Defining Global Citizen Science: We define global citizen science as research that is performed collaboratively between curious members of the public and formally trained scientists. In the context of this collaborative research, our work emphasizes competencies and mindsets related to data collection, data analysis, and data-informed advocacy. We use the term "global" citizen science in order to be attentive to the sociopolitical dynamics of the word "citizen" and to affirm that participation in global citizen science is not dependent on your citizenship status. While this is how we name our work, we acknowledge there are many other ways to describe what we do and that our sensemaking is always evolving.
We founded The Citizen Scientist Project in 2018 through a grant from the United States Department of Education. Our primary focus is building capacity for citizen science in our teacher education programs at California State University, Bakersfield. Through partnerships and additional funding opportunites with the National Geographic Society, My NASA Data, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the UC Davis C-STEM Center, and the UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science, we have been able to iterate and scale our ideas to reach students and educators across the United States.
Our mission is to include more diverse voices in question-posing, data collection, data analysis, and data-informed advocacy through building capacity for global citizen science in K-12 and higher education.
Our vision is for every K-12 student and educator to identify as a global citizen scientist.
Theory of change
To build capacity for global citizen science in K-12 and teacher education, we:
1) Embed global citizen science into our pre-service teacher program to ensure global citizen science mindsets and competencies are a part of a teacher's preparation from the beginning.
2) Pair practicing teachers with practicing scientists in ways that enhance the global citizen science pedagogy of the teacher and data collection, analysis, and advocacy of the scientist.
3) Create third spaces for global citizen science innovation and proofs-of-possibility that are free from traditional restrictions of the school day by leveraging after-school programming and summer camps.
4) Engage students as co-designers of global citizen science curricula in order to ensure our work is reflective of their lived needs as students, members of our community, and our next generation of environmental stewards.
5) Leverage local, national, and international partners to create free, on-demand global citizen science resources for teachers, students, and scientists.
Each year, WestEd, who is our external evaluator for our grant from the USDOE, writes a report to summarize the successes and growth potentials of our programming. You can read their 2022 report by clicking the link below.