Dr. Anne Bowser is the Director of Innovation with the Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP). Her work focuses on understanding and mobilizing public participation in science, technology, and policy while helping the Wilson Center leverage technologically innovative programming to reach new audiences. 

As science and technology evolves, developing and maintaining opportunities for public participation is necessary to help drive progress and ensure equitable impact.  Anne’s work focuses on how innovative governance of scientific research and technology development can achieve these goals, ultimately maximizing social benefit while minimizing risk.  This perspective has led her to prioritize work on open innovation, particularly through crowdsourcing and citizen science; open data, including work on data governance; and, open technology development, like through processes like co-design and products like open source hardware. 

Anne’s PhD is from the University of Maryland’s College of Library and Information Science.  Her dissertation explored how Floracaching, a gamified mobile application for biodiversity data collection, could be motivated to engage a university community in citizen science.  She has led the Wilson Center’s participation in high-level policy projects, including BILAT 4.0, a European Commission-funded Coordination and Support Action initiated to advance transatlantic cooperation in science and technology innovation.  Anne also leads the Wilson Center’s work on citizen science through initiatives like the UN-backed Citizen Science Global Partnership, and through Earth Challenge 2020, the world’s largest coordinated citizen science campaign to date.  In addition, Anne supports the Wilson Center’s work on artificial intelligence (AI) by teaching a Congressional AI Lab on AI and bias, and is interested in the intersection between AI and other converging technologies such as 5G. 

Anne has supported the Citizen Science Association (CSA) as a member of the Governance Committee, member of the board of directors, and Treasurer.  Her interests in data governance and interoperability led her to co-found CSA’s Data and Metadata Working Group and a Citizen Science Domain Working Group of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).  She has also partnered with The General Service Administration (GSA) and the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science (CCS) to develop and maintain resources, such as the Federal Catalog of Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science.  She currently serves on the steering committee of the United Nations Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment, where she helps identify opportunities for the research community, policy community, private sector, and general public to come together in pursuit of better environmental research and governance. 

Major Publications

Recent Publications on Citizen Science

Tyson, E., Bowser, A., Palmer, J., Kapan, D., Bartumeus, F., Martin, B., Pauwels, E.. (April 2018). Global Mosquito Alert: Building citizen science capacity for surveillance and control of disease-vector mosquitoes. Wilson Center.

Bowser, A., Brenton, P., Stevenson, R., Newman, G., Schade, S., Bastin, L., Parker, A., & Olive, J. (December 2017). Citizen science association data & metadata working group: Report from CSA 2017 and future outlook

Kissling, W.D., Ahumada, J.A., Bowser, A., Fernandez, M., Fernández, N., García, E.A., Guralnick, R.P., Isaac, N.J.B., Kelling, S., Los, W., McRae, L., Mihoub, J.-B., Obst, M., Santamaria, M., Skidmore, A.K., Williams, K.J., Agosti, D., Amariles, D., Arvanitidis, C., Bastin, L., De Leo, F., Egloff, W., Elith, J., Hobern, D., Martin, D., Pereira, H.M., Pesole, G., Peterseil, J., Saarenmaa, H., Schigel, D., Schmeller, D.S., Segata, N., Turak, E., Uhlir, P.F., Wee, B. & Hardisty, A.R. (2017): Building essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) of species distribution and abundance at a global scale. Biological Reviews, in press . DOI:10.1111/brv.12359

Eitzel, M.V. et al., (2017). Citizen Science Terminology Matters: Exploring Key Terms. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice. 2(1), p.1. DOI:

Bowser, A., Shilton, K., Preece, J. & Warrick, E. 2017. Accounting for Privacy in Citizen Science: Ethical Research in a Context of Openness. In Proceedings of CSCS 2017.

Ceccaroni, L., Bowser, A. & Brenton, P. 2017. Civic education and citizen science: Definitions, categories, knowledge representation. In Ceccaroni, L. & Piera, J., Eds., Analyzing the Role of Citizen Science in Modern Research. Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global, pp. 1-21.

Eitzel, M.V., Cappadonna, J., Santos-Lang C., et al. 2017. Citizen science terminology matters: Exploring key termsCitizen Science: Theory and Practice, 2 (1) 

Recent Publications on Biodiversity 

Kissling, D., Walls, R. Bowser, A. et al. 2018.  Towards global data products of Essential Biodiversity Variables on species traitsNature: Evology & Evolution.  doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0667-3

Kissling, D., Ahumada, J., Bowser, A., et al. 2017. Building essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) of species distribution and abundance at a global scale. Accepted to Biological Reviews. 

Schmeller, D., Mihoub, J., Bowser, A., et al. 2017. An operational definition of Essential Biodiversity Variables.