Citizen Science Association

CitSciVirtual Keynotes and Plenary Sessions

Return to CitSciVirtual 2021

CitSciVirtual featured two Keynotes and four additional Plenary sessions. Links to the recorded sessions, available on YouTube, can be found for each of the sessions below.

Opening Keynote, 3 May 2021: Watch here

Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali

Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali is the Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate & Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the Founder & CEO of Revitalization Strategies. Before joining the NWF Mustafa was the Senior Vice President for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national, non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the Hip Hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. 

Mustafa began working on Social Justice issues at the age of 16, joining the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a student and becoming a founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ). Over a 24 year career with the agency, he most recently served as Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization and Assistant Associate Administrator working to elevate environmental justice issues and strengthening environmental justice policies, programs, and initiatives.

Throughout his career, Mustafa has worked with more than 500 domestic and international communities to secure environmental, health and economic justice, using a holistic approach to helping them to move from Surviving to Thriving. Frequently seen on TV, you can also tune in to his current live radio show and podcast, Think 100% “The Coolest Show On Climate Change,” which he co-hosts with Grammy Nominated Singer and Actress Antonique Smith & Civil Rights Icon, Rev Lennox Yearwood.

Closing Keynote, 24 May 2021: Watch here

Sylvia Acevedo

Sylvia Acevedo is, among many things, a Corporate Board Director, Community leader, Author and Rocket-scientist.

Sylvia is the author of Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist, a story of her personal journey from the dirt streets of Las Cruces, New Mexico, to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the top executive tiers executive tiers of Apple, Dell, IBM, Qualcomm and other U.S. technology leaders.  

Most recently she served as CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. She also Chaired President Obama’s White House initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics in early childhood leadership, and was the driver of the Administration’s Early Childhood Dual Language Education Policy. She is a devout believer in the power of transformation to change and improve lives, communities, organizations – and the world.

Monday, 10 May 2021 Plenary Presentation (12-1:30 US Eastern time): Watch here

Mapping, analyzing, and communicating citizen science information using field tools, web GIS, dashboards, and story maps

Today’s web-enabled Geographic Information Systems tools, open data portals, and real-time IoT feeds can be powerfully and easily joined with citizen science collection tools and data for meaningful investigations and interactive, shareable, multimedia maps.  Join Geographer Joseph Kerski as we explore why and how these tools can be used by educators, students, researchers, and others to analyze data from the local to global scale to build a more resilient, sustainable future.

Monday, 17 May 2021 Plenary Panel (12-1:30 US Eastern time): Watch here

Still on the Frontlines: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Engaging in Citizen Science and Community Science

Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson, Dean of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities at Shaw University, leads this live CitSciVirtual roundtable conversation with faculty of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who are exploring and deeply integrating citizen science and community science as part of their undergraduate curricula. This convened panel of experts will share current work underway at each of their institutions, and will touch on timely topics including the role of citizen and community science in undergraduate education, HBCU leadership in community engagement, new research lenses including spatial justice, and the realities of funding disparities and their impacts on institutions, researchers, and communities.

Dr. Johnson is joined by (click on each name for bios) Dr. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks (Spelman College), Dr. Mark Barnes (Morgan State University), Dr. Russell Smith (Winston-Salem State University), and Dr. David Padgett (Tennessee State University). We are grateful to the Citizen Science Association’s Environmental Justice Practitioners Working Group, particularly Co-Chair Ms. Veronica Bitting, for the vision and leadership for this plenary session.

Full details here.

Friday, 21 May 2021 Plenary Panel, in conjunction with CitSciCon (12-1:30 US Eastern time): Watch here

Leading Discovery: Volunteers in their Own Voices

This CitSciVirtual/CitSciCon shared Plenary will feature conversations with the essential collaborators of NASA citizen science: the volunteers who contribute their time, knowledge, and creativity to advance discovery. Volunteers share insights on what makes their participation powerful and possible, and helps remind us of the impacts possible when projects can fully engage and support their full knowledge, energies, and passion.

Come be inspired by their stories, learn why they are spending their time this way, and what they are getting out of their collaboration with scientists. We’ll also hear from scientists reflecting on the unexpected ways that citizen scientists have helped their research. Sarah Kirn of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Citizen Science Strategist, NASA, will host. Featuring a conversation with Hilde Fålun Strøm and Sunniva Sorby, the two Polar Ambassadors and explorers behind Hearts in the Ice.

Open to all! Interested public can RSVP via the CitSciCon website. Also livestreamed to CSA’s YouTube Channel.

Saturday, 22 May 2021 Plenary Panel, in conjunction with CitSciCon (12-1:30 US Eastern time): Watch here

Celebrating the Science of Millions: A Conversation with the Zooniverse’s Dr. Chris Lintott

Join in this CitSciVirtual/CitSciCon Plenary for a celebration of the the science that is possible through volunteer contributions. This volunteer-driven conversation with Dr. Chris Lintott will celebrate the cutting-edge science made possible by the contributions of volunteers. Chris is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, where he is also a research fellow at New College, working with citizen scientists to explore the Universe, find planets and be surprised by the cosmos. As Principal Investigator of the Zooniverse, he leads a team who built and run a platform which hosts more than 300 online citizen science projects, allowing more than two million people to discover planets, transcribe ancient papyri or explore the Serengeti. A passionate advocate of the public understanding of science, he is best known in the UK as co-presenter of the BBC’s long running Sky at Night program. His book on the Zooniverse, ‘The Crowd and the Cosmos,’ is now available from Oxford University Press.

Open to all! Interested public can RSVP via the CitSciCon website. Also livestreamed to CSA’s YouTube Channel.