9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
With no advanced degree and working only for himself, Darwin was the consummate citizen scientist. Had he carried an iNaturalist-equipped smartphone in 1835, he likely would have sent British ornithologist John Gould photographs of finches from the Galapagos Islands. Each image would have been geolocated, and Gould wouldn’t have had to ask which island a bird was from. Today, orbiting satellites permit observation of the natural world from a distance, but ecological adaptation occurs at ground level, where smartphone technology means anyone can help monitor critical environmental events. This master class will focus on how citizen science is a tool for observing, understanding, and helping to sustain our natural world while also empowering the individuals who use it.
Mary Ellen Hannibal is an award-winning author and committed citizen scientist. She’s the author of Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, which was named one of the best titles of 2016 by the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Spine of the Continent. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Science, Nautilus, and other publications. She is a frequent speaker and emissary between science and a general audience, and is currently working on a book about butterflies and Vladimir Nabokov.