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Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery

Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery

by Caren Cooper
Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery

Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery

by Caren Cooper



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True stories of everyday volunteers participating in scientific research that “may well prompt readers to join the growing community” (Booklist).
Think you need a degree in science to contribute to important scientific discoveries? Think again. All around the world, in fields ranging from meteorology to ornithology to public health, millions of everyday people are choosing to participate in the scientific process. Working in cooperation with scientists in pursuit of information, innovation, and discovery, these volunteers are following protocols, collecting and reviewing data, and sharing their observations. They’re our neighbors, in-laws, and coworkers. Their story, along with the story of the social good that can result from citizen science, has largely been untold, until now.
Citizen scientists are challenging old notions about who can conduct research, where knowledge can be acquired, and even how solutions to some of our biggest societal problems might emerge. In telling their story, Caren Cooper just might inspire you to rethink your own assumptions about the role that individuals can play in gaining scientific understanding—and putting that understanding to use as a steward of our world.
“Engaging.” —Library Journal (starred review)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781468314144
Publisher: ABRAMS, Inc. (Ignition)
Publication date: 12/20/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 371,371
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Caren Cooper is an associate professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University, part of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in Leadership in Public Science, and assistant head of the Biodiversity Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. She studies bird ecology, conservation, and management through the use of citizen science. She served as an advisor to the public television documentary mini-series The Crowd&The Cloud. She is a blogger at the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and Discover and guest blogger at Scientific American, and she is director of partnerships at

Table of Contents

Introduction: Marking the Tide 3

Part 1 Hobbies of Discovery 13

1 Meteorology: NOAA and the Flood 15

2 Ornithology: Bird Is a Verb 33

3 Entomology: Of Monarchs and Men 51

4 Astronomy: The Pull of the Planets 79

Part 2 The Necessity of Leisure 107

5 Biochemistry: Protein Folding Is Magic 109

6 Microbiology: Invisible Worlds Go Public 131

7 Conservation Biology: Taking Stock 155

Part 3 A World Where Everybody Counts 179

8 Marine Biology: Turtles and Nurdles 181

9 Geography: White Picket Fencelines 205

10 Public Health: Patients, No Patience 233

Conclusion: Setting Sail 261

Interviews/Sources 273

Call to Action 277

Acknowledgments 279

Index 283

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