Session 8 - Citizen Science and Public Engagement
Stijn Calders (BIRA-IASB), Yihua Zheng (CCMC)
Wednesday 7/11, 09:00-10:30
Citizen Science is scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions. It is a fairly new term, but an old practice. Richard Christopher Carrington (26 May 1826 – 27 November 1875), for example, was an English amateur astronomer whose 1859 astronomical observations demonstrated the existence of solar flares as well as suggesting their electrical influence upon the Earth and its aurorae.
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Recently, Citizen Science has gained renewed interest as a way to involve the public in scientific research. It is often seen as a win-win solution: on one hand it promotes public engagement to scientists, contributing to the democratisation of science, and on the other hand it empowers the public and enhances scientific literacy. Projects like Sunspotter and Aurorasaurus, but also aurora and eclipse tourism, prove that there is a strong interest from the general public in this topic.
Talks : Time scheduleWednesday November 7, 09:00 - 10:30, MTC 01.03
|09:00||Promoting Space Weather to the public||Brekke, P et al.||Invited Oral|
| ||Pål Brekke|
| ||Norwegian Space Centre|
| ||Promoting space weather and the effects solar events may have on our technology based society is of great importance. Both the public, policy makers and governmental entities needs to be made aware of the impacts space weather can have on our daily lives. Norway has a long scientific tradition in the Sun-Earth connection. Kristian Birkeland was an innovative scientist and the father of modern space physics. In addition to a brilliant scientist and inventor he was also very good at promoting his scientific field to both the media and to the politicians to receive funding. In recent years we have continued promoting space weather through popular science articles and books as well as short documentaries. The key message is to make complicated scientific questions understandable for the public and explaining why space weather is important for you and me. Due to our northern location we have other space weather needs then countries farther south. And the ongoing increase in activities in the far north makes the awareness of space weather even more important.|
|09:15||The Radio Meteor Zoo : a Citizen Science project using BRAMS data||Lamy, H et al.||Oral|
| ||Hervé Lamy, Stijn Calders, Cédric Tétard, Cis Verbeeck and Antonio Martinez Picar|
| ||Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Royal Observatory of Belgium|
| ||BRAMS (Belgian RAdio Meteor Stations) is a Belgian radio network using forward scatter reflections of radio waves on ionized meteor trails to detect and study meteoroids. It has been developed by the Royal Belgian Institute of Space Aeronomy since 2010 and funded mostly by the Solar-Terrestrial Center of Excellence. The network consists of a dedicated transmitter and 26 identical receiving stations spread across Belgium. BRAMS in itself is an active Pro-Am collaboration as most receiving stations are hosted by radioamateurs or public observatories. Data are recorded continuously and saved every 5 minutes as an audio WAV file. Typically a BRAMS station can record between 1500 and 2000 meteor echoes per day, which led to the development of automatic detection algorithms to analyze the huge amount of data generated.
Most meteor echoes due to the bulk of meteoroids hitting the Earth’s atmosphere (the so-called sporadic meteors) are short-lived (a fraction of second) and have similar shape that makes them relatively easy to identify using our automatic detection algorithms. However, during meteor showers, when Earth's orbit crosses that of a comet, much longer and complex signals are observed in the BRAMS data, which still represents today a challenge for automatic detection. In this case the best detector remains the trained human eye. Therefore, in summer 2016, the BRAMS team has decided to initiate the Radio Meteor Zoo, a Citizen Science project hosted by the Zooniverse website, where hundreds of eyes are used to manually identify meteor echoes during some specific meteor showers.
During this talk, a short description of the BRAMS network and data will be provided. The differences between data obtained during sporadic activity and during meteor showers will be emphasized. The Radio Meteor Zoo will be presented in detail as well as some results obtained during the first two years of activity for several important meteor showers. Limitations of the method and solutions planned will also be discussed.
|09:30||The spark of crowdsourced opportunities & outcomes for space weather||Macdonald, E et al.||Invited Oral|
| ||Elizabeth MacDonald|
| ||NASA Goddard Space Flight Center|
| ||What does crowdsourcing have to do with space weather? Crowdsourcing provides a new avenue to scientific observations and public participation in research. The public is keenly interested in our science and able to participate in ways that are not just meaningful, but also disruptive, and lead to innovation. I will share examples from 5 years of running Aurorasaurus, the first citizen science project about the beautiful aurora. Citizen scientists can increase their chances to see aurora, contribute to helping others see aurora, help scientists improve very coarse models of aurora, and actively learn more about space physics in the process. Recently, citizen scientists have even captured features of aurora-like arcs not previously described in the literature at subauroral latitudes and contributed to ground-breaking new publications and understanding. The new finding that the "STEVE" structure is a visible sign of a subauroral ion drift (SAID) has received worldwide attention and is published in MacDonald et al., Science Advances, 2018 (http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/3/eaaq0030.full). These new interdisciplinary methodologies may be especially well-suited to our field, and I will highlight other space physics examples and opportunities as well as the particular applications to space weather challenges.|
|09:45||Sunspotter: Solar Physics in the Classroom||Murray, S et al.||Oral|
| ||Paul A. Higgins, Sophie A. Murray, Peter T. Gallagher, and the Sunspotter and Zooniverse Teams|
| || Trinity College Dublin, Ireland|
| ||Sunspotter.org was part of the Zooniverse collection of web-based citizen science projects. The scientific aim of the project was to establish the true relationship between sunspot complexity and solar flares, a topic constantly under discussion within the solar physics community. Citizen science was the perfect way to trawl through the huge datasets of sunspot observations to help this investigation, getting the general public to organise sunspot images in order of how complex they looked via a web-browser interface. Beyond the scientific results of the project, Sunspotter also became an invaluable tool for outreach related to solar physics and space weather. The activities undertaken throughout the project duration will be presented, particularly how it was used in the classroom, as well as lessons learned along the way.|
|10:00||How to engage the public in space weather research||Calders, S et al.||Invited Oral|
| ||Stijn Calders, Yihua Zheng|
|1||Engaging students and public in space weather analysis and forecasting ||Chulaki, A et al.||p-Poster|
| ||Anna Chulaki, Yaireska Collado-Vega, Maria Kuznetsova, Peter MacNeice, Leila Mays, Karin Muglach, Richard Mullinix, Asher Pembroke, Lutz Rastaetter, Aleksandre Taktakishvili, Barbara Thompson, Chiu Wiegand, Yihua Zheng|
| ||Community Coordinated Modeling Center|
| ||Recent advances in the young field of space weather allow scientists to paint a mesmerizing picture of the daily life of the sun and its influence on our planet’s electromagnetic environment. The same scientific tools that are creating breakthroughs in space weather forecasting can be used to give students and the general public a new perspective on the Sun-Earth system, the wider environment we live in, and familiarize them with the dramatic impacts space weather can have on humans and on the technological systems we depend on.
Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) is a multi-agency partnership aimed at enabling, supporting and performing research and development for next-generation space science and space weather models. Armed with a collection of community-developed space science models and the team’s experience in experimental space weather forecasting, the CCMC has developed unique space weather analysis tools, as well as a hands-on training turning undergraduate students into space weather forecasters. The CCMC also collaborates with the American Museum of Natural History and Linköping University, Sweden, on creating a visualization platform for planetariums, museums and classrooms worldwide to provide demonstrations of space weather events through simulations of dynamic processes from the solar corona to the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The CCMC is poised to expand on these educational experiences and participate in creating citizen science and crowdsourcing space weather applications and projects, reaching wider audiences and providing the general public with hands-on science activities and participation in cutting-edge research.||