Get Involved

Working Groups

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Working groups serve to advance the goals of the Citizen Science Association through the sharing of resources, best practices, and relevant information with group members and the broader citizen science community. Participating in a working group is a powerful means by which members can shape the future of citizen science practice.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Activities may include preparing material for a webinar or a white paper, compiling resources to share on the website, or planning a symposia at the CSA conference. Working groups meet regularly, many of them monthly, through conference calls and in person at the biennial CSA conference. Working groups also provide an opportunity for both new and experienced leaders to hone and develop skills and visibility within the field.

The following working groups have articulated concrete proposals, and have been approved by the Board of Directors as formal affiliates of CSA. Additional working groups will be convened as priorities are identified. Interested in proposing a new working group? Learn how to propose a new working group and start the process.

Current Working Groups:

Each working group has a page linked below with more information about current initiatives, meeting times, and how to get involved. You will also find resource pages with relevant links and information curated by the working groups linked below.

Citizen Science Month Working Group

Caroline Nickerson (SciStarter)
Vivienne Byrd (Los Angeles Public Library)

Objectives for this group: Provide resources for CSA members and citizen science practitioners to celebrate and promote all things citizen science-related at their organizations, especially centering on Citizen Science Month in April. The work of the Citizen Science Month Working Group is done in collaboration with SciStarter and the Citizen Science Association.

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Data and Metadata Working Group

Greg Newman (Colorado State University,
Charmel Menzel (ESRI)

The mission of this group is:
to support, advance, and facilitate data interoperability among and between citizen science projects, and other data repositories; and, to promote collaboration in citizen science via the development and/or improvement of international standards for data and metadata.

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Education Working Group

Mary Ford (National Geographic)
Heather Vance-Chalcraft (East Carolina University)

The mission of this group is: 
To enable, inspire, investigate, and facilitate effective integration of scientific and educational goals, practices, and outcomes in citizen science. With a focus on serving youth and practitioners who work with youth, while acknowledging that there will be significant overlap with the interests and needs of programs designed for adult learners.

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Environmental Justice Practitioners

Antonio Garcia
Veronica Bitting
Vincent Martin

The mission of the Environmental Justice Practitioners Working Group is to bring attention to inequities among the CSA community and address systemic issues holding back progress in research. The EJPWG aims to support and connect community-based organizations and EJ-focused practitioners to the CSA community and foster equitable collaborations in community science.

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Ethics Working Group

Lisa Rasmussen (UNC Charlotte)
Claire O’Neill (Earthwise Aware)

Objectives for this group:
1. Chart the landscape of ethical issues across the spectrum of citizen science.
2. Raise awareness among the greater research community about unique ethical challenges in citizen science and the need for training in ethics.
3. Increase the capacity of CSA to provide resources and training in ethics to researchers, citizen science leaders, and citizen scientists.
4. Develop mechanisms for CSA to support research ethics review.

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Integrity, Diversity, and Equity Working Group

Courtney McGeachy (Pew Charitable Trusts)
Skye Kelty (Rutgers University)
Stella Kafka (AAVSO)

The Integrity, Diversity, and Equity Working Group was one of CSA’s earliest teams. After a hiatus, the group was re-activated at CitSci2019 and as of spring 2020 is working to re-define its scope and objectives.

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Law and Policy Working Group

George Wyeth (Environmental Law Institute)
Dr. Lea Shanley ( Nelson Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Objectives for this group:

1.Evaluate federal and state laws/ regulations relevant to citizen science
2. Identify settings and models to link citizen data to government agency decisions and actions
3. Provide a forum for projects focused on informing policies or public action
4. Highlight emerging legal/regulatory concerns of the citizen science community

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Professional Development Working Group

Mark Chandler (Earth Watch Institute )

The goal of the professional development working group is to facilitate the development of effective professional development services for citizen science practitioners, researchers, educators, and others involved in the field.

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Research and Evaluation Working Group

Alison Cawood (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)
Cat Stylinski (University of MD Center for Environmental Science)
Tina Phillips (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

Objectives for this group:
1. Support coordination and facilitation of research and evaluation within the citizen science community.
2. Provide more collaborative opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback on evaluation tools, research in progress, IRB policies, and other human subjects protection issues.
3. Facilitate the sharing of evaluation findings and provide access to outcomes of citizen science that can be communicated to broader audiences.

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