FEEDBACK Sciences and Exploration Directorate - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

GSFC Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing

We are a community at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) using the power of citizen science and crowdsourcing to advance innovative scientific discovery and science education. Projects at GSFC span the fields of astrophysics, earth science, heliophysics, and planetary science. The group was founded in 2015 and continues to grow.

Get Involved

  1. We have meetings (alternating teleconference and in-person meetings) to share news, discuss project updates, collaborate, and listen to guest speakers.
  2. Subscribe to our Goddard-CrowdSci mailing list to keep updated about our meetings and send and receive community emails.

Poster

Check out our poster from the Goddard Science Jamboree to learn more:

Preview image of the Goddard Citizen Science poster

Click on the image for a larger view (PDF/2 MB)

Our Projects

The projects listed below have started at Goddard Space Flight Center or have large components managed by GSFC members. The current projects include:

Astrophysics Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 | Disk Detective
Earth Science Air Quality Citizen Science | Data Mining Twitter for Augmenting NASA Precipitation Research and Applications | GLOBE Observer | GreenNet | Landslide Reporter | Mapping Application for Penguin Populations and Projected Dynamics (MAPPPD)
Heliophysics Aurorasaurus
Planetary Science Fracture Trackers | Radio Jove

Jump to: Astrophysics Earth Science Heliophysics Planetary Science Publications


Astrophysics

Backyard Worlds: Planet 9

Backyard Worlds: Planet 9

Is there a large planet at the fringes of our solar system awaiting discovery, a world astronomers call Planet Nine? We’re looking for this planet and for new brown dwarfs in the backyard of the solar system using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. But we need your help! Finding these dim objects requires combing through the images by eye to distinguish moving celestial bodies from ghosts and other artifacts. There are too many images for us to search through by ourselves. So come join the search, and you might find a rogue world that's nearer to the Sun than Proxima Centauri---or even the elusive Planet Nine. Launched Feb 15, 2017.

Website: http://www.backyardworlds.org/ | Twitter: @backyardworlds
Contact: Dr. Marc Kuchner (marc.j.kuchner@nasa.gov)

Disk Detective

Disk Detective

Search for protoplanetary disks in WISE data - WISE is a NASA mission surveying the whole sky in infrared. This project is looking at stars to find dusty debris disks, similar to our asteroid field. These disks suggest that these stars are in the early stages of forming planetary systems. Learning more about these stars can tell us how our Solar System formed. Computers often confuse debris disks around stars with other astronomical objects. Disk Detective needs your help to sort out what stars actually have these disks from galaxies and nebulae. Launched February, 2014.

Website: http://www.diskdetective.org/ | Twitter: @diskdetective
Contact: Dr. Marc Kuchner (marc.j.kuchner@nasa.gov)


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Earth Science

Air Quality Citizen Science

Air Quality Citizen Science

An ongoing study that uses low-cost sensors deployed by citizen scientists to examine the spatial gradients in surface fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations and compare it to satellite observations of aerosols. We are performing a prototype field deployment of about 20 sensors through citizen scientists in the South Coast air basin in the Los Angeles area and in the inland Riverside/San Bernardino regions of Southern California.

Website: https://aqcitizenscience.rti.org/#/
Contact: Dr. Pawan Gupta (pawan.gupta@nasa.gov) and Dr. Robert Levy (robert.c.levy@nasa.gov)

Data Mining Twitter for Augmenting NASA Precipitation Research and Applications

Data Mining Twitter for Augmenting NASA Precipitation Research and Applications

Project funded by the Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program, NASA ROSES NNH16ZDA001N-CSESP): This project explores the feasibility of extracting from the Twitter data stream useful information for application to NASA precipitation research, in particular, augmenting the existing validation program of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission. We are engaging with both 'passive' and 'active' participants to contribute to the project. Our general crowd-sourcing strategy is to not require participants to sign-up or install some app to contribute as citizen scientists. This is a more robust approach to gaining a large source of crowd. Our framework for processing Twitter data is currently focused on classifying tweets, determining quality, developing a data model, and co-locating tweets with satellite data. This framework will be generic, i.e., not specific to a given measurement, social medium, or satellite mission.

AGU Poster: Enriching the Twitter Stream: Increasing Data Mining Yield and Quality Using Machine Learning
Contacts: Arif Albayrak (rustem.a.albayrak@nasa.gov), Bill Teng (william.l.teng@nasa.gov), and George Huffman (george.j.huffman@nasa.gov)

GLOBE Observer

GLOBE Observer

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. Announced by the U.S. Government on Earth Day in 1994, GLOBE launched its worldwide implementation in 1995. The citizen science arm of GLOBE is the GLOBE Observer Program. The GLOBE Observer Program currently accepts cloud and mosquito habitat, land cover, and tree height observations through the NASA GLOBE Observer mobile app. Since GLOBE Observer is part of the GLOBE program, citizen scientists working on GLOBE Observer are also providing data for student research, strengthening science education.

