Description: A community to share best practices, resources, and emerging projects involving Crowdsourcing, Citizen Science, Civic Hacking, Prizes & Challenge Competitions, and other Open Innovation efforts. Connect with other USGS and DOI bureaus on related open innovation efforts. Participate in monthly USGS and DOI meetings and working groups.

Point Of Contact: Sophia B Liu (Innovation Specialist),

Sign up to Join this New Community of Practice:


"Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."  --Rachel Carson

Citizen Science, USGS Research, and the Citizen Science Working Group


'Citizen science' refers to scientific observation, measurement, research, and related activities conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists and other citizen volunteers (modified from Wikipedia, 04-15-2013). 


Citizen science complements and enhances more conventional scientific methods and studies. The role of citizen science in the realm of the natural sciences is particularly valuable. Governments and other institutions often do not have the resources to generate the baseline and on-going observation and monitoring data required to address complex environmental issues because ecological monitoring is expensive, labor intensive, and time consuming. (Modified from Lee, T., et al. 2006.)


The purpose of CDI Citizen Science Working Group (CSWG) is to:

  • promote an understanding of the role and potential benefits of Citizen Science and Scientists in the conduct of USGS research;
  • facilitate and enhance connections between the USGS and the larger federal and public Citizen Science communities;
  • provide access to information and tools to support the proper, effective, and creative use of Citizen Science data within the USGS;
  • engage the public in USGS and partner science; and
  • foster and improve the public's scientific literacy.

Become a Member

The CDI Citizen Science Working Group (CSWG) welcomes the participation of anyone interested in Citizen Science and its role in USGS research. If you wish join the group, please email

After you have joined, please add your name and other information to our Citizen Science Working Group Member Roster

An email list has been set up for this team.  If you wish to send an email to the group, please use:

Citizen-Centered Innovation Calendar

Upcoming Monthly Meetings

USGS and DOI Citizen-Centered Innovation Monthly Meeting

  • Wednesday, February 21

Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing & Citizen Science (CCS) Monthly Meeting

Recent Meetings

Science and Decisions Center (SDC) Citizen-Centered Innovation Seminar Series

  • Sophia B Liu - Operationalizing Crowdsourcing at FEMA (VIDEO) (SLIDES)
  • CDI Statement of Interest Proposal (PDF)



Partners and Others


  •, the FCPCCS listserv (federal agency staff only).

  •, the discussion-based public listserv for the community supporting citizen science, volunteer monitoring, and other forms of public participation in scientific research.

Related Community and Activities Sites