I worked for almost 12 years as the education coordinator and citizen science coordinator for the Mammoth Cave International Center for Science and Learning. In that position, I developed, implemented, managed, and led Mammoth Cave National Park’s citizen science program. The program I developed for the park included 11 park-based citizen science projects. The projects included biological surveys (on the surface and in-cave), hydro-geology research (in cave), and cultural resource inventory, monitoring, and assessments (on the surface and in-cave). The citizen scientists involved in the program at Mammoth Cave contributed up to $46,000 per year in volunteer research time.
Participant involvement in Mammoth Cave’s citizen science program spanned a wide range of public engagement. For some of the projects, participant involvement was limited to collecting data that was sent to resource managers or other researchers. Other citizen science projects were developed in collaboration with a teacher or professor specifically for his or her class. In those projects, the student citizen scientists were fully involved with every step of the research process.
In addition to my Mammoth Cave based citizen science projects, I developed a new, online citizen science project studying bat behaviors. This project was funded by the National Science Foundation. Anyone in the world could participate by going to the website, watching archived videos of bats, and identifying the behaviors they see. The website also had a discussion board where participants could ask questions and interact with other participants and researchers. Participants in this project not only gathered data on bat behavior, but also documented a new species for Coronado National Memorial.
I enjoy developing citizen science projects and helping others develop citizen science projects. Please contact me if you would like me to talk to your organization about citizen science, how it can bridge your research and education / public engagement goals, or ways to effectively integrate citizen science into your research and resource management program. I also offer consulting services to help you develop your own citizen science program.
Local newspaper articles about some of my citizen science projects:
Barren County students help collect dragonfly larvae at Mammoth Cave National Park
BY GINA KINSLOW / Glasgow Daily Times, Jun 11, 2015
Mammoth Cave National park has budding job
By GINA KINSLOW / Glasgow Daily Times, Apr 4, 2014