Implementing Citizen Science in NASA Missions

Friday, 19 December 2014: 9:00 AM
Brian Hamilton Day, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, United States
Citizen science marks the intersection of education, public outreach, and science. Certain technologies, mission constructs, and E/PO plans facilitate participation, directly involving students and the public in the science supporting a mission. The benefits from well-implemented citizen science programs extend significantly beyond enabling extensive data collection. Through such programs, students and the public increase their own understanding of the mission’s science and technology, increase their appreciation for the mission’s relevance, realize that becoming a scientist or engineer is attainable and interesting, and become advocates among their peers. However, implementing a citizen science program that provides real benefits to both the mission science team and participating citizen scientists presents notable challenges.

In this talk, we will look at citizen science programs implemented by a number of past, current, and upcoming missions, including the Stardust, LCROSS, LADEE, and LRO missions. We will discuss the successes and challenges associated with these programs and how the lessons learned can be applied to future missions.