Website: https://observer.globe.gov/ | Twitter: @NASAGO | Facebook: @nasa.globeobserver
Contact: globeobserverhelp@lists.nasa.gov

GreenNet

GreenNet

We have developed a low-cost ground instrument - a portable miniaturized laser heterodyne radiometer (mini-LHR) - capable of measuring concentrations of two of the most potent anthropogenic greenhouse gases, CO2 and methane, in columns in the atmosphere. They work by combining sunlight that has undergone absorption by gases with light from a laser. This combined light is detected by a photoreciever and a radio frequency beat signal is produced. From this beat signal, concentrations of these gases throughout the atmospheric column can be determined. A network of mini-LHR instruments in locations around the world will give us the data necessary to significantly reduce uncertainty in greenhouse gas sinks and sources contributing to climate change.

Website: TBD
Contact: Dr. Melissa Floyd

Landslide Reporter

Landslide Reporter

Landslides affect nearly all countries, but we still don't have a clear global picture on where and when landslides occur. Citizen scientists can help NASA scientists save lives and property by helping to build the largest open global landslide catalog, the Cooperative Open Online Landslide Repository (COOLR). The COOLR project seeks to cultivate an open platform where scientists and citizen scientists around the world can share landslide reports to guide awareness of landslide hazards for improving scientific modeling and emergency response. See all COOLR data in Landslide Viewer on top of other environmental and scientific data, or download all data. Use Landslide Reporter to submit new landslide events to COOLR.

Website: https://landslides.nasa.gov | Twitter: @LandslideReport
Contact: landslide_support@nccs.nasa.gov, Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum, Thomas Stanley

Mapping Application for Penguin Populations and Projected Dynamics

Mapping Application for Penguin Populations and Projected Dynamics (MAPPPD)

Over the last several years, penguin biologists have been working hard to find all the penguin colonies in Antarctica using satellite imagery. However, the massive expanse of the continent and the challenges of finding each last penguin colony leave many likely undiscovered. This is where you can help! Satellite imagery from NASA and other sources can detect the large guano stains left behind by penguins nesting in colonies. You can explore satellite imagery and contribute data to join the online expedition to find all of Antarctica’s penguins.

Website: www.penguinmap.com
Contact: Mathew Schwaller


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Heliophysics

Aurorasaurus

Aurorasaurus

This project gathers real-time data about aurora sightings and sends out notifications to users when the Northern Lights are likely visible in their area. Aurorasaurus will significantly improve forecasting of the aurora using citizen science reports and crowd-sourced (Twitter) ground truth observations of aurora. Registered users get location-based notifications, a real-time monitor of space weather activity, the capability to help verify tweets and search for real sightings, answers to science and aurora questions, and more. Aurorasaurus was built by scientists for the public. The project was funded by an award from the National Science Foundation.

Website: http://www.aurorasaurus.org/ | Twitter: @TweetAurora
Contact: Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald (elizabeth.a.macdonald@nasa.gov)


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Planetary Science

Fracture Trackers

Fracture Trackers

Description TBD.

Website: TBD
Contact: Dr. Maria Banks

Radio Jove

Radio Jove

The Radio JOVE project <https://radiojove.gsfc.nasa.gov/> was first established as an informal education and public outreach project for learning the excitement of radio astronomy of Jupiter, the Sun, and the Galaxy. Partnering with the NASA Space Science Education Consortium (NSSEC), the Radio JOVE project has been extended to incorporate citizen science research in heliophysics. By participating in the project, citizen scientists can (1) gain hands-on experience in building and operating single-frequency radio telescopes constructed from inexpensive kits, (2) make radio observations by operating their basic radio telescopes, and (3) analyze the data obtained by the telescopes they constructed or from remote telescopes through the Internet. More technically capable participants can also set up spectrograph stations in conjunction with their basic single-frequency telescopes. The NSSEC-Radio JOVE partnership is working toward building a network of low-cost radio telescopes to provide more scientifically valuable data from solar and planetary radio observations to support heliophysics, space weather, and radio science research.

