Environmental Studies Program

Community and Citizen Science

taking a photograph of a tree on iPhone

At Brandeis, we employ models of both community (place-based) science and citizen science to connect students and the local community to efforts that both empower and democratize the scientific process.

Though research and observation by members of the public, especially of the natural world, has been occurring for centuries, the terms community science and citizen science did not enter the public lexicon until relatively recently. With the advent of new social networks and crowdsourcing technologies, and fueled by a new crop of scientists receptive to grassroot methods, we’ve seen this field grow rapidly.

Community and citizen science research occurs on campus, about campus and in partnership with local, regional, national and international partners. Research ranges from place-based projects focused on forestry and land use in collaboration with local stakeholders, to independent participation in large-scale open projects and taking the lead in international collaboration through our program’s involvement in the City Nature Challenge.