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Fairmont State University: Geography Awareness Week/GIS Day: Citizen Science


Geo-enrichment is a fun way for students and families to apply what they are learning, build their portfolio, and learn more about how geography relates to their interests outside of class. Types of Geo-enrichment include geo-reflections, Citizen Science, Crowd-sourcing, Open Mapping, and other Geography in action. 

Think like a Geographer: Geo-reflections and your Geographic Lens

Geo-reflections are an experiential Geography technique used to explore and understand your place in the world through a Geographic lens. Attend an event (virtually), take a trip, watch a movie or tv show, take a walk outside, hang out (virtually) with friends or family. Reflect on how it relates to Geography.

The purpose is similar to Smith's book which tells you "To document and observe the world around you as if you’ve never seen it before."  Keri Smith's "How to be an Explorer of the World" which the Geography Awareness Week 2019 Geography classes donated to the Fairmont State University Library. 





Citizen Science

Citizen Science is when members of the public assist professionals to create usable data for research and/or the public good. Some possible projects are available for a variety of interests, skill levels, and time limits. To find Geography related projects search for terms such as geo, geography, geospatial, spatial, mapping

Where to find Citizen Science and Participatory Mapping Projects

Check out our growing list of resources 

Evaluating Citizen Science

Citizen Science and Participatory Geography Activity: Using Geographic Skills

A Yelp Review of Participatory Geography Projects

 The intent of this project is for students to get hands-on experience, contribute to Geographic Knowledge, and evaluate potential projects for other users.

Search for and choose a Citizen Science or participatory geography project that is spatial or uses geography in some part of its project, analysis, or impact.

You can find Participatory Geography/Citizen Science projects on the Fairmont State University Geography LibGuide: 

If you aren’t sure of a topic, type in "Citizen Science" + your topic or area of interest . 


Name of Project You Participated in:                            Name of Organization involved:

Source Information for Project (URL, etc.)  

Proof of Participation: Attach proof of participation such as a screenshot, email, etc.    

  1. Briefly describe what interested you in participating in a particular participatory or citizen science project? 

For example, did you choose a project because it relates to your field or hobby?

There is no right or wrong answer for this section. Did you choose it because of the time involved? If you chose a shorter project, that is an important part of Citizen Science project design.  

  1. Briefly describe how the project you chose is spatial or geography: 

Some projects are immediately recognizable as spatial geography because they are about a region, use U.S. Census data, or other spatial data you are learning about in the course. Others are geography but you might have to explain the connection.

  1. Briefly describe the purpose, mission, or goal of the project you chose?
  1. Briefly describe the project itself:

It is helpful for others to understand what is involved in a project to evaluate if it fits their needs.

  • What equipment did you need?
  • Did you need to learn some things before participating?
  • Does the website for your project offer tools and resources to learn these necessary components?
  • How long did it take you to learn the steps, in order, that you needed to follow to complete your role in the project to the best of your ability?
  • What type(s) of data you were collecting and how they will help society
  • Were you able to finish the project? If not, what problems did you face?
  1. Briefly reflect on your participatory experience. 

Do you think the project you chose was approachable, meaningful, effective? Why or why not?

What would you tell a friend or colleague about the project you chose?

 Congratulations! On your resume you can list:

  • Completed Citizen Science Project [Include name etc.]
  • Evaluated Citizen Science application for future users

What Do You Think?

Share what Citizen Science means to you 

SciQuest is a survey module presented by North Carolina State University to better understand citizen scientists and their participation in citizen science projects.

By analyzing volunteers’ attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors through surveys completed every few months, we can build a better picture of how you feel about your experience doing citizen science, and even how it might be affecting you.