SI2-SSE: Developing Sustainable Software Elements to Support the Growing Field of Public Participation in Scientific Research

November 1st, 2013 - October 31st, 2016 | PROJECT

Across the globe, citizen science projects are becoming increasingly poised to address social and environmental challenges and answer broad scientific questions. Although rapidly increasing in number, these projects need easy-to-use software tools for data management, analysis, and visualization to be successful. This project transforms how citizen science projects unfold locally, regionally, and globally by creating software that supports the full spectrum of project activities. It empowers projects to ask and answer their own local questions while contributing data critical to larger-scale issues. These tools will allow projects to announce training events; track volunteers; create datasheets; enter, review, analyze, and visualize data; publish reports; discover resources; integrate data; and ensure that data are contributed to repositories (e.g., DataONE, NEON, GBIF, HydroShare, and EOL). Tools will be made available to citizen science projects and will be delivered as reusable software elements for use in existing websites; as website features on; and as Application Programming Interface (API) services and mobile applications. The tools will expand the national reach, local appeal, computational abilities, visualization techniques, statistical analysis capabilities, and interoperability of the nations' cyber-infrastructure. Using participatory design and agile methods, the project will: (1) develop reusable software elements that citizen science organizations can embed into their own websites, (2) harden and expand the functionality and capabilities of through new website features, and (3) extend the APIs of and develop associated mobile applications to increase system and tool interoperability. The target user communities will include citizen science project coordinators. It will deliver customizable tools and services related to all project activities and engage projects across a wide array of disciplines. Project coordinators will be able to customize all tools developed to suit their specific project needs. Adoption and use of the tools developed will create a cyber-ready workforce capable of collecting, contributing, and applying high quality ecological, geophysical, social, and human health related observations to solve real-world problems. These broader impacts will help the citizen science community better understand effective models of public engagement to ensure more impactful application of citizen science to societal challenges.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Gregory Newman, Principal Investigator, Colorado State University
Stacy Lynn, Co-Principal Investigator, Colorado State University
Melinda Laituri, Co-Principal Investigator, Colorado State University


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1339707
Funding Amount: 493076


Audience: Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | Nature of science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Citizen Science Programs | Media and Technology | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media