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What’s New in 2017:

Nov. 17

The Citizen Science Revolution and Artificial Intelligence

by Michael Bear

Two revolutions have been occurring at the same time in recent years: the citizen science revolution and the artificial intelligence revolution. And revolution is not too strong a term to use for either.

Although one could say that citizen science has been around since the days of Darwin, since he had no formal degrees in his field and pursued his studies of evolution out of personal interest, it has been more or less in the last 5 years or so that citizen science has really come into its own as an academic discipline.

See here for more:

Oct. 5:

SciStarter Citizen Science Blog

by Kristin Butler

From Tide-pooling to Shark Diving, Citizen Science with Ocean Sanctuaries

“During the past eight years, what started as a simple survey of local dive sightings has grown to an international study of sevengills and other shark species, an online platform that uses NASA technology to analyze shark freckles, and a social media presence that educates people about ocean conservation.”

For more, see here:

On July 25, the North American Association of Environmental Education (NAEE) sponsored an online webinar titled: People-Powered Impacts: Using Citizen Science to change the World, which gave an excellent  overview of how  two citizen science tools, Fieldscope and iNaturalist are used by various citizen science groups to collect data. Ocean Sanctuaries’ ‘Sharks of California‘ was one featured example in the presentation on Fieldscope. 

Video: People-Powered Impacts: Using Citizen Science to change the World:

And, later this year………

Ocean Sanctuaries is pleased to announce that, beginning sometime in late 2017, we will, in conjunction with another ocean citizen science nonprofit group,,  offer a basic (West Coast) Marine Citizen Scientist Certification course. Certifications for other parts of the US may come later.

It would consist of two parts:

Part I: Basic Fish and Intervebrate Identification

The student would complete a basic online marine life and fish identification course with REEF, which has been available for several years now on website. Residents of California would take the California fish ID and marine life invertebrates course and residents of the Pacific Northwest, Washington and Vancouver areas, could take the corresponding courses for the Pacific Northwest.


Upon satisfactory completion of this portion of the course, as determined by REEF, they would then proceed to:

Part II: Basic Scientific Concepts, Protocols and Tools for the Citizen Scientist

such as taking notes and scientific measurements in the field, using nautical maps and GPS and basic species taxonomy, to be designed and offered by Ocean Sanctuaries.

Once both Part I and Part II have been satisfactorily completed, then a basic Marine Citizen Scientist certificate would be issued. So far, we have no plans to charge for either course.

Note: This would *not* be a scuba certification program and any training involved with scuba equipment would have to be obtained separately.


Ocean Sanctuaries in the Media

Click on the link above to see who in the media has been talking about Ocean Sanctuaries and Citizen Science.

Here are some of the most recent:

NBC News San Diego Interview with Michael Bear

KPBS Dives with Ocean Sanctuaries on the Yukon

2015 – In the Media

2014 – In the Media

2013 – In the Media

Smartphone apps for Citizen Science

Click on the link above to check out the latest smartphone apps for citizen science.