Backyards, Beaches, Birds and Bees: Citizen Science

Gretchen LeBuhn, Ph.D, Professor, Department of Biology, SFSU

Heidi Ballard, Ph.D, Associate Professor, School of Education, UC Davis

Terrence Gosliner, Ph.D, Dean of Science and Research, California Academy of Sciences – Moderator

Public participation in scientific research, also known as "citizen science," is a burgeoning practice that is more accessible than ever. As the world is confronted with growing challenges, from climate change to political upheavals, the individuals' ability to record observations to help assess the health of people and ecosystems is a valuable asset. Citizen science programs help empower communities to understand threats to their landscapes and well-being. They also help people understand science and how it is applied.

Professor Gretchen LeBuhn of SFSU directs the world's largest citizen science undertaking on pollinators, The Great Sunflower Project, which enjoins regular people to make observations of bees in their own backyards. As one in every three bites of food each of us takes depends on pollinator services, she asserts that it is imperative to understand what is causing current bee declines.

Professor Heidi Ballard of UC Davis is at the forefront of finding out how citizen science works and why it matters, and her work emphasizes citizen science that empowers communities to ask their own questions and thus to more directly serve their own needs.

These two leading intellectuals will discuss the ways in which people, technology and crowd-sourcing are making a difference. The program will be moderated by Terrance Gosliner, dean of science and research at the California Academy of Sciences.

MLF: Science & Technology/Environment & Natural Resources
Location: SF Club Office
Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program
Cost: $20 non-members, MEMBERS FREE, students free (with valid ID)
Program Organizer: Chisako Ress
Also know: In association with SFSU, UC Davis and the California Academy of Sciences. Sponsored by Ernst & Young and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.