Website: https://radiojove.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Contact: Shing F. Fun (shing.f.fung@nasa.gov)


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Publications

  1. Aikpon, R., Klotoé, J.R., Dramane, G., Brettenny, M., and Lawani, Y., (2019). Larval breeding characteristics and distribution of Aedes mosquito species in the economic capital of Benin: A public health concern. International Journal of Entomology Research, 4(3):57-62.
  2. Case, N. A., E. A. MacDonald, M. Heavner, A. H. Tapia, and N. Lalone (2015), Mapping auroral activity with Twitter. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 3668–3676. doi:10.1002/2015GL063709.
  3. Case, N., MacDonald, E., & Patel, K. (2015). Aurorasaurus and the St Patrick's Day storm. Astronomy and Geophysics, 56(3), 3-13. doi: 10.1093/astrogeo/atv089.
  4. Case, N. A., E. A. MacDonald, and R. Viereck (2016), Using citizen science reports to define the equatorial extent of auroral visibility, Space Weather, 14, 198–209, doi:10.1002/2015SW001320.
  5. Case, N. A., D. Kingman, and E. A. MacDonald (2016), A real-time hybrid aurora alert system: Combining citizen science reports with an auroral oval model, Earth and Space Science, 3, 257–265, doi:10.1002/2016EA000167.
  6. Caselden, D., Westin, P. III, Meisner, A., Kuchner, M., & Colin, G. (2017). WiseView: Visualizing motion and variability of faint WISE sources. Astrophysics Source Code Library. ascl:1806.004.
  7. Debes, J.H., Thevenot, M., Kuchner, M. J. et al. (2019). A 3 Gyr White Dwarf with Warm Dust Discovered via the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project.' Astrophysical Journal Letters, Volume 872, Issue 2, article id. L25, 6 pp. doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/ab0426
  8. Dodson, J.B., Colón Robles, M.,Taylor J.E., DeFontes, C.C., Weaver K.L., (2019). Eclipse Across America: Citizen Science Observations of the 21 August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. Journal of Applied Meteorology & Climatolog. doi: 10.1175/JAMC-D-18-0297.1
  9. Gupta, P., Doraiswamy, P., Levy, R., Pikelnaya, O., Maibach, J., Feenstra, B., et al. (2018). Impact of California fires on local and regional air quality: The role of a low-cost sensor network and satellite observations. GeoHealth, 2. doi:10.1029/2018GH000136.
  10. Humphries, G. R. W., Naveen, R., Schwaller, M., Che-Castaldo, C., McDowall, P., Schrimpf, M., & Lynch, H. J. (2017). Mapping application for penguin populations and projected dynamics (MAPPPD): data and tools for dynamic management and decision support. Polar Record, 53(2), 160-166. doi:10.1017/S0032247417000055.
  11. Juang, C.S., Stanley, T.A. & Kirschbaum, D.B. (2019). Using citizen science to expand the global map of landslides: Introducing the Cooperative Open Online Landslide Repository (COOLR). PLoS ONE 14(7): e0218657. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218657
  12. Kuchner, M. J., Faherty, J. K., Schneider, A. C., Meisner, A. M., Filippazzo, J. C., Gagné, J., ... & Mokaev, K. (2017). The First Brown Dwarf Discovered by the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 841(2), L19. doi10.3847/2041-8213/aa7200.
  13. Kuchner, M. J., Silverberg, S. M., Bans, A. S., Bhattacharjee, S., Kenyon, S. J., Debes, J. H., ... & McElwain, M. (2016). Disk Detective: Discovery of New Circumstellar Disk Candidates through Citizen Science. The Astrophysical Journal, 830(2), 84. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/830/2/84.
  14. MacDonald, E. A., N. A. Case, J. H. Clayton, M. K. Hall, M. Heavner, N. Lalone, K. G. Patel, and A. Tapia (2015), Aurorasaurus: A citizen science platform for viewing and reporting the aurora, Space Weather, 13, 548–559, doi:10.1002/2015SW001214.
  15. MacDonald, E. A., Donovan, E., Nishimura, Y., Case, N. A., Gillies, D. M., Gallardo-Lacourt, B., ... & Heavner, M. (2018). New science in plain sight: Citizen scientists lead to the discovery of optical structure in the upper atmosphere. Science Advances, 4(3), eaaq0030. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaq0030.
  16. Silverberg, S. M., Kuchner, M. J., Wisniewski, J. P., Gagné, J., Bans, A. S., Bhattacharjee, S., ... & Doll, K. (2016). A New M Dwarf Debris Disk Candidate in a Young Moving Group Discovered with Disk Detective. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 830(2), L28. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/830/2/L28.
  17. Silverberg, S. M., Kuchner, M.J., Wisniewski, J.P. et al. (2018). Follow-up Imaging of Disk Candidates from the Disk Detective Citizen Science Project: New Discoveries and False Positives in WISE Circumstellar Disk Surveys. Astrophysical Journal, Volume 868, Issue 1, article id. 43, 15 pp. doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aae3e3

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