Whether through grassroots action or technology-mediated crowdsourcing, there has been a rapid increase in public participation in scientific research (citizen science, volunteer monitoring, Pro-Am partnerships, community-based research and more).
The success of these initiatives takes dedication not just from volunteers, but from organizers, educators, scientists, data managers, technology specialists, evaluators, and others. Practitioners (paid or unpaid) work to design, support, and implement projects, manage and use data, and evaluate and research individual initiatives or the practice itself.
We can speed innovation by sharing insights, across all fields of study, among peers who support these initiatives. A 2012 PPSR Conference in Portland, Oregon, engaged over 300 practitioners to share talks and posters. The conference also launched, with overwhelming support, the idea of developing an Association to advance a global and cross-disciplinary community of practice (download a brief summary report). The CSA’s first official conference, Citizen Science 2015, was held February 11-12, 2015, in San Jose, California.
Although still at an early state of development, the Association already has forward-thinking goals, drafted by an interim Steering Committee. Vision and mission statements for the Association have also been chosen by members.
Association membership is now available. At this time there is no cost for membership. Inaugural members have the opportunity to shape the development of the Association by voting on key decisions about direction, priorities, and leadership. Members receive updates through a monthly newsletter.
More than 600 people convened at the Citizen Science 2015 Conference, in San Jose, CA, USA, 11-12 February 2015. Plans are underway for the CSA’s next conference in 2017.
Members and non-members alike are welcome to join a discussion listserv for sharing questions, ideas, innovations, and announcements among peers in this field.