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Fairmont State University GeoSavvy Guide: Citizen Science

Volunteered Geographic Information

Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) has been described as ‘arguably the most significant change in the whole history of cartography…’ (Perkins, 2013) from (D. R. Fraser Taylor, Chapter 4 - Some recent developments in the theory and practice of Cybercartography,

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A Year of Citizen Science

Join Fairmont State University as we create A Year of Citizen Science.

This year we are participating in Global Citizen Science Month to reach #onemillionactsofscience!

NEW  - Try out our Year of Citizen Science Calendar! 

Help us create a #yearofcitizenscience by matching a day of observance to a related geography concept and citizen science activity. 

Give us a shoutout if you participate or send an email to Prof. MacLennan. 

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  • Twitter: @FairmontState
  •  LinkedIn: Fairmont State University
  • Youtube: FairmontStateMedia



Join Fairmont State University as we continue #YearofCitizen Science and contribute to #onemillionactsofscience. Started as a student-led idea for Citizen Science Month 2023, students advocated for a form of scicomm, or scientific communication to promote Citizen Science Month or geo-literacy. Together, we can create a whole year of material that can encompass a year of Citizen Science and spatial literacy. We hope this project builds a sense of community by aggregating student interests, promotes the idea of campus and community geo-literacy, and puts Fairmont State University on the map throughout the year. 

The best thing about this project is that each of us is completing a short-term project that shapes a larger one, just like Citizen Science!


Citizen Science Calendar 

Not sure what day of observance to pick? Check out our Citizen Science A Day Calendar  or search for days of observation, holidays, or events.

Try out ChatGPT for days of observance near you - it's fun 

The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin even, or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity. -- Mae Jemison




About CitSci

About Citizen Science


A Year of Citizen Science Activity 

Step 1: First scan through the following resources

American Association for Advancing Science on scientific communication using social media:

Step 1: Brainstorm a topic 

  • Select a day of observance theme. Some resources include Days of the Year or you can look up your countries social media calendar (example: U.S. Government Social Media 2023 Observance Calendar)

  • Find a Citizen Science activity that relates to that day of observance.

  • Relate it to a geo-literacy/geography concept that you think promotes geo-literacy.

  • For example: Opposite Day could be Antipode. The antipode of any spot on Earth is the point on Earth's surface diametrically opposite to it. 

  • I can use the Antipode map to find that opposite Fairmont, WV is in the ocean closest to the continent of Australia.
  • So for my Citizen Science project to promote I might choose the Australian Citizen Science Organization or one of their projects. 
  •  *Be strategic, this could be a theme related to your major, areas of interest, club/activities, or a geography reflection that you thought was relevant.  


Step 2: Presentation And Style 

Good practices for science communication and to have an impact on society call for consistent structure and clear language. 

Check to see if your organization has media guidelines or an approved format to follow. For example, Fairmont State University's Relations & Marketing office provides social media guidelines.

Suggested Format 

  1. Title: #A Year of Citizen Science 

  2. Month/Day 

    1. DO NOT include a year so everyone can reuse the material for next years Citizen Science Month.

    2. Examples: January 1, Jan 1, 1 January, 1 Jan, 1/1 

  3. Day of observance, Week of observance, Month of observance

    1. Example: #Opposite Day

  4. URL for the Citizen Science project that relates to that day.

    1. Example: Australian Citizen Science Organization  

  5. Optional: A related geographic concept 
    1. Example: Find your own Citizen Science Antipode. Link to concept or provide definition. The antipode of any spot on Earth is the point on Earth's surface diametrically opposite to it. 
  6. Visual: Include a picture, photo, map, or other imagery.

    1. Example: An image from the Antipodes Map app

  7. Keep your language clear for your target audience.  

  8. Use resources such as the American Geophysical Union Sharing Science postcards

  9. Decide how you want to reach your audience. Is this for a social media post (Instagram etc.), print media such as a flyer, or other idea that you have. 
  10. Send it out to the world for #ayearofcitizenscience!  


American Association for the Advancement of Science: Communicating Science online

Ansari, J.A.N., Khan, N.A. Exploring the role of social media in collaborative learning the new domain of learning. Smart Learn. Environ. 7, 9 (2020).

CitSci at Fairmont State University