Calling all citizen science project leaders: Connect with a global hub to recruit and support more participants!

SciStarter and Arizona State University are happy to announce that we’ve received support from the National Science Foundation to host a workshop at North Caroline State University, November 8-9, 2018.¬† March 12 (new date, which aligns with the Citizen Science Association conference nearby).

The hands-on, half-day workshop will support project organizers to connect into a global hub using affiliate tools to increase promotions, recruitment, and support for citizen scientists while advancing research in the field, particularly the inability to holistically study the movement, engagement, persistence and learning outcomes among volunteers engaged in multiple projects. The past few years have been a time of tremendous growth in awareness of and interest in citizen science projects. The project will address an increasing gap preventing projects in three now-popular categories (apps, projects hosted on government websites, and event-based projects) from adopting the digital tools created and available through The workshop  will bring citizen science project leaders together to deepen an understanding of their needs regarding the adoption of digital tools, developed by Scistarter, which will result in more comprehensive data in support of research in informal science learning outcomes of volunteers engaged in citizen science across projects and platforms. The in-person and online contributions from participants will guide the development of resources and tutorials to scale adoption.

SciStarter is a repository of hundreds of citizen science projects. Through previous NSF support, SciStarter developed digital affiliate tools which project leaders use on their own websites to enable analytics (statistics gathered from user activity online) to help projects more easily recruit and coordinator volunteers, help volunteers track their contributions across projects and platforms, and help researchers holistically study the movement and learning outcomes across projects and platforms. The proposed workshop will facilitate iteration and adoption of the tools among three classes of projects, not originally accounted for, which have dramatically increased in numbers during the past year: 1) app-based projects, 2) projects hosted on government websites, and 3) event-based projects.

By co-designing and implementing iterative versions of the tools among these projects, the project will address important gaps in research, enable a richer, more comprehensive understanding of volunteer engagement patterns, and discover opportunities to build a stronger community of citizen science practitioners who collaborate to enhance volunteer learning communities. The project will culminate in improved research in this field and improved management of citizen science projects for appropriate recruitment and retention that fosters STEM learning.

Are you a citizen science project or event leader who wants to adopt the Affiliate Tools right now? You can’t wait for the workshop? Well, that’s awesome and we can help you. Email and we’ll either step you through the process or if you prefer to give our developers access to your code, we can do all of this for you at no charge.

If you’d like to apply to join us in North Carolina on March 12, just complete this brief preliminary application and we’ll be in touch with a few more questions in the coming weeks.


Darlene Cavalier

Founder of SciStarter and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University

Categories: API, Other, Workshop Affiliate Tools

About the Author

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a professor of practice at Arizona State University's School for the Future of Innovation in Society and a Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at ASU. Professor Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter (a popular citizen science portal and research platform connecting millions of people to real science they can do), founder of Science Cheerleaders (a non profit organization comprised of current and former NFL, NBA and college cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers), cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology and cofounder of She is a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association, an advisor and Fellow at National Geographic, a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, appointed to the National Academy of Sciences "Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning" committee and named cochair of America 250's Innovation, Science, and Entrepreneurism Advisory Council. She is the co-editor of "The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science," author of "The Science of Cheerleading," and co-author of the Field Guide to Citizen Science (Timber Press). Recently, ASU President Michael Crow awarded Cavalier and her team the prestigious Medal for Social Embeddedness.