A woman stands on giant shoreline rocks looking out at the ocean and holding a clipboard
MPA Watch asks volunteers to observe beaches along the California coast. (Courtesy photo)

Citizen Science

Scientific research can feel impenetrable and exclusive to many people. These six community science projects at UC Davis are changing that.

'For many, the term “scientist” brings up images of people clad in white lab coats clutching glass tubes, gathering data that will appear in dense academic articles that most people can’t parse, let alone even access because the information is often behind paywalls. Often, these scientific findings don’t resonate with the everyday lives of the public. That’s why UC Davis researchers are leading several citizen and community science projects, which can help make research more meaningful and inclusive. 

Citizen and community science projects can take various forms, but at their core they involve people who are not professional scientists. “This is about involving someone in a scientific process where they play an important role in helping that process succeed, whether it’s collecting data, or shaping research questions, or helping with the analysis,” explained Ryan Meyer, the executive director of the Center for Community and Citizen Science at the UC Davis School of Education. Citizen science is about “expanding our notion of who can be a scientist,” he added."'

Read the full story at UC Davis Magazine

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