About Us

Welcome to our citizen science program and research project!

Collaborative Science is the product of a research grant entitled 'Sustaining ecological communities through citizen science and online collaboration.' This research is supported by the National Science Foundation and is intended to help engage individuals in using technology to conduct locally based, but regionally connected, natural resource stewardship projects. Collaborative Science will use a series of web-based modeling and social media tools to engage Virginia Master Naturalists in conducting authentic science. This includes making field observations, engaging in collaborative discussions, graphically representing data, and modeling ecological systems. The goal of these efforts is to allow volunteers to engage in open-space land management.

Collaborators in this project include learning scientists, ecologists, and computer and information scientists from several higher education institutions, including Rutgers University's Program in Science Learning, Virginia Tech's Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Colorado State University's Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, the University of Massachusetts, and Virginia Master Naturalist volunteers.

The results from this project will help to build and assess a collaborative science learning system as a tool to teach citizens about authentic scientific inquiry and how these citizens can become citizen scientists by engaging in authentic and necessary scientific practices.

Watch A Video About Using Adapative Management.

Learn more about why we are focusing on models in citizen science.