Rick Bonney is director of program development and evaluation at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where he has worked for 31 years. During that time he has received more than 20 awards from the National Science Foundation to develop and evaluate projects focused on various aspects of public engagement in science. These awards have included program and curriculum development, professional development, exhibit development, and program research and evaluation. Working in the field of citizen science, Rick co-founded the Lab’s citizen science program and started many of its current citizen science projects. He is founder and director of the website www.citizenscience.org; he is co-editor of the book Citizen Science, published by Cornell University Press; and he was Principal Investigator of two NSF-funded workshops designed to identify best practices in citizen science project development, implementation, and evaluation. He is also a founder of the Citizen Science Association and is serving on its first board of directors. Rick also seeks to understand the social and learning outcomes of public engagement in science. He was lead of the CAISE inquiry group on citizen science in 2009 and editor of the PI Guide to Managing Evaluation in Informal STEM Education Projects published by the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education in 2012. His team at the Lab of Ornithology is currently developing customizable tools for evaluating the impacts of participating in a range of citizen science project models and is employing these tools in the evaluation of several citizen science projects around North America.
Caren Cooper is Assistant Director of the Biodiversity Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The Museum’s mission is “to illuminate the interdependency of humanity and nature” and citizen science plays a big role. In 2015, Cooper created a citizen science research lab, The Counter Culture, to promote community participation in avian research and pollution monitoring and mapping. Caren helped develop several citizen science projects at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology including YardMap, NestWatch, Celebrate Urban Birds, and the House Sparrow Project. Caren has over 45 publications, including research papers that relied on data from NestWatch, Project FeederWatch, Christmas Bird Count, Breeding Bird Survey, and My Yard Counts. Caren also collaborates with social scientists to study birdwatchers and citizen scientists to understand land stewardship behaviors. Caren is a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program with a focus on science communication. She is writing a non-academic book about citizen science with The Overlook Press. Caren is a blogger with SciStarter, syndicated to Citizen Science Salon at Discover Magazine and CitSci at the PLOS Blogging Network. The Counter Culture and SciStarter host bi-monthly twitter-chats about citizen science. She can be followed on Twitter @CoopSciScoop.
Heidi Ballard is Associate Professor of Environmental Science Education at University of California, Davis. She conducts research focused on science and environmental education that link communities, scientists, and environmental action. Her work focuses on what and how both adults and youth learn through public participation in scientific research (PPSR), including citizen science and community-based participatory research focused on using science for environmental justice. She works in varied contexts, from natural history museums to Ugandan farmer field schools to native plant and tide-pool monitoring in California, using primarily qualitative research methods in partnership with citizen science practitioners. Her publications span the fields of environmental education, science education, ecology, conservation, social science, forestry, and agriculture. Heidi was a high school biology teacher and science curriculum developer in California, as well as outdoor and environmental educator, before earning her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management focused on forest ecology and management and community-based forestry. She trains primary and secondary pre-service teachers in science and environmental education, science education Ph.D. students, and graduate students across the university in participatory action research methods. She serves on several advisory boards for citizen science research and implementation projects, and on the Governance Council of the University of California’s Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California.