Inside a classroom filled with eager students and a table filled with snacks, an interest meeting for the Citizen Science Club begins. Madeline Kohls, the co-chair of the club, excitedly tells the room that they are the first collegiate level citizen science club in the country.
The Citizen Science Club, which focuses on making science more inclusive, accessible, and interdisciplinary, is filled with students with all kinds of majors–from veterinary studies to business administration to microbiology. The makeup of the club certainly fits with their motto: science is for everyone.
After introductions, the club turned to what they had done last semester. It had been a busy one, filled with camping trips to Medoc Mountain to see the stars, a visit to Hanging Rock State Park to work on a project called ‘Ant Picnic,’ sponsored by Public Science cluster member Rob Dunn, and a collaboration with the Wrenn House Initiative, encouraging at-risk teens to get involved in science.
A typical club meeting involves someone from the citizen science field coming in and speaking about what they do and answering questions afterward. These are people like graduate students or professors at NC State. In addition to biweekly meetings, the club also plans monthly activities, like a citizen science/art collaboration later this semester.
The club looks forward to participating in the Wolfpack Challenge, a campus-wide citizen science project that encourages students to document the biodiversity of their dorms and student apartments. (“Biodiversity”=bugs!) This is part of the Never Home Alone project, which tracks biodiversity inside homes all over the world.
The club is also getting involved outside of the campus community too. A member of the club, Brianna Johns, will be speaking at the symposium of the Citizen Science Conference in March about NC State’s first-in-the-nation Club. The club certainly has an exciting semester ahead!