Citizen Science Short Course


11am-1pm (Pacific)/ 12-2pm (Mountain)/ 1-3pm (Central)/ 2-4pm (Eastern)

July 15th – August 5th, 2020

>>>RSVP HERE <<<

Sponsors: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Early Faculty Innovators Program + Critical Ecologies Lab at the University of South Carolina

Description: Citizen Science is a concept and research methodology that seeks to question and expand the purview of scientific authority beyond the realm of scientific laboratories and experts. This short course on Citizen Science will introduce participants to a brief history of Citizen Science, critical questions about the divisions between “expert” and “lay” knowledge this work engages, and different applications of Citizen Science that examine the possibilities and limitations of this mode of research.

Over the course of four sessions, we will discuss these topics and hear from scholars and practitioners who use Citizen Science in various aspects of their research. As a seminar, sessions will be discussion based. Each session builds on the previous one, so we hope that participants can join for all our meetings. All meetings are virtual, free, and open to anyone who wants to join (faculty, students, practitioners, etc.).

Please RSVP here for the Zoom link and access to shared readings.


Session #1 – July 15th

What is citizen science? What and whose purposes does it serve?

Invited guests

Julie Maldonado, Associate Director, Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN). Dr. Maldonado (Ph.D. Public Anthropology) is the Associate Director for the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN), a non-profit, link-tank for policy-relevant research toward post-carbon livelihoods and communities. In this capacity, she serves as co-director of The Rising Voices Center for Indigenous and Earth Sciences, which facilitates intercultural, relational-based approaches for understanding and adapting to extreme weather and climate events, variability, and change. Her recent book, Seeking Justice in an Energy Sacrifice Zone: Standing on Vanishing Land in Coastal Louisiana, emerged from years of collaborative work with Tribal communities in coastal Louisiana experiencing and responding to repeat disasters and climate chaos.

Simona Perry, Research Director & Founder, c.a.s.e. Consulting Services LLC; Executive Director, Pipeline Safety Coalition; Co-Founder, Oceans Connect, Inc. Dr. Perry (Ph.D. Human Dimensions of Natural Resources) is an applied social and environmental scientist and community rights advocate. In her dual roles as a research and communications consultant and leader of a national safety advocacy organization, she seeks to develop and implement community-centered practices focused on principles of long-term resilience, self-determination, collaborative and adaptive governance, human rights, and rights of nature. This year, she and two colleagues in southeast Georgia formed Oceans Connect, Inc., to protect and regenerate our common ocean resources by building a diverse and connected ocean conservation community in the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean. One of the goals of Oceans Connect in 2020-2023 is to collaborate with others on community/citizen data collection efforts specific to marine pollution.   

Session #2 – July 22nd

How does citizen science engage with communities?

Invited guests

Danica Lombardozzi, Project Scientist II, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Dr. Lombardozzi (Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) is a global change ecologist interested in understanding how terrestrial ecosystems are changing in response to human activities and the impact that these changes have on climate. She uses a combination of field observations, laboratory techniques, ecological models, and data synthesis to address these questions across spatial scales and through time. She will discuss some of her recent collaborative work on ozone bioindicator gardens.

Session #3 – July 29th

How is the validity of citizen science challenged?

Invited guests

Frances Roberts Gregory is an ecowomanist ethnographer and Ph.D. Candidate in Society & Environment at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research explores how Gulf Coast women of color navigate contradictory relationships with energy and petrochemical industries, resist environmental racism and advocate for climate justice. She previously consulted for the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and taught courses on climate justice and environmental racism at Tulane University and Bard Early College New Orleans (BECNO). She is a former Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) protege and previously worked at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). In the fall of 2021, she will start a new position as Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and co-director of the Spelman College Food Studies Program. 

Session #4 – August 5th

What are the possibilities and limitations of citizen science?

Invited guests

Clint Carroll is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Dr. Carroll (Ph.D. Environmental Science, Policy, and Management) works closely with Cherokee people in Oklahoma on issues of land conservation and the perpetuation of land-based knowledge and ways of life. His book, Roots of Our Renewal: Ethnobotany and Cherokee Environmental Governance (2015, University of Minnesota Press), explores how tribal natural resource managers navigate the material and structural conditions of settler colonialism, as well as how recent efforts in cultural revitalization are informing such practices through traditional forms of decision-making and local environmental knowledge. In his current work, funded by a National Science Foundation Early Career Award, he co-directs with a group of elders and wisdom-keepers a land education program for five Cherokee students; he also serves as Principal Investigator on a study about Cherokee plant gathering access in rural northeastern Oklahoma. This integrated education and community-based research project seeks to formulate lasting methods for maintaining Cherokee land-based knowledge and to better understand how Cherokee people are negotiating access to land due to complex ownership patterns and the impact of shifting climate conditions. The results of the research will inform advancements in community-defined and -directed local ecosystem stewardship and tribal land conservation strategies. For more information, visit the Project Website ( 

Short course facilitators:

Monica Patrice Barra: Dr. Barra (Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology) is an assistant professor in the School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment and Department of Anthropology and faculty affiliate in the African American Studies Program at the University of South Carolina. She is an Early Career Innovator Fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Her research focuses on the ways in which racial inequalities and geographies are forged through scientific practices, racial histories, and transformations of rural and built environments.

Teresa Norman: Ms. Norman is a masters candidate in the Earth and Environmental Resource Management Masters Program in the School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment at the University of South Carolina. She is a graduate student fellow in the Early Career Innovator Fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Questions? Email Teresa Norman:

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