Citizen Science Program

Citizen Science Coordinator:

Al Lamperti
112 Pebble Beach Drive
Royersford, PA 19468
Lamperti@temple.edu
215-836-9266

 

Introduction:

The Astronomical League believes that the role that citizens can play in furthering scientific knowledge is significant.  Many organizations have developed opportunities for each of us to contribute.  The Astronomical League wants to encourage everyone to take an active role in this process.  There is something for everyone regardless of their expertise or experience.  All that is required is a curiosity and a drive to help find new knowledge.  The only thing left to do is to find your niche.

The term Citizen Science means many things to different people.  We are simply using it to denote opportunities for anyone to participate in science.  For the Astronomical League. we are most focused towards the science of astronomy, but there are many opportunities in other scientific fields as well if they are of interest to you.

The Astronomical League recognizes three levels of participation.  All of the opportunities fall into these three categories:

  1. Projects requiring only passive participation.
  2. Projects requiring active participation in analysis but not requiring direct observations by the participant.
  3. Projects requiring direct observations by the participant.

 

The Levels:

Level 1:  Projects requiring only passive participation.

These projects need help analyzing vast quantities of data.  Typically they would use your computer when it is not actively doing work for you.  They analyze packets of data and report their findings back to the group doing the reseaerch.  There is very little action required by the participants.  Examples of these projects are SETI@Home and Einstein@Home.  The Astronomical League wants to encourage you to consider participation in these types of projects.  They need your help.  However, the Astronomical League is not providing any additional recognition related to these activities.  Links and additional information can be found at the bottom of this page.

Level 2:  Projects requiring active participation without direct observations.

There are also many projects that need your eyes and brain to help analyze vast amounts of data.  They often involve the categorization of objects.  The list changes frequently as new opportunities are found and some old opportunities are retired.  Examples of some of these projects are:

  • Aurorasaurus   
  • Radio Galaxy Zoo   
  • CosmoQuest Image Detective   
  • Exoplanet Explorer   
  • Backyard Worlds   
  • Disk Detective   
  • Exoplanet Explorers   
  • Planet Hunters   
  • Galaxy Builder   
  • Galaxy Zoo   
  • Gravitational Lenses   
  • Gravity Spy   
  • Stardust   
  • Planet 4 - Ridges   
  • Planet 4 - Terrains   
  • Planet 4 - Weather   
  • CosmoQuest Mars Mapper   
  • CosmoQuest Mercury Mapper   
  • Fireballs in the Sky   
  • Milky Way Project   
  • CosmoQuest Moon Mapper   
  • Radio Meteor Zoo   
  • Scope   
  • Disk Detective   
  • Solar Stormwatch II   
  • Sun Spotter   
  • Supernova Hunters 
  • Superwasp Variable Stars   
  • CosmoQuest Vesta Mapper   

Our hope is that our members will embark on some of these journeys.

Level 3:  Projects requiring direct observations.

The Astronomical League already participates in many of these activities.  They are found in some of our Observing Programs.  These projects require the participants to make observations, perform some preliminary analysis, and to submit their results to a national or international database.  We will continue to offer these Observing Programs with their certificates and pins as we now do.  New ones will be added as new opportunities are identified.  We hope you will try some of these Observing Programs as your observational prowess continues to develop.  Examples of these Observing Programs (and our astronomy partners) are:

Observing Program Organization Levels
  •  Active Galactic Nuclei - Variable Galaxies
  AAVSO   Bronze, Silver, Gold
  • Binocular Variable Star Observing Program
  AAVSO   Silver, Gold
  • Mars Observing Program
  ALPO   Bronze, Silver, Gold
  • Meteor Observing Program
  ALPO, AMS   Bronze, Silver, Gold
  • NEO Observing Program
  NASA   Bronze, Silver, Gold
  • Nova Observing Program
  AAVSO   Silver, Gold
  • Occultation Observing Program
  IOTA   Bronze, Silver, Gold
  • Spectroscopy Observing Program
  AAVSO   Bronze, Silver, Gold
  • Variable Star Observing Program
  AAVSO   Silver, Gold

 

Requirements and Recognitions:

To receive recognition from the Astronomical League you must be a member of the Astronomical League either through an astronomy club or as a member at large.

Level 1:  Projects requiring only passive participation.

Due to the passive nature of these projects, the Astronomical League has decided not to include these in our Citizen Science recognitions.  We encourage our members to participate and contribute in these worthwhile endeavors.

Level 2:  Projects requiring active participation without direct observations.

Certificates will be awarded to Astronomical League members who participate in these projects.  Each different project will have independent certificates.  Certificates will be awarded ro members according to these guidelines:

  • Bronze level - 100 contributions.
  • Silver level - 500 contributions.
  • Gold level - each 1000 contributions. (1000 - Class 1, 2000 - Class 2, etc.)

Level 3:  Projects requiring direct observations.

Certificates and pins will be awarded in these Observing Programs as they have been done in the past.  In addition to these recognitions, each of these Observing Programs will have independent additional certificates.  Certificates will be awarded to members according to these guidelines:

  • Bronze level - 100 contributions (See information above for clarification on which Observing Programs apply to which levels of the Citizen Science Awards)
  • Silver level - 500 contributions.
  • Gold level - each 1000 contributions. (1000 - Class 1, 2000 - Class 2, etc.)

For detailed information on each of these projects and their documentation and reporting requirements, click here.

 

Submitting for Certification:

Once the AL member has completed the observations required for the next level of certification, they should get a copy of the screen from the project's website that indicates the number of components completed or observations submitted.  This should be sent to the Program Coordinator through email for verification.

You should provide:

  • The project name
  • The Level being requested (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and which level of Gold)
  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your astronomy club affiliation or "Member at Large"
  • A copy of the confirmation screen or a copy of your submissions to the database

Once your submission is verified and your membership in the AL confirmed, your certificate will be sent directly to you electronically.

 

Citizen Science Coordinator:

Al Lamperti
112 Pebble Beach Drive
Royersford, PA 19468
Lamperti@temple.edu
215-836-9266​

 

Links:

Level 1:  Projects requiring only passive participation.

Level 2:  Projects requiring active participation without direct observations.

 
Level 3:  Projects requiring direct observations.

 

Acknowledgements

The Astronomical League would like to recognize and thank those members of the AL that have served on the development committee for this new program at the Astronomical League: 

 

  • Christopher Wirth
  • Zack Stockbridge
  • Steven Schultz
  • Mae Smith
  • David Jarkins
  • Steve Boerner
  • Mark Simonson
  • Vincent Giovannone
  • Dan Crowson
  • Dennis Conti
  • Edward Wiley
  • Gregory Mack
  • Susan Anderson
  • Al Lamperti
  • Maynard Pittendreigh
  • Cliff Mygatt
  • Aaron Clevenson