Over 100 citizen scientists gathered for to learn more about conservation-oriented citizen science programs and opportunities in Southern California. Symposium attendees consisted of people who run citizen science programs, participate in them, along with scientists, educators, and students from the following organizations and institutions: Aquarium of the Pacific; Catalina Marine Society; Earthwatch; Fullerton College; Mountain Lion Foundation; Mountain Restoration Trust; NASA; Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; NOAA; Ocean Sanctuaries; Pacific Marine Mammal Care Center; Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy; Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District; Santa Ana College; Santa Monica College; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Southern California Sea Turtle Monitoring Project and USC.
The symposium commenced with a presentation by keynote speaker Darlene Cavalier, who is the founder of SciStarter and Science Cheerleader, cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a founding Board Member of the Citizen Science Association, professor at Arizona State University, and author of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science. The keynote was followed by the Lightning Round Presentations, which were short (5 min) back to back presentations from individuals from a variety of backgrounds including: citizen science participants and program designers, as well as students and educators. During the lunchtime break, a number of symposium attendees participated in an optional BioBlitz in which they used the iNaturalist app to record and submit data from observations of different types of living species found at the nearby Shoreline Aquatic Park. Lunch was followed by a moderated panel discussion in which citizen science experts discussed the role of technology in citizen science, and special session presentations on local citizen science programs. The symposium concluded with an afternoon reception, which included a poster session, book signing from the keynote speaker, resource sharing table, and networking opportunities.
This symposium was made possible by the generous financial support provided by the following event sponsors: The Aquarium of the Pacific, its Marine Conservation Research Institute (MCRI), and Premier.