Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM
GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY: CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT IN SCIENCE
What do water sampling, weather observation, and scanning for radio waves have in common? All these activities are parts of scientific projects in which researchers are joined by regular people, who have an interest in science. The success of these projects depends, in large part, on the participation of interested citizens aiding researchers in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. From earliest history, citizens have been observing and noting natural phenomena. These observations have led to the formation of the earliest data sets and further questions regarding the natural world. In turn, these questions have sparked investigation which has led to scientific progression. In today’s world, the participation of citizen scientists adds to the fundamental accumulation of local data that would be impossible for government officials to gather. Citizen scientists are collecting essential data upon which is built a larger understanding of local, regional, and global scale phenomena.