The new Citizen Science Hour for Biodiversity Collections webinar series is dedicated to catalyzing excellence in citizen science that engages biodiversity collections. Citizen science is public engagement in scientific research, and it has the valuable potential to simultaneously advance research, science literacy and participation, and project sustainability, among other goals. Biodiversity collections curate about 3 billion specimens (insects on pins, fossils in drawers, fish in jars, plants on sheets, etc.) worldwide, and these are critically important to research that puts present day diversity and distribution in context and models the future of Earth’s biome. These collections range widely in their institutional settings, including museums, botanical gardens, universities, field stations, government research centers, and other places.

The series is sponsored by iDigBio, the US NSF’s National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections.  While iDigBio’s mission focuses on specimen digitization, data sharing, and data use, this series is intended to encompass all opportunities that citizen science might offer to the collections community and complementary sectors of that community’s institutions. The series is targeted at a global audience of collections curators, researchers, educators, and affiliates.
The need for something like this webinar series was recognized during the 2020 Summit that iDigBio hosted for the leadership of projects funded by the US NSF’s Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program. A follow-up survey of the community led to a winnowing of 22 potential topics down to a set of high-priority topics that have been scheduled into two parts: the first, more general cluster between January and May; the second, tool-focused cluster between May and September. The webinar series might continue beyond September, based on audience interest.  Talks are scheduled for the second and fourth Thursday of each month, from 2–3 ET. 

The webinar series starts on 1/28/21, 2–3 ET, with the talk:

Opportunities Provided by the 2021 Global Citizen Science Month, including City Nature Challenge and WeDigBio

Libby Ellwood — Global Communications Manager, iDigBio, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, USA
Lila Higgins — Senior Manager, Community Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, USA
Caroline Nickerson — Program Manager, SciStarter
Alison Young — Co-Director, Citizen Science, California Academy of Sciences, USA

Subsequent topics will range from the future of citizen science, ethical considerations of citizen science, and evaluating citizen science, to much more. 

Register for the webinar

at EventBrite to get the Zoom link for it:

Libby Ellwood ( and Austin Mast ( are organizing this webinar, and any questions should be directed to them. 

Please note: **By attending iDigBio’s online events, you accept that the event will be recorded and posted for later asynchronous viewing.**

And please do share this announcement with others who might benefit from it.  Thanks!

Austin Mast · Professor · Department of Biological Science · 319 Stadium Drive · Florida State University · Tallahassee, FL 32306-4295 · U.S.A. · (850) 645-1500 · · he/him