout the Yukon River and its major tributaries over the past 15 years. Active layer dynamics (maximum thaw depth, soil temperature and moisture) have been collected at 20 sites throughout the Yukon River Basin for the past eight years. Important regional differences in geochemistry and active layer parameters linked to permafrost continuity and tributaries will be highlighted. Additionally, annual trends and seasonal dynamics describing the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the watershed will be presented in the context of observed hydrological changes. These data assist the global effort to characterize arctic river fluxes and their relationship to the carbon cycle, weathering and permafrost degradation.
Ryan Toohey, hydrologist and Science Applications Coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (AKCASC). His interests in water quality led Toohey to pursue an environmental science degree from Huxley College at Western Washington University. He graduated with an environmental science degree in the year 2000, having focused on water quality and Geographic Information Systems. In 2012, Toohey received an interdisciplinary joint Ph.D. in environmental science with a focus in both hydrology and agroforestry from the University of Idaho and the Centro Agronómico Tropical de investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) in Costa Rica. In addition to his position at the Alaska CASC, Toohey serves as an Affiliate Research Assistant Professor for the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Nicole Herman-Mercer is a social scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey in the Decision Support Branch of the Water Resources Mission Area's Integrated Information Dissemination Division. Nicole began at the USGS in 2008 as a Student Intern in Support of Native American Relations (SISNAR) working on a case study of Indigenous Observations of Climate Change in a rural Alaska Native Village in the Yukon River Basin. Her work explores the interactions between different knowledge systems regarding human dimensions of landscape change and water resources in rural Alaska Native villages. She manages the Indigenous Observation Network and also conducts research on the impacts of climate change on Indigenous communities in Alaska. Currently, her focus is on the co-production of knowledge utilizing community-based and participatory methods in the Arctic and sub-Arctic to form a better understanding of environmental change and impacts on the populations of this region.
Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science (FedCCS) Community of Practice
The FedCCS July 2020 Meeting will have three presentations, an open forum, and an informal networking session at the end.
Dr. Maria Aristeidou (The Open University) will present key findings from a paper she recently published on "Online Citizen Science: A Systematic Review of Effects on Learning and Scientific Literacy."
Dr. Giff Wong (IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI)) will provide a brief update on the reporting process and timeline for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) "FY19-20 Implementation of Federal Prize and Citizen Science Authority Progress Report."
Dr. Peter Meyer (Bureau of Labor Statistics) will give a FedCCS Member Lightning Talk on his interest in enabling crowdsourcing among federal employees and other specialists through wiki platforms. He will give a demo of his COVID-Economics Wiki that he has recently been working on to develop a bibliography database that tracks academic literature related to COVID economics.
Online Citizen Science:
A Systematic Review of Effects on Learning and Scientific Literacy
Maria will talk about a paper she recently published in the Citizen Science: Theory and Practice Journal. Participation in online citizen science is increasingly popular, yet studies that examine the impact on participants’ learning are limited. The aims of this paper are to identify the learning impact on volunteers who participate in online citizen science projects and to explore the methods used to study the impact. The ten empirical studies, examined in this systematic review, report learning impacts on citizens’ attitudes towards science, on their understanding of the nature of science, on topic-specific knowledge, on science knowledge, and on generic knowledge. These impacts were measured using self-reports, content analysis of contributed data and of forum posts, accuracy checks of contributed data, science and project-specific quizzes, and instruments for measuring scientific attitudes and beliefs. The findings highlight that certain technological affordances in online citizen science projects can cultivate citizens’ knowledge and skills, and they point to unexplored areas, including the lack of experimental and long-term studies, and studies in formal education settings.
OSTP Citizen Science Report:
Update on FY19-20 Data Call and Reporting Process
Giff from the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) will provide a brief update on the reporting process and timeline for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) "FY19-20 Implementation of Federal Prize and Citizen Science Authority Progress Report," which will be developed in collaboration with GSA and STPI. The following is a summary of some of the updates. If you have questions or comments on this upcoming data call, please provide them in these two Menti Poll Questions for Giff.
