Suggestions for Readings for Cit-Sci (in schools)

Links and resources for Innovation and Citizen Science projects with a schools focus, extracted from posts to the Cit-Sci Discussion list, by Nancy Trautmann <nancy.trautmann> and Mary Ellen Hannibal <maryellenhannibal>.

This book is designed for teachers: Citizen Science: 15 Lessons That Bring Biology to Life provides several case studies + 15 lesson plans representing a large range of citizen science projects and ways of integrating into science teaching.

The book Citizen Scientist by Mary Ellen Hannibal, as well as Caren Cooper’s book Citizen Science for big-picture narratives focusing on individual projects but also connecting them to the larger, contextual vision. Both books provide a way to integrate “science” into the broader humanities, including history and literature.

Look at the readings for a single lecture/ workshop for in-service teachers or MAT graduate students and the  California Academy’s Citizen Science Toolkit for educators. 

Also, Dunn, R. and H. Menninger. (2016) “Teaching Students to How to Discover the Unknown,” in D. Cavalier and E. B. Kennedy (Eds), The Rightful Place of Citizen Science. Tempe, AZ.

The four episodes of the PBS program The Crowd and the Cloud, which are free online, are superb and comprehensive.

Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction; “One of the best books of 2016,” review in the San Francisco Chronicle; recipient of the Nautilus Book Award

Stanford TEDx talk

Innovation in the ICT Sector

from Gerald Best’s Sightline website <https://www.gerardbest.com/sightline/2018/7/26/how-piedata-is-cracking-the-caribbean-code>

How Piedata is cracking the Caribbean code

Four years ago, a group called Piedata came together with CANTO, a trade association of Caribbean telecommunications service providers, to hold a hackathon. The goal was simple: shine a light on some big issues facing the region, and get some bright minds to come together to tackle those problems.

“For three years, we had the competition and we had really good products coming out of it,” said Ayodele Pompey, CEO and Founder of Piedata, the organisation that runs the annual regional code sprint.

The event now brings together some of the best developers from around the region to build software solutions that are responsive to real-life problems facing Caribbean islands, he said.

“One of our winners last year was called Sonar, built by a young Belizean development team called LXJ Code. So we thought to ourselves, every year we are bringing the best developers together. They are coming up with really smart, innovative solutions. But after the competition, what comes next?” Pompey said.

As it turned out, the answer was not technical but relational.

“We decided to spend more time developing the solutions, connecting the developers with potential investors, clients and partners to see how far we can take these products, so that ultimately, they can actually solve and address the problems that they were intended to,” Pompey said.

When the Piedata tea is not solving the problems of the Caribbean region, one line of code at a time, Piedata stays in the business of accelerating innovation by engaging Caribbean talent to create value.

“We think that the Caribbean has talent, and we want to discover that talent and put it to good use.

Shamir Saddler, CTO at Piedata, is the owner of SmartTerm, a software-based solution geared to strengthen the education system by putting school management and learning management at the fingertips of all stakeholders involved in education, including governments, administrators, teachers, students and parents. 

“Piedata is all about unlocking the potential of our youth and making them well rounded and globally competitive. Smart Term is geared to increase efficiency in schools, saving cost, saving on time and improving processes. To bring it all home, we use data analytics to enable data-driven decision-making about the education infrastructure and processes.”

The product is currently in use in Jamaica, and Saddler said there are plans for an expanded rollout in other countries.

“We’re welcoming any pilots or anyone who is interested in using the product for September 2018.”

Piedata was one of several organisations on the exhibition floor of CANTO’s annual telecommunications trade show, which took place in Panama City from July 22 to 26. The four-day event attracted a wide range of stakeholders from across the region’s Internet and telecommunications industry, including regulators, government ministers, Internet organisations, network operators, suppliers and vendors.

More information is available at piedata.io and smartterm.io.

Counter-Mapping: A Tool for Citizen Participation in Environmental Planning

[I don’t fully understand the operation or universe of potential or preferable applications of “Counter-mapping,” but then again, sometimes I have trouble figuring out how to apply GIS tools. It does seem, however. that these concepts could be useful in addressing the interface between local, artisanal users of natural resources, such as fishers, and new conservation needs and programmes. There is a useful list of references at the bottom of this article.]

