Maker Faire

Citizen Science

Type: Maker Table/Exhibit
Program Area: Citizen Science

Day/Time: Saturday and Sunday

Location: To be determined

Citizen scientists are everyday people who conduct volunteer scientific research without formal credentials. Notable citizen scientists in history include Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, who advanced our understanding of electricity and agricultural technology.

Citizen Science projects range in size from national or worldwide studies in collaboration with thousands of people to individuals collecting their own data locally. Often, the data is collected and combined from many volunteers, as in the annual Christmas Bird count, which has collected bird population data for over 100 years.

Citizen scientests collect and report data using specific protocols, and that data is often used by professional scientistsin their studies. These data collections are also available to the public; for example, Surfrider Foundation's "Blue Water Task Force" publishes the results of water quality testing on their web site for all to use.

Some citizen scientists work on their own, monitoring and reporting on everything from bird nests to weather conditions to variable stars. Others, like Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, work in organized groups to collect and publish data.

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Several groups will have tables in the citizen science area.