Guest post by Chris Goforth, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
On behalf of the local host planning committee, it is my great pleasure to formally invite you to the next Citizen Science Association (CSA) conference in Raleigh, NC, USA, March 13-16, 2019! We are excited to be the next local hosts of this important meeting that brings together citizen science practitioners from around the world to advance our growing field.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS) is a short walk from the Convention Center and will be your host for an evening reception and the Citizen Science Festival. The largest natural history museum in the southeastern US, the Museum offers visitors seven floors of exhibits across two buildings that highlight North Carolina’s spectacular nature and its connections to the greater world. A longer walk or a short drive from downtown will take you to North Carolina State University. NCSU has become a leader in the field of citizen science research and is making great strides toward creating a citizen science campus that provides opportunities to students campus-wide.
As the birthplace of the modern environmental justice (EJ) movement in the US, North Carolina is uniquely qualified to bring this perspective and experience into the conference. We are excited to have representatives of the North Carolina environmental justice community on our local host planning committee to help highlight the role and synergies of EJ in citizen science. We can learn a lot from those active in the environmental justice community, so we look forward to welcoming them to CSA 2019!
Raleigh, N.C. epitomizes the theme of All Are Welcome Here. Raleigh is a city full of modern southern charm and we are excited to have you see what our area has to offer. The Raleigh Convention Center is a fantastic facility that is well prepared to meet the demands of the conference and the values of the citizen science community, as are the official conference hotels. With many restaurants and bars, museums, parks, and colleges and universities within an easy walk of the Raleigh Convention Center, the city is a welcoming place for travelers from around the world.
Raleigh is located in North Carolina’s piedmont region in the center of the state. Those who enjoy outdoor activities won’t want to miss the conference field trips! Our state is a hotspot of biodiversity for a variety of plants and animals and we have several unique habitat types within an easy drive of Raleigh. Field trips may also include visits to local citizen science hotspots, such as the NCMNS’s Prairie Ridge Ecostation, the NCSU campus, or the Research Triangle Park. Staying for a few extra days? Consider visiting the Outer Banks, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, any of our amazing environmental education centers or free museums, all less than a half day drive from Raleigh.
We are excited to welcome you to Raleigh and that we can bring so many citizen science researchers, participants, project leaders, and enthusiasts to our area. Hope we will see you here in 2019!