In a nutshell... This is the place to find out about, take part in, and contribute to science through recreational activities and research projects.
If you're a scientist or a representative of a citizen science organization or community group: This is the place to tell eager people about your work and get them interested in helping out.
SciStarter will bring together the millions of citizen scientists in the world; the thousands of potential projects offered by researchers, organizations, and companies; and the resources, products, and services that enable citizens to pursue and enjoy these activities. We aim to:
- Enable and encourage people to learn about, participate in, and contribute to science through both informal recreational activities and formal research efforts.
- Inspire greater appreciation and promote a better understanding of science and technology among the general public.
- Create a shared space where scientists can talk with citizens interested in working on or learning about their research projects.
- Satisfy the popular urge to tinker, build, and explore by making it simple and fun for people—singles, parents, grandparents, kids—to jump in and get their hands dirty with science.
Darlene is also the founder of ScienceCheerleader.com, a popular blog that works through NFL and NBA cheerleaders-turned-scientists and engineers to promote science literacy and the involvement of citizens in science and science-related policy. She has held executive positions at Walt Disney Publishing and has worked at Discover magazine for 15 years, where she now is a senior adviser and writer. She has created national science awards programs, science education initiatives, and a series of science-themed roundtable discussions for, among others, the Disney Institute, Space.com, Sally Ride's Imaginary Lines, and the Franklin Institute. She also serves on the Steering Committee for Science Debate and is a founding partner of Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, which engages experts, stakeholders, and everyday citizens in assessing the implications of emerging developments in science and technology. She originated and managed the Emmy award-winning Science of NFL Football series produced by the NFL, NBC Sports, NBC Learn, the National Science Foundation and Science Cheerleader.
A former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader, Darlene does not regret the years she gabbed through high school science classes. She earned a Master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania, studying science history, sociology, and science policy to learn more about people like herself: "hybrid actors," citizens interested in but not formally trained in the sciences. Finding remarkably few opportunities for these folks to participate in science in any meaningful way, she launched Science Cheerleader and worked with Michael Gold and Susan West to develop ScienceforCitizens.net, a precursor to SciStarter. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children, who have made it a hobby to explore the rainforests of Costa Rica.
Director of community engagement
Dr. John Ohab is a digital strategist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. John was previously a new technology analyst at the Department of Defense Public Web Program, providing research and evaluation of web technology initiatives. He also led Defense Department's award-winning outreach project, “Armed with Science,” a cross-agency effort to connect military scientists and engineers with the public through social media. John joined the government through consecutive American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowships at the Department of Defense (2008) and the National Institute of Mental Health (2007). John received his B.S. in biopsychology from UC Santa Barbara in 2002 and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. John was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, experienced a moderately successful run in high school varsity tennis, and is waiting patiently for that elusive Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl victory.
Senior contributor; newsletter editor
Dr. Lisa Gardiner enjoys exploring the Earth from the tops of Colorado’s mountains to the bottom of tropical seas. She has a background in earth science, climate science, ecology, and paleontology - receiving her B.A. from Smith College in Geology and Marine Science and her Ph.D. from University of Georgia in Geology. She is currently honing her skills writing about science in the M.F.A. program at Goucher College. Lisa started Citizen Science Buzz, a blog on Talking Science to share exciting stories about how the public is getting involved with science. Lisa also develops resources for the public, students, and teachers to learn about the earth at Spark, UCAR Science Education. She has written for educational websites, led workshops for teachers, taught environmental education, and occasionally helped develop museum exhibits. She is the author and illustrator of several books and articles about science for children. For several years, Lisa’s eyes were glued to fossil coral reefs in the Bahamas as she searched for tiny clams and snails to study for her dissertation. Now she lives a mile above the ocean in Colorado and is a fan on hiking in summer, whether through mountain tundra or through city blocks, and skiing and snowshoeing in winter. When wearing her artist hat, Lisa creates painting of trees (or forests, depending on your perspective).
Nick Fordes is a science enthusiast who enjoys doing, teaching, and communicating science. Nick recently graduated from the University of Idaho with an M.S. in Water Resources. His research involved creating a web-based participatory GIS application for use in watershed management. He has a true love for technology and appreciation for what the web-based communications can do for promoting science and increasing science literacy. Nick most recently worked with the Council for Environmental Education, developing K-12 environmental science based curriculum. In his spare time, Nick enjoys biking the miles of bayous in Houston and making it to the coast to fish as often as he can. He has been known to use his scientific knowledge to put out a pretty mean brisket.
Although she holds dual bachelors’ degrees in International Studies and Spanish from the University of California Irvine, Lily has long harbored a proclivity for the sciences. A daughter of an engineer and an accountant who also happen to be a photographer and musician, respectively, Lily grew up on the nexus between science and art. Lily has worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; served a year in AmeriCorps in Montgomery County, Maryland; worked for a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter in California; and performed across the U.S. as a touring musician. She currently works with a public radio program based in Chicago, Illinois. In her spare time, she thinks of cheesy science puns (mostly to entertain herself).
Pete Madden is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles, California. He holds an M.S. in Digital Media from the Columbia Journalism School and a B.A. in Communication Studies and English from Vanderbilt University, where he covered sports for the Vanderbilt Hustler. He is currently Content Coordinator at Escape Apps, a tech startup that creates travel and local discovery smartphone apps, and he has worked for the Los Angeles Times, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, and Regis High School, a tuition-free prep school in New York City. An avid swimmer and diver, Pete has been lucky enough to explore the reefs in Australia, Belize, and the Galapagos, and when he's not writing about citizen science, you can find him planning his next underwater adventure.
Director of Space-based citizen science projects
Mark Severance is SciStarter’s Space Guy and he has been a Space Guy all of his life. A NASA engineer at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Mark has spent most of his career in Mission Control Center-Houston as a Flight Controller for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. He also spent time in Mission Control Center-Moscow as a NASA Operations Lead early in the ISS program and when NASA had Astronauts working onboard the Mir space station. He has had a life-long interest in spaceflight and views the space program as a catalyst for engaging minds of all ages in a deeper understanding of science, engineering, technology and mathematics. Mark holds BS degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from SMU and MS in Physical Science, with a concentration in Orbital Mechanics, from the University of Houston. He began his hands on interest in space as teenager through his radio tracking of Soviet and Chinese human and robotic spacecraft in conjunction with the Kettering Group. He credits his satellite tracking as the most directive force in his educational and professional careers. Mark is currently a NASA engineer and manger for a space communications lab at the Johnson Space Center. Previous to this assignment, he worked in NASA’s Office of Education to start a program of educational activities and experiments onboard the ISS. He is heading up SciStarter’s in-development suite of space-related, citizen science projects.
We're looking for volunteer contributors and interns! If you interested in science, Web publishing, and being part of an exciting, creative new venture, send a note describing your qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org.