9:00—Welcome and orientation/housekeeping
9:05—Keynote Ellen Candler: Offal Wildlife Watching From a Distance
10:10—Themed Presentations: Adapting Existing Programs to Virtual Platforms
(10:10) Teton Science Schools’ AmeriCorps Program and Virtual Community Science—Kendall
Peacock and Naomi Heindel
(10:25) City Nature Challenge—Matt Wallace
(10:40) Girl Scouts: Conservation, Wildlife, and Leadership Go Virtual!—Kendall Peacock and
10:55—Rant: Science Literacy
11:05—Themed Presentations: Community Science Fundamentals and Inclusivity
(11:05) Science Learning: Evaluating Science Literacy in Citizen Science Projects—Nichole
(11:20) Using the STEM Teaching Tools to Support Community Science—Shannon Wachowski
11:35—Rant: Participants Don’t Submit Data
12:15—Themed Presentations: Incorporating Community Science into Online Education
(12:15) Neighbors to Nature: Cache Creek Study of Human Recreation and Wildlife Co-
Existence —Trevor Bloom and Kate Gersh
(12:30) Place-Based Education and Community Science—Amy Lorenz and Leslie Cook
12:45—Rant: Forest Regeneration Study
(12:55) Greater Yellowstone Amphibian and Reptile iNaturalist Project—Charles Peterson
(1:00) A Naturalist Program for Wyoming—Dorothy Tuthill and Jacelyn Downey
(1:05) All of Us Program—Mel Lopez
(1:10) Bat Walk—Mason Lee
(1:15) Bison of the Bighorn Basin—Amy Phillips
1:30—Themed Presentation: Community Science Programs In the Era of Social Distancing
(1:30) Bird Monitoring in the Time of COVID-19—Keith Bruno
(1:45) Wyoming Bioblitz goes Virtual: Increasing access, outcomes, and future
Opportunities —Amy Lorenz, Mason Lee, Jacelyn Downey
(2:00) A community science approach to eDNA monitoring of biodiversity in an era of
social distancing—Melanie Murphy
2:25—Plenary presentation: Jason Baldes: Tribal Bison Restoration
3:10—End, wrap-up, Virtual “Cocktail” Hour/Networking/
Rant 1: Science Literacy
One of the hallmark arguments for creating community science programs is that we are teaching people science—both what science is, and what it is to be a scientist. But are we really? A large majority of our community science participants are college-educated and already interested in science. And even when we manage to recruit non-scientists, are they really experiencing enough of the scientific process to understand what science is?
Is science literacy an explicit goal of your project(s), and if so, how do you incorporate that goal into project design? How do we expand our audience to reach people who are not already interested in science?
Rant 2: Participants Don’t Submit Data
For a lot of our projects, community scientists will participate in the project and in data collection, but they never submit the data that they collect! All I ask of participants is to take pictures of their datasheets or scan it and email them in, and even then, participants never send me their datasheets. This problem has become very apparent with asking people to send in their datasheets over email (due to social distancing, or non-local participants). Do other organizers have this issue, and ifso, how do they navigate it?
Rant 3: Forest Regeneration Study
I would like to buy a piece of land inside the Mullen fire burn once it’s out to dedicate to Community Science Research. The purpose is to establish an area where regeneration of the forest can be studied by K-12 schools, the university, and local communities. Cameras could make time lapse and motion triggered wildlife observations accessible remotely. We could establish a mentorship program between university students and public school students to design and conduct studies. I would retain ownership and fiscal responsibility. Observation of forest regeneration could be a great source of hope for our youth!
Rant 4: Engagement
There seems to be less engagement and data return on projects that have historically been all virtual, in comparison with projects that usually have an in-person component (such as a training, supply pick-up, etc.). Even when bringing in-person programs virtual this year, we had an almost 100% return on data. How can we increase engagement of volunteers with the project coordinator for completely virtual projects? If we have to move virtual for the foreseeable future, how do we keep engagement up when participants are used to and prefer in person projects?