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Citizen Science Academy

Learn how to better engage your students, visitors, or program participants with the natural world through citizen science. Citizen Science Academy courses use BudBurst as a case study for learning about citizen science as a field, how to use citizen science effectively in a variety of educational settings, and how to create compelling activities and opportunities to engage with the natural world.  

Some courses also include other citizen science programs, including eBird, Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS), FrogWatch USA, and Picture Post. Citizen Science Academy courses allow you to participate in a community of practice dedicated to engaging youth and adults in science. While they are geared toward formal and informal educators, courses are open to all.  

You will be completing these courses in 30 days with a cohort of other educators. Each unit includes a combination of readings, videos, discussions, activities, and self-assessments. All courses are instructor-led with feedback and guidance provided throughout. Online discussion provides opportunities to build and contribute to a community of practice around citizen science.  

Course Registration Fee: $70 
CPDUs: 30

Optional graduate-level continuing education credits are available from the Colorado School of Mines. Each course is eligible for two credits. The fee for two optional credits is $95. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions

Current Courses

Teaching Phenology and Climate Change (CSA 501)
Share ideas and learn from other educators as you discover how studying the life cycles of plants (phenology) reveals some consequences of climate change. This month-long, online course focuses on having students collect scientific data—in the form of phenology observations—for citizen science projects such as Budburst. The course is designed for both formal and informal educators with implementation strategies provided for both learning situations. Participants receive guidance on selecting plants and making observations, suggestions for structuring classroom involvement, and ideas for educational activities to engage students in analyzing data. (formerly: Introduction to Project BudBurst for Educators).

Future Courses

Introduction to Citizen Science (CSA 520)
Interested in including Citizen Science in your teaching or outreach? During this 4-week, entirely online course, you will become familiar with five successful citizen science projects especially suited to both formal and informal education. Featured programs include: eBird, CoCoRaHS, FrogWatch USA, Picture Post, and Budburst. Participants explore each program, learning how to participate along with suggestions for educational activities to engage your learners. You will select two of the five projects to explore in depth, including actual participation, if possible.

Using Citizen Science Data in the Classroom (CSA 521)
Designed for both grades 6 – 12 educators and informal educators, this course will provide you with the tools you need to use citizen science data in an educational setting. This course assumes a basic familiarity with the concept of citizen science and direct experience with or participation in at least one citizen science project. Specific projects will be highlighted in this course, including Budburst, eBird, FrogWatch, Picture Post, and CoCoRaHS.  The course offers background information and activities to effectively implement citizen science projects in the classroom. It provides a good starting place if you are new to integrating data collection, manipulation, and display as part your citizen science-related instructional activities.


For more information about Citizen Science Academy, please contact Jean Bryan.