Conference Session: “Citizen Science 2.0: Expanding Reach, Expanding Results”


We all know that scientific research is done in sterile labs by nerds in white lab coats, the results of which eventually makes its way to the public through government agencies or mega corporations who own the ‘science’.  If you’ve not paid your dues in academia to get the appropriate science degrees, your capacity to participate in science is limited to the baking soda and vinegar volcano that you show off to your kids when it’s their Science Fair.

Wrong; and wrong.

Citizen Science may be the most widespread and important outsourcing enterprise ever attempted, and chances are you haven’t heard of it. Or if you have, you don’t know what’s out there or how you can get involved.  We’d like to change that by introducing you to two prominent Citizen Science programs that encourage and facilitate participation in real scientific research projects.

SciStarter aims to facilitate citizen participation in formal and informal research projects and events around the world (and beyond!), allowing regular people to contribute needed and meaningful data towards scientific progress, and to see the results of their efforts. Science Cheerleader is a program made up of professional cheerleaders pursuing science careers who inspire young women to challenge stereotypes and consider Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) careers.  Both programs were founded by Darlene Cavalier, Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

Please consider attending this Panel Discussion at the Arizona SciTech Festival as Ms. Cavalier is joined by Kaitlin Vortherms, a PhD student in Sustainable Engineering at Arizona State University and Miss Phoenix 2015, and worked with Science Cheerleaders on NASA’s Soil Moisture and Active Passive (SMAP) global warming Citizen Science Project.  Rounding out the panel are René Tanner, Life Sciences Librarian at Arizona State University (and former Environmental Planner), and Dan Stanton, Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian at Arizona State University (and Past-President of the Arizona Library Association).  Find out how we can move Citizen Science forward together.

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  • Darlene Cavalier, Professor of Practice, Arizona State University’s Center for Engagement and Training, Founder of SciStarter, Founder of Science Cheerleader, CoFounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology
  • Rene Tanner, Librarian, Life Sciences, Arizona State University
  • Dan Stanton, Librarian, Humanities and Social Sciences, Arizona State University
  • Kaitlin Vortherms, PhD student, Sustainable Engineering, Arizona State University

By Dan Stanton: a Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian at ASU, responsible for the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre, and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Dan was previously a Government Information Librarian for sixteen years, and is still recognized in certain circles as Dan – The Gov Docs Man.

The Arizona SciTech Festival is a state-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM or STEAM when you include the arts) held annually in February and March. Through a series of over 1000 expos, workshops, conversations, exhibitions and tours held in diverse neighborhoods throughout the state, the Arizona SciTech Festival excites and informs Arizonans from ages 3 to 103 about how STEM will drive our state for next 100 years. Spearheaded by the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Science Center, the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, the Arizona SciTech Festival is a grass roots collaboration of over 700 organizations in industry, academia, arts, civic, community and K-12.

Categories: Citizen Science, Events, libraries

About the Author

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a Professor at Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter. She is also the founder of Science Cheerleader, an organization of more than 300 current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers, and a cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a network of universities, science centers, and think tanks that produces public deliberations to enhance science policymaking. She is a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences "Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning" committee. She is the author of The Science of Cheerleading and co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by Arizona State University. Darlene holds degrees from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a high school, college and NBA cheerleader. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.