Disruption to daily education is affecting nearly 1.5 billion learners around the world and nearly 30 million students in the US, as more teachers and teleworking parents are having to shift to doing educational activities at home. Citizen Science allows people of all ages to contribute to science virtually anywhere, making them fun social and educational activities that contribute to science while maintaining safe "physical" distancing. You and your kids can help advance scientific knowledge by asking questions, reporting observations, conducting experiments, collecting data, or developing low-cost technologies and open-source code online, on a mobile phone, at home, in your backyard, or outdoors! In this Ignite Open Innovation (OI) Forum, Eleanour Snow, Erin Posthumus, Sally Cook, and Erin Korris will share citizen science projects and other educational resources that have been developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), other federal agencies, and other partner organizations.
USGS Office of Science Quality and Integrity
Youth and Education in Science Program
Eleanour Snow is the national manager of Youth and Education programs for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Youth and Education in Science (YES) program has a diverse portfolio encompassing everything from STEM outreach to graduate student internships. In addition, Eleanour represents USGS and DOI on several federal committees in the field of STEM education. She will explain the USGS Learning from Home curriculum recently developed. Each week during the spring of 2020, the USGS Education Team will be adding resources for those who are learning at home. USGS Resources for Teachers allows educators to tap into over 140 years of USGS research in the natural sciences in the form of lesson plans and activities, maps, podcasts, online lectures, videos and animations, and much more for elementary, secondary, university, and informal education settings.
USA National Phenology Network (NPN)
Outreach Coordinator and US Fish & Wildlife Service Liaison
Erin Posthumus leads USA-National Phenology Network's outreach and engagement efforts with Nature's Notebook observers and USA-NPN partners. She is also the USA-NPN's liaison to the US Fish & Wildlife Service and is working with National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) across the country to implement phenology monitoring to meet their resource management goals. Erin will explain the National Phenology Network as well as the Nature's Notebook Education Program and how NPN is providing guidance in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Consider reading the Director of NPN Theresa Crimmins' recent Op-Ed in the Arizona Daily Star about how citizen science programs offer great options for families during the current public health crisis. Also, check out the PBS Kids SciGirls on Citizen Science where Middle school girls and their mentors participate in several projects, including Nature's Notebook! Watch the Flower Power Episode!
USGS National Land Imaging Program
Sally Cook works in the USGS Land Imaging Program and partners with AmericaView to provide distance learning tools for remote sensing science. AmericaView is a nationwide partnership of remote sensing scientists who support the use of Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed data through applied remote sensing research, K-12 and higher STEM / STEAM education, workforce development, and technology transfer. A critical component of the AmericaView mission is to provide freely available, online educational and outreach resources that support K-12, undergraduate, and graduate students. These resources offer opportunities to understand Earth sciences from the perspective of remotely sensed (satellite) data. The topics covered range from memory building, programming, and image interpretation to educational games and pattern recognition. The AmericaView educational resources have recently been shared widely to support the national online education needs due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, check out the AmericaView Education Website and White Paper to access the learning tools like: Remote Sensing Imagery Game | Land Cover Lessons | Earth Image Puzzles.
USGS National Geospatial Technical Operations Center
Erin Korris is the project lead for the USGS The National Map Corps. Using crowdsourcing techniques, the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) project known as “The National Map Corps (TNMCorps)” encourages citizen scientists to collect and edit data about man-made structures in an effort to provide accurate and authoritative map data for the USGS National Geospatial Program’s web-based The National Map. VGI is not new to the USGS, but past efforts have been hampered by available technologies. Building on lessons learned, TNMCorps volunteers are successfully editing 10 different structure types in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Volunteer citizen mappers continue to make significant contributions to the USGS’ ability to provide accurate mapping information to the public. Mapping Challenges are launched periodically to focus volunteers on specific points that need editing. To complete critical datasets in specific states, TNM Corps periodically issues “Map Challenges” to the registered citizen scientists. Participating in a challenge includes verifying or updating the existing points, adding missing points, and removing obsolete points. Erin will explain the Step Up to the Map Challenge initiative currently happening.
Science Friday - "Cooped Up At Home? Try These Citizen Science Projects" about Crowd the Tap