Citizen Science

In 2020, lab member Monica Barra organized a course on citizen science with her graduate student, Teresa Norman. Links to schedule, readings, guest lectures, and archived meetings can be found on these pages.

Citizen Science Short Course


11am-1pm (Pacific)/ 12-2pm (Mountain)/ 1-3pm (Central)/ 2-4pm (Eastern)

July 15th – August 5th, 2020


Sponsors: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Early Faculty Innovators Program + Critical Ecologies Lab at the University of South Carolina

Facilitator: Monica Barra, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina

Description: Citizen Science is a concept and research methodology that seeks to question and expand the purview of scientific authority beyond the realm of scientific laboratories and experts. This short course on Citizen Science will introduce participants to a brief history of Citizen Science, critical questions about the divisions between “expert” and “lay” knowledge this work engages, and different applications of Citizen Science that examine the possibilities and limitations of this mode of research.

Over the course of four sessions, we will discuss these topics and hear from scholars and practitioners who use Citizen Science in various aspects of their research. As a seminar, sessions will be discussion based. Each session builds on the previous one, so we hope that participants can join for all our meetings. All meetings are virtual, free, and open to anyone who wants to join (faculty, students, practitioners, etc.).

If you have questions or would like to join, please email Teresa Norman:


Session #1 – July 15th

What is citizen science? What and whose purposes does it serve?

Invited guests

Julie Maldonado, Associate Director, Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN).

Simona Perry, Research Director & Founder, c.a.s.e. Consulting Services LLC; Executive Director, Pipeline Safety Coalition; Co-Founder, Oceans Connect, Inc. 

Session #2 – July 22nd

How does citizen science engage with communities?

Invited guests

Danica Lombardozzi, Project Scientist II, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). 

Paulette Blanchard, Absentee Shawnee & Kickapoo, Diversity and Inclusion Fellow with University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and PhD candidate in the department of Geography at the University of Kansas.

Session #3 – July 29th

How is the validity of citizen science challenged?

Invited guests

Ruby Mendenhall is an Associate Professor of Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, Gender and Women’s Studies and Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   

Frances Roberts Gregory is an ecowomanist ethnographer and Ph.D. Candidate in Society & Environment at the University of California, Berkeley. In the fall of 2021, she will start a new position as Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and co-director of the Spelman College Food Studies Program. 

Betsy Taylor, Executive Director, Livelihoods Exchange Network (LiKEN).

Mary Hufford, Associate Director, Livelihoods Exchange Network (LiKEN).

Ricki Draper, Community Engagement Coordinator, Livelihoods Exchange Network (LiKEN). 

Session #4 – August 5th

What are the possibilities and limitations of citizen science?

Invited guests

Clint Carroll is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder and citizen of the Cherokee Nation. 

Matthew Bethel, Executive Associate Director of Research for Louisiana Sea Grant at Louisiana State University. 

Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Director of the Indian Legal Clinic, Faculty Director of the Indian Legal Program, and Clinical Professor of Law, at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Course facilitators:

Monica Patrice Barra: Dr. Barra is an assistant professor in the School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment and Department of Anthropology and faculty affiliate in the African American Studies Program at the University of South Carolina. She is also an Early Career Innovator Fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). 

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