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Dr. Anne Bowser is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center, the former Deputy Director and Director of Innovation with the Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP). Her work investigates the intersections between science, technology and democracy.

Full Biography

New advances in science and technology should create, rather than inhibit, social and environmental good.  Innovations in areas like citizen science, open data, and open source hardware can accelerate progress while creating opportunities for the public to be involved. 

Leveraging her PhD from the University of Maryland’s iSchool, Anne takes a research through design approach to understanding opportunities for democratizing science and technology.  For example, she leads the Wilson Center’s work on Earth Challenge 2020, which seeks to become the world’s largest coordinated citizen science campaign.  The process of designing key Earth Challenge 2020 technologies, including a data standard, mobile application, and open data platform, can reveal broader insights about how citizen science and open data initiatives help solve local problems while contributing to national and global research and monitoring efforts.

Beyond citizen science, Anne is interested in elevating the value of open data, particularly through innovations in environmental monitoring like Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs).  Anne’s research also explores the importance of including democratic values in the design of emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G.

Outside the Wilson Center, Anne is a Regional Facilitator for UN Environment North America, where she helps stakeholders including business and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) provide inputs to UN processes.  She is a friend of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, where she advises on topics including governance and bias.  Anne also supports the Citizen Science Global Partnership, an emerging NGO that the Wilson Center helped support between 2017 and 2020.

Major Publications

Recent Publications on Citizen Science

Wagenknecht,K., Woods, T., García Sanz, F., Gold, M., Bowser, A., Rüfenacht, S., Ceccaroni, L., & Piera, J.. (February 2021). EU-Citizen.Science: A Platform for Mainstreaming Citizen Science and Open Science in Europe. Data Intelligence, 3(1), p. 136-149.

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.