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Community Science

What is Community Science?

Community science (formerly known as citizen science) is the term used to describe scientific research conducted by individuals participating on a volunteer basis, outside of their own professional scope.

Community science projects are generally structured by scientists, with public participation and engagement through any combination of data collection, analysis, discussion, or collaboration. The practice of amateur-led or self-funded scientific research has a rich and varied history, with most science before the late nineteenth century being conducted by non-scientists. Modern community science programs help scientists to overcome a variety of obstacles in gathering and processing data. Opportunities for crowdsourced scientific participation are expanding with technology advances, especially the increased availability of internet connectivity and high-quality portable cameras. As technology continues to advance, so do opportunities to improve awareness and scientific literacy, setting the stage for a bright future for community science and public engagement.

Community Science at the Aquarium

People walking down a rocky coast

Community Science Programs

Community science programs are a tool for engaging the public in science and empowering individuals to be a part of scientific studies within their own communities.

Person at a podium in front of a large screen

Community Science Symposiums

The Aquarium has hosted community science symposiums in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Summaries from past symposiums are catalogued here.