Re: International week of citizen science?

At a recent biodiversity informatics conference, I attended a breakout session regarding citizen science. One of the outcomes of this session was to try and arrange an international day of citizen science. To my mind, it is the efforts of the citizen - the schemes and societies, individual recorders, local groups, etc. - that makes the UK so special in terms of biodiversity data.

So it would be great if we - the members of the NBN - could be one of the standout participants in this.

Below is an email I received from Joel Sachs, who is issuing the call to arms:

Greetings Everyone,

Is anyone in the mood to follow up on our e-biosphere breakout discussion of an annual, loosely organized, international week of citizen science?
I am. :)
Here are some of the tasks that I think we should do to make this

1. Choose a date.
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, and so is an auspicious year to start. Could everyone please nominate a week? Then we can either reach consensus, or, if necessary, vote.

2. Catalog existing citizen science activities.
We should create a wiki, where everyone can describe citizen science efforts that they're involved in, or aware of. Ideally, we'll organize this by type, e.g. bioblitzes; invasive species monitoring; recording of plant characteristics; benthic macroinvertebrate surveys; etc.

3. Catalog  supporting software and hardware tools, both available and in development. At the breakout, it was clear that there was a lot of overlap in what people are doing in terms of: data collection tools; telephone apps; mapping tools; etc.
We should also track these on a wiki.

4. Create a repository of classroom (or informal education) activities that have been built around citizen science.
In my mind, another job for the wiki.

5. Develop the space where people can advertise data requests, "e.g. "If anyone's going to Shenandoah Park, please look for and record occurences of the Shenandoah Salamander. Here's a field guide and identification key."

Obviously, all but item #1 pertain to promoting citizen science in general, and not to International Citizen Science Week (acronym anyone?) alone.

To get the ball rolling, I created some skeleton wiki pages:

I'd like to move to a WYSIWYG wiki, perhaps the one hosted by MindTouch.
If anyone has a better wiki already up and running, please feel free to take over the hosting. In the meantime, please start to contribute. You can email me for the edit password.

Obviously, there's much more to do than what I listed above. But I think starting discussion on Item 1 would be a great place to start.

Finally, we're currently selecting the dates for the Fall 09 Blogger Bioblitz. This will be a good opportunity to experiment with tools, and with coordination, and I encourage everyone to get involved. You can vote for your preferred dates here:

And if you vote, you may as well join the group:
(We were getting a lot of Spam, so membership is by invitation only. I'll be happy to invite you.)

Warm regards to all -

Charles Roper
Digital Development Manager | Field Studies Council
http://www.field-studies-council.org | https://twitter.com/charlesroper | https://twitter.com/fsc_digital