Monday, July 6, 2009


The reason for the recent blogging blackout has been that Kyle and I have gotten busy writing grants, as we had planned when he flew to Venice ahead of me. Now that I am back from Santa Fe and in MA for one more day before taking off across the Atlantic, I figured I would make a quick entry to begin to update everyone as to our progress on our many fronts.
The first grant we applied for is called CitizenPipe and so far we have only submitted a preliminary proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the Informal Science Education program. When we get the thumbs up, we will have until November 19 to complete the full proposal. We have been using Google Docs so extensively that I have almost forgotten how to use Word...
The aim of this project is to produce a coordinated suite of second-generation web-based and mobile tools that will personalize the on-line and in-the-field experiences of citizen scientists, with the ultimate goal of making their contributions simple, fun, rewarding, educational, meaningful and long-lasting. The primary intellectual merit of this proposal lies in reorienting the informal collection of scientific data away from the traditional primacy of the formal citizen science programs (as witnessed by Cornell's Citizen Science Central) and toward a "prosumer" (producer/consumer) focus on the volunteers who are the engines that make the whole world of citizen science possible and constitute the real resource that needs to be fostered, cultivated and rewarded.
The data gathered for free by volunteer citizen scientists constitutes a scarce resource. This project aims at emphasizing the "RE" in "REsource," by ensuring that the data crowdsourced by volunteers is REdistrubuted and REused in a multiplicity of contexts by a variety of organizations, creating a multiplier effect that maximizes the impact of the citizen scientists.

Look for one new grant every week from now on... we're on a roll!

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