People-Powered Impacts: Using Citizen Science to Change the World


People-Powered Impacts: Using Citizen Science to Change the World

In the July installment of NAAEE's monthly webinar series (Bringing New Ideas and Innovation to the field of EE) we heard from Mary Ford (National Geographic) and Danny Edelson (BSCS) who shared their expertise in using citizen science to promote learning and increase our impact. 

click here to watch the recorded webinar

Mary Ford

Mary Ford is Senior Manager for Citizen Science at the National Geographic Society. Mary has an undergraduate degree in environmental science and policy from Harvard University and a master's degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her career has focused on environmental education and citizen science. She has worked at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the World Wildlife Fund, the Council for Environmental Education, and the National Audubon Society. She has taught preschool, middle school, and high school, and has done ecology research from Borneo to Siberia. Mary has served on the board of the North American Association for Environmental Education, the Education Operating Committee of the American Forest Foundation, the Advisory Board of Toyota TogetherGreen, and the board and Education Working Group of the Citizen Science Association.

Danny Edelson, Ph.D.

Daniel Edelson is the Executive Director and President of BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study). He has significant experience as a curriculum and educational software developer, educational researcher, and advocate for science and social studies education to this role. Before coming to BSCS, Dr. Edelson was Vice President for Education at the National Geographic Society from 2007-14. During this time, he also served as Executive Director of the National Geographic Education Foundation, overseeing a $3.5M annual grantmaking program. In these roles, Dr. Edelson led National Geographic’s educational outreach and reform efforts. 

From 1993-2007, Dr. Edelson was on the faculty of Northwestern University with a joint appointment in the School of Education and Social Policy (Learning Sciences) and the School of Engineering (Computer Science). At Northwestern, he conducted a program of integrated research and development focused on improving earth and environmental science education. In this work, he developed innovative curriculum materials and software, as well as professional development programs, for middle and high school science. He also participated in several district-level efforts to implement instructional reform in Chicago Public Schools and elsewhere. In the context of these development and implementation efforts, Dr. Edelson conducted research on design, student motivation and learning, and teacher professional development.

As a researcher and advocate, Dr. Edelson has written extensively on geoscience, geography, and environmental science education, motivation, instructional design, educational technology and teacher professional development. He is an author or co-author on more than 50 papers in academic journals, books and conference proceedings, including The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, The International Handbook on Science Education, the Journal of the Learning Sciences, and the Journal of Research on Science Teaching. In 2014, a collection of his essays was compiled into a book entitled GeoLearning: Thoughts on Geography and Education.