New Online Course in Citizen and Community Science

volunteers participating in citizen science

Course Title: Ready, Set, Participate: Choosing and Using Citizen and Community Science to Ask Important Questions and Engage People

Course Instructors: 

  • Malin Clyde, Specialist in Community Volunteers, Nature Groupie Project Manager, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
  • Alyson Eberhardt, Specialist in Coastal Ecosystems, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension/New Hampshire Sea Grant

What You'll Learn:  Participants in this course will develop understanding in the purpose and promise of citizen and community science (also called participatory science), and gain practical skills in designing a project that targets a specific audience, collects meaningful information and engages and educates volunteers.  

What Makes this Course Special?  Malin and Alyson have been working with volunteers in scientific research for decades. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is a national leader in the field, with citizen and community science projects reaching back to the 1970s. Today, UNH Cooperative Extension and New Hampshire Sea Grant coordinate more than 25 different citizen science projects and engage thousands of volunteers every year to collect data, analyze results and put research into action. In 2023, UNH launched a new Graduate Certificate in Citizen and Community Science, for which Malin and Alyson provide course instruction and which informs our current effort to help bring practical skills and useful knowledge to working professionals through this new online course. 

Course Format:  100% online, 6-8 weeks, expected launch fall 2024 with pilot in summer, 2024. Participants will be expected to engage weekly with materials (videos, directed activities, online discussions) on their own schedule. There will be optional Zoom sessions with instructors for those seeking live interaction. We aim to create a lively class environment, engaged learning experience, and provide effective feedback. No previous experience with online learning is needed.

Who Should Attend? People with an interest in engaging community members in authentic science research or who may not be sure how to get started in using citizen and community science. You could be a scientist, researcher, student, museum and zoo staff, non-profit staff, professional educator, conservation organization, land management agency staff, volunteer program coordinator, park ranger and staff, interested volunteer or something else! Research interests in any topic regardless of discipline will gain best practices from this course, including natural, social and physical sciences, disaster preparedness, history and humanities, health and well-being, recreation, and more. The asynchronous nature of the course will enable students from any time zone to participate fully in the course.

Cost: $500 - $1000, sliding fees, bulk organizational registrations and student discounts will be available. Microcredentials and Certificates of Participation available to those who successfully complete the course.

Please Note:  This published information is the best available at the current time. Course instructors may change features and details of the course in advance of formal registration. Signing up for notification only signifies interest - we will only use your name to send additional information about this course availability.

Interested? Share your contact information to be notified when course registration becomes available. Opportunities for helping pilot the course in summer, 2024 may be available to a select group of interested persons at a reduced fee.

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