Nelson Series: Citizen Science– Caren Cooper, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

October 3, 2017 Add to Calendar

7–8:30 p.m.


Shanahan Center, Auditorium
320 E. Foothill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711


Citizen science movements challenge the world to consider radical, new relationships among scientists and engineers and nonexperts. Rather than casting members of the public as passive recipients of scientific and technological information, speakers of the 2017 Nelson Series will offer models for engagement and collaboration designed to promote meaningful public participation in science.

“Citizen Science: How Ordinary People Are Changing the Face of Discovery”

Think you need a degree in science to contribute to important scientific discoveries? Think again. All around the world, in fields ranging from astronomy to zoology, millions of everyday people are choosing to participate in the scientific process, following protocols, reviewing data and sharing their observations. Based on her new book, Caren Cooper will share their stories, discuss the social good that can result and challenge old notions of who can conduct research, where knowledge can be produced, whom it serves and how solutions to some of our biggest societal problems might emerge.

Cooper is an associate professor of forestry and environmental resources at North Carolina State University, part of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in Leadership in Public Science, and assistant head of the Biodiversity Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. She studies bird ecology, conservation and management through the use of citizen science. Cooper is an advocate for the practices of citizen science, open science and science communication, pursuing scholarly inquiry into these areas, and bringing them all together to achieve public science. She is dedicated to training and mentoring students to become public scientists so they can pursue careers that weave science into the fabric of society.

During the early part of her career, Cooper was a research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Recently released, Citizen Science: How Ordinary People Are Changing the Face of Discovery is her first book. She led the formation of an academic journal, Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, and serves on its editorial board. Cooper served as an advisor to the public television documentary miniseries The Crowd & The Cloud. She is a blogger at the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and Discover, guest blogger at Scientific American and director of partnerships at

Admission to this public lecture series is complimentary. Unless otherwise specified, events are held in the auditorium of the R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvey Mudd College located at 320 E. Foothill Blvd., Claremont. A dessert reception follows each lecture.

Inquiries may be directed to, or call the Office of Stewardship and Events at 909.607.0943.