Contributions of Citizen Scientists to Climate Science

Friday, February 15, 2013: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 204 (Hynes Convention Center)
This symposium will highlight the benefits of citizen science projects to both climate science itself and the climate literacy of the general public. Citizen science projects are efforts that rely heavily on tasks carried out by volunteers drawn from members of the public. As participants gain exposure to scientific concepts, they each contribute a small part to achieving scientific goals that would be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish without these contributions. Within the environmental sciences in particular, a number of such efforts have sprung up over the past few years, all of which exploit the nearly instantaneous two-way transfer of information made possible by the Internet. Volunteer-observing networks, distributed computing projects, and crowd-sourcing for the digitization of scanned documents or classification of satellite images all are examples of citizen science efforts. Attendees of this symposium will hear from leaders of several such projects in the field of climate science. Speakers will provide an overview of their project, describe the advances in research or applications that have resulted from the citizen contributions, and discuss how their project has improved the science knowledge of its participants.
Imke Durre, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Nolan J. Doesken, Colorado Climate Center
Why We Started a Volunteer Rain Gauge Network
Scott E. Stevens, Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites
CycloneCenter: Harnessing the Power of Citizen Science to Analyze Hurricane Imagery