- FY19-20 data call will be done online using the Qualtrics survey tool.
- A unique survey URL will be generated and emailed directly to the point of contact for each citizen science project to be included in the report (i.e., you will get an email and URL for every activity you are managing).
- The new process will streamline and simplify the user experience on the front end and facilitate data access and cleanliness on the back end.
- An initial call for data will go out in August with submissions due by mid-November.
Peter will give a brief talk on his interest in enabling crowdsourcing among federal employees and other specialists through wiki platforms. He will give a demo of his COVID-Economics Wiki that he uses to develop a database of academic literature related to COVID economics. He hopes this talk will reawaken discussion of how wikis can enable crowdsourcing within the federal government.
FedCCS Meetings are typically every last Thursday of the month. We are shifting the time to start at the top of the hour at 2:00 - 4:00 PM Eastern with the last 30 minutes available for informal virtual networking. The FedCCS June 2020 Meeting will include a presentation from Laura Oremland on citizen science data quality from NOAA Case Studies and from Do Soon Kim on the EteERNA OpenVaccine COVID-19 Challenge.
Laura Oremland (NOAA Citizen Science Co-Coordinator) will provide an overview of NOAA’s citizen science programs, describe the data quality assurance and quality control processes applied to different programs, and summarize common themes and recommendations for collecting high quality citizen science data.
Do Soon Kim (visiting researcher at Stanford University) will talk about the Eterna OpenVaccine Challenge for COVID-19 and how they are harnessing online gamers to develop mRNA vaccines stable enough to be deployed to everyone in the world and not just a privileged few.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a rich history in citizen science dating back hundreds of years. Today NOAA’s citizen science covers a wide range of topics such as weather, oceans, and fisheries with volunteers contributing over 500,000 hours annually to these projects. The data are used to enhance NOAA’s science and monitoring programs. But how do we know we can trust these volunteer-based efforts to provide data that reflect the high standards of NOAA’s scientific enterprise? This talk will provide an overview of NOAA’s citizen science programs, describe the data quality assurance and quality control processes applied to different programs, and summarize common themes and recommendations for collecting high quality citizen science data.
Laura Oremland serves as one of NOAA's Citizen Science Co-Coordinators. She has been with NOAA since 2002 and resides in the NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology in Silver Spring, MD where she also manages education programs and works in science communications. She has a BS in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and an MS in marine science from SUNY Stony Brook.
Eterna (@EternaGame) is a browser-based "game with a purpose" developed by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University with funding support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Players solve puzzles related to the folding of RNA molecules and can also suggest new puzzles. Similar to Foldit—created by some of the same researchers that developed Eterna—the puzzles take advantage of human problem-solving capabilities to solve puzzles that are computationally laborious for current computer models. The researchers hope to capitalize on "crowdsourcing" and the collective intelligence of EteRNA players to answer fundamental questions about RNA folding mechanics. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eterna project is looking to harness online gamers toward a solution. The mission is to develop mRNA vaccines stable enough to be deployed to everyone in the world and not just a privileged few. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for widely deployable, equitable vaccines. Although mRNA vaccine feature unique advantage compared to traditional vaccine modalities, there are critical roadblocks that must be addressed before it can be deployed widely. Eterna launched the OpenVaccine challenge to mobilize the citizen science community to help navigate this difficult scientific challenge through gamifying one of the toughest challenges in RNA biochemistry: sequence-structure prediction. This talk will describe Eterna's current effort to design a more stable mRNA vaccine against COVID-19.
Do Soon Kim is currently a visiting researcher in the laboratory of Professor Rhiju Das at Stanford University working on the OpenVaccine project. He is pursuing his PhD at Northwestern University in chemical engineering studying synthetic biology, and first got involved with Eterna from his interest in biomolecule design.