Life Science Hour Seminar Series

Name:Katie Spellman
Title:Citizen science, diversity, and social-ecological resilience: improving access and outcomes by design
Date:Friday, 26 January 2018
Location:Murie Life Science Bldg, Murie Auditorium.


Citizen science has rapidly increased in popularity around the world as a means of conducting research. In the rapidly warming high latitudes, access to quality science datasets at local and regional scales and effective learning about climate change have never been more critical to northern communities and scientists seeking navigate the consequences of climate change. Citizen science presents an attractive option to address these data and learning needs at multiple scales. Despite rapid advances in citizen science research, key issues remain that must be addressed if it is to reach its full potential as a tool for increasing public understanding of and participation in science. Among these key issues are 1) how to increase the diversity of volunteers that citizen science programs attract, and 2) how to increase the impact of citizen science participation on the ability of a community to respond to, adapt to, or shape change in a social-ecological system. Spellman will discuss her current research and citizen science programs addressing these two issues in citizen science.

About the Speaker:

Katie Spellman is a research Associate at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has cultivated a research career that integrates ecology and education tools and methods. Her ecological research focuses on invasive plant species, subsistence berry species, and plant phenology in boreal forest ecosystems, and her education research focuses on learning tools for more efficient and effective climate change learning, with both research areas converging on citizen science. Since 2007, she has created, co-created, or directed 8 citizen science programs that span the state of Alaska, and engaged volunteers from preschool through retirees and remote villages to urban centers.

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