A team of researchers at NC State University, led by Dr. Caren Cooper (Dept. of Forestry & Environmental Resources; North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences) and Dr. Lincoln Larson (Dept. of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management), was recently awarded over $800,000 from the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program to study participant dynamics, coordinated management, and associated outcomes across a broad landscape of citizen science projects. The 5-year study will focus on SciStarter, a online repository of over 1,500 citizen science projects, using embedded assessments and other techniques to increase the capacity of citizen science projects to achieve their myriad scientific, learning, and conservation goals. Project outputs will inform adoption of innovation that advances citizen science as a coordinated and collaborative discipline and will help to foster optimal recruitment and retention of citizen scientists – including those currently under-represented in STEM.
More details about graduate assistantship opportunities associated with project will be available soon.