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Public Participation in Scientific Research

Get Involved in Community Science!


Amberwing dragonfly on Sweet-scented Water Lily. (Photograph by VR Schmalhofer.)


Community Science - also known as Citizen Science - is part of a wider phenomenon - Public Participation in Scientific Research (PPSR) - that includes any organized research activity in which members of the public function as lay-scientists, asking questions, collecting data, and/or interpreting results.

Researchers from a variety of disciplines - ranging from archaeology to biology to geology to astronomy - are harnessing the investigative power of the people.  Community scientists have contributed to the search for and protection of archaeological sites, mapped light pollution through star counts, tracked changes in populations of different kinds of plants and animals, monitored earthquakes and landslides, detected invasive species, and much, much more!  If it's science, and you have an interest in it, there is probably a PPSR project related to it - and quite likely there is an app to help you participate!  

Community Science provides an opportunity for people of all ages to take part in the scientific process.  By involving the general public in their research, scientists are able to greatly expand the scope of their work and gather much more data - over much larger areas - than they could by following the traditional method of working alone or in small teams.  PPSR is also a tremendous opportunity for people with an interest in science to learn about and contribute to scientific endeavors.    

Community Science projects are useful tools for teachers, as participation enables their students to rigorously explore science and science concepts.  Projects suitable for elementary, middle school, or high school students are available: some PPSR projects accept participants of all ages, while other projects are specifically geared towards younger or older participants. 

More information about local, regional, national, and global PPSR projects can be found on the Center's Community Science page.  


Join a project!  As always, it is a glorious day for Science!







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