Making a Splash for Citizen Science

Dan Meharg and one of the volunteers at the Gateway National Recreation Area.

We’ve been “soft-launching” our new website and social media platforms over the past couple of weeks, but this coming Saturday and Sunday we’re going to jump into the pool and are hoping — with your help — to make a bit of a splash! One of our crews is going to be documenting the work of members of the New York Phenology Project and volunteers at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge part Gateway National Recreation Area, and then traveling up to Boston to speak with/listen to members of a family living through early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The first story will be part of C&C program 4, “Citizens4Earth” which will be on air around Earth Day and the latter for a sequence on “WeCureALZ,” which aims to speed up research on AD.

More citizen science in action at the Gateway National Recreational Area.
Entrance to the SEF in Washington, DC.

But our social media team will be converging on the USA Science & Engineering Festival, in Washington DC, to help celebrate the first ever “Citizen Science Day” on Saturday April 16th with some ambitious and adventurous online activities. We’re collaborating with the Citizen Science Association (thanks, Jennifer Shirk!) and SciStarter (kudos to Darlene Cavalier and Catherine Hoffman!) and we hope you and your friends and neighbors will join us, virtually, as well.

First, throughout the Festival, we’ll be reporting live from the floor of the event (some 350,000 people are expected between Friday and Sunday!) via social media. Our goal is to visit every citizen science-related project at the show, and publish something about them with you, our online audience — and also on the social media wall at the booth we’re sharing with SciStarter, Discover Magazine and Astronomy Magazine. On Saturday, we also invite YOU to share a social post with us about your own citizen science project.

Just use the hashtag #CrowdCloudLive on Twitter, Periscope or Instagram, and we’ll make sure our audience sees it. Together, we hope to celebrate hundreds of citizen science projects from around the world.

Second, and just as exciting, at 1pm EST/10am PST on Saturday, we’re hosting a live Google Hangout on Air with an all-star lineup of CS experts and project leaders. If all goes well, we hope to link live to birders in Florida, surfers in California, and community activists who’ve battled pollution successfully. C&C presenter Waleed Abdalati will host from Boulder, and Darlene Cavalier will co-host in DC, with NSF Assistant Director, Joan Ferrini-Mundy, whose program funds CROWD & CLOUD, SciStarter and many other citizen science projects.

We invite you to watch the live stream on YouTube, and share the link via your own marketing and social media, so your audiences can join in as well. During the Hangout, the public can ask questions to our guests via Twitter, Instagram and Periscope by sending their questions and comments to #CrowdCloudLive.

The YouTube link to share/promote the Hangout and watch live is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXXLBYNub3Q

That URL also includes a description of the Hangout topic, and all the participants joining us. With luck we might even have folks from Australia (where it’ll be 3–4am!) and Europe joining us. Citizen science really is a growing, global phenomenon, and we’re really pleased to be a video and online billboard for the promise of regular people doing science, and capturing and sharing useful data about the world around us. That’s why April 16th is a day to celebrate citizen science, kicking off a month-long period to share all the latest doings in #citisci, crowdsourcing, citizen cyberscience and community science, culminating in BioBlitz’s from National Geographic and the National Park Service in late May.

We really hope you’ll join us for a very special weekend of citizen science and social sharing. If you have questions or need more info, reach out to us at any time. You can learn more about The Crowd & The Cloud, and connect to all of our social channels, by visiting our website: http://crowdandcloud.org.

Yours in science for all humanity!

The CROWD & CLOUD social media team:

Geoff, Erna, Waleed, Darlene, Len, Kelly & Ari

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