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Sharing Across Scales in Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing

Citizen science participants are empowered to address real-world problems by leveraging science. But how can we ensure these are done to scale?

Date & Time

Dec. 14, 2018
1:30pm – 6:00pm ET
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Citizen science and crowdsourcing projects are thriving at every scale, from small, place-based or community efforts, to regional, national, or international projects that span boundaries. For greater impact, projects and initiatives may target a specific scale or work to span multiple scales, such as the national project that recruits local leaders for a place-based initiative, or a small-scale project that expands to new locations. In addition, there is greater recognition that progress at local scales is useful at regional, national, and global scales, and vice versa; for example, data and information from small scale efforts can be integrated into national and international datasets, and resources developed at the national and global level can support community initiatives.

This event will explore the local-to-global nexus through conversations with leaders in government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. We will explore questions including: How do citizen science or crowdsourcing projects choose the appropriate scale for their work? How do projects at different scales interact and share resources? How can we support cross-scale sharing?


1:30 - 1:40 Welcome and Introductions

1:40 – 2:00 Opening Remarks, Dr. Caren Cooper, North Carolina State University

2:00 - 3:00 Panel: The Benefits of Cross-Scale Sharing

This panel will explore citizen science and crowdsourcing projects that embrace work across both large and small scales, combining local impact with broad collaboration. These projects expand from small-scale projects, or cultivate local initiatives under a national or international umbrella. How do these projects work with scale to increase impact? How do organizations operate effectively at multiple scales? How can we improve the sharing of resources, best practices, and data and information across scales? How can sharing across scales help projects achieve their goals faster, more efficiently, or with greater impact?

Moderator: Dr. Alison Parker, Wilson Center

Panelists:Lyn Wigbels, The GLOBE Program

Dr. Jeff Herrick, USDA’s LandPKS

Mikel Maron, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Dr. Jennifer Shirk, Citizen Science Association

3:00 - 3:30 Interactive discussion

3:30 - 3:45 Break

3:45 - 4:45 Panel: Finding the Right Scale

This panel will explore the importance of choosing scale deliberately. For example, small scale projects may gain from local autonomy, leverage the power of place, or focus on the political or regulatory complexity of one environment. Large-scale projects get the power of broad participation, and can have widespread impact on national or international priorities. How do citizen science and crowdsourcing projects choose the appropriate scale for their work? What are the benefits and costs of focusing toward small-scale or large-scale impact? What is unique to operating at each scale?

Moderator:Mary Ford, National Geographic

Panelists: Julie Vastine, ALLARM, Dickinson College

Zack Valdez, Thriving Earth Exchange

Dr. Katherine Blizinsky, AllofUs Research Program

Dr. Marc Kuchner, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

4:45-5:00 Closing Remarks

5:00 - 6:00 Networking Happy Hour

This event is co-hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars & Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science (FedCCS). More information at CitizenScience.govWant to attend but can’t? Tune into the live or archived webcast on this page. The webcast will be embedded on this page at the start time of the event, and feature the keynotes and panels. If you do not see it when the event begins, please wait a moment and reload the page. Archived webcasts go up approximately one to two business days after the meeting date. Media guests, including TV crews, are welcome and should RSVP directly to Alex Long at Media bringing heavy electronics MUST indicate this in their response so they may be cleared through our building security and allowed entrance. Please err toward responding if you would like to attend. Questions about the event should be directed to  Alex Long at Join the conversation on Twitter by following @WilsonSTIP and through hashtag #CitSciScales. 

Hosted By

Science and Technology Innovation Program

The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) brings foresight to the frontier. Our experts explore emerging technologies through vital conversations, making science policy accessible to everyone.  Read more

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