Examples of citizen science, community engagement projects

Youth community inquiry: New media for community and personal growthBruce, Bertram C., Bishop, Ann Peterson, & Budhathoki, Nama R. (Eds.) (2014). Youth community inquiry: New media for community and personal growth (New literacies and digital epistemologies series). New York: Peter Lang.








Beach plum on dune

Beach plum on dune

Phenology monitoring [video] – The Atlantic Research and Learning Center (ARLC) at Cape Cod National Seashore initiated a Citizen Science Phenology Monitoring program in winter 2011; citizen volunteers, trained and supported by ARLC staff, monitor a host of ecological systems at specific times each year, recording their observations of the timing of seasonal changes; the dataset can be studied to look for trends indicating changes in local climate patterns.

chickChickscope – using computers in the classroom, students and teachers are able to access data generated from the latest scientific instruments, e.g., MRI. They increase their understanding of the process of gathering scientific data and interact with scientists from several disciplines as well as students in other classrooms.





kllKathmandu Living Labs (KLL) – a non-for-profit civic technology company; works with the World Bank to promote Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) projects; in 2012 began to map all the educational institutions, health facilities, road networks, tangled mesh of gallies, religious sites and other geographic features of Kathmandu Valley using OpenStreetMap and mapping workshops



Public Lab (community science) – inspired by the information blackout surrounding the 2010 BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico; local communities received sparse, incomplete data contradicting what they saw; PL used helium balloons, kites, and inexpensive digital cameras to loft their own “community satellites” over the spill; trained over one hundred local volunteers and activists who then collected over 100,000 aerial images of the coastline before, during, and after the oil spread. Using MapKnitter, residents stitched these images into high-resolution maps of the disaster; many more projects since.


Tree Project, Cape Cod – adopt a tree; Falling Fruit; “an arboreal gymnasium for the mind and heart”; grows tree seedlings and gives them away in an adopt-a-tree attitude; one goal is to repopulate the Cape with tree varieties, some of which are useful in human nutrition; interested in permaculture and restoration agriculture; mapping significant fruit and nut trees on the Cape for propagation; working on a “Tree Curriculum” for elementary and middle school children.