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Cornell Lab of Ornithology


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People All Over the World

Exploring the promise of citizen science for 4-H.

    Pilot project          Webinars

Citizen science is the engagement of public participants in real-world scientific collaborations: asking questions, collecting data, and/or interpreting results.

Citizen science can look like:

  • Youth sharing observations and data with a large-scale science project, such as Project FeederWatch, the Citizen Weather Observing Program, or Adopt-a-Pixel.

  • Youth collecting and/or using data to help address and improve local conditions, such as monitoring stream health through Illinois RiverWatch or checking the accuracy of local data in the Food Environment Atlas.

  • Youth partnering with scientists, whether professors, Extension Associates, or agency personnel, to define questions of relevance and address them through collaborative research, such as monitoring for invasive species or mapping the location of fire hydrants for municipal emergency responders.

In any of these examples, youth may participate just once, or they may become deeply involved in asking and answering their own questions, sharing project data with others, taking action as a result of what they have learned, and/or integrating activities into an existing 4-H project.

In short, citizen science collaborations advance scientific knowledge, participant learning, and (at times) the use of science for civic engagement.

Pilot project Webinars

Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research... this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research.

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