From The Guardian —

Counter-mapping: cartography that lets the powerless speak

How a subversive form of mapmaking charts the stories and customs of those who would traditionally be ignored.

A weathered backpack left behind by a migrant in the Sonoran Desert between the USA and Mexico.
A weathered backpack left behind by a migrant in the Sonoran Desert between the USA and Mexico. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Sara is a 32-year-old mother of four from Honduras. After leaving her children in the care of relatives, she travelled across three state borders on her way to the US, where she hoped to find work and send money home to her family. She was kidnapped in Mexico and held captive for three months, and was finally released when her family paid a ransom of $190.

Her story is not uncommon. The UN estimates that there are 258 million migrantsin the world. In Mexico alone, 1,600 migrants are thought to be kidnapped every month. What is unusual is that Sara’s story has been documented in a recent academic paper that includes a map of her journey that she herself drew. Her map appears alongside four others – also drawn by migrants. These maps include legends and scales not found on orthodox maps – unnamed river crossings, locations of kidnapping and places of refuge such as a “casa de emigrante where officials cannot enter. Since 2011, such shelters have been identified by Mexican law as “spaces of exception”.

Travelling through tree-covered areas is a slow and arduous process, as is travel through politically unstable areas. Scale on an orthodox map is uniform; counter-maps can represent psychological as well as physical distances that are rarely linear or uniform. In the town of Duvergé in the Dominican Republic, I once interviewed a Haitian migrant who had dealt with civil unrest, a long mountain chain, forests, police checkpoints and clusters of militias (chimères) on his journey across the border. Although geographically his home town was only 177km away, he was psychologically about as close to home as a Londoner is to Murmansk.

Counter-mapping’s ability to capture this fragmentation also makes it a useful tool for documenting physical transformations wrought by climate change. In the Arctic, melting sea-ice is opening up the Northwest Passage to the possibility of greater transcontinental shipping. Questions of sovereignty over these waters are pressing, and the traditional function of maps has been to impose the stamp of a crown on vast swaths of the Earth. In the Arctic, as in Africa and Asia through the 19th century, it suited many Europeans, Russians and Americans to think the land was empty before they arrived. In the mining town of Labrador City, there are curiously named lakes: Tanya Lake, Beverly Lake, Carol Lake. Curious, until you learn that Carol was the wife of the chief geologist of the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC). The names date from the 1950s.

Counter-mapping often pays greater attention to “their method” than orthodox mapping. There are more than just Cartesian coordinates in the world. Detailed knowledge of the thickness of ice, places of shelter and predators are engraved in Inuit stories. Indeed, the naming continues; within the great Rapa valley in Sarek, the Swedish wilderness, is a small area recently given the name Rovdjurstorget (Predator Square) because the tracks of all four large predators that exist in the wild in Sweden (bear, wolverine, wolf and lynx) have been found there.

And if a scientist frowns at the mention of storytelling, just remind them of the names of places to be found in anatomical atlases of the brain – the amygdala (the almond) , the hippocampus (the seahorse) , the globus pallidus (the pale globe) . Mapping is eternally linked to stories, and counter-mapping acknowledges the use of more than one knowledge base. It also has the possibility to counter the naïve, sometimes malign, simplicity of state lines. Arctic people in particular know a thing or two about these lines – the Sami were often burdened with paying taxes to three nation states at a time.

One of the fundamental overlaps between the counter-mapping of the Arctic and the journeys of migrants is that in both cases there is no single scientific or technical solution to the problem at hand. Alleviating the problem depends as much on ethics as equations, and Inuit people have different ethical obligations to the Arctic to IOC geologists. The answer to the question “whose woods are these?” is not singular. Counter-mapping at least helps us to give more weight and representation to customs and claims on the land that have traditionally been ignored.

References

The International Migration Report 2017 (Highlights), Multimedia Library – United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Human Rights of Migrants and Other Persons in the Context of Human Mobility in Mexico, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 2013

Campos-Delgado, A, Counter-Mapping Migration: Irregular Migrants’ Stories Through Cognitive Mapping, Mobilities, 2018, 0: 1–17

Peluso, NL, Whose Woods Are These? Counter-Mapping Forest Territories in Kalimantan, Indonesia, Antipode, 1995

Rompkey, B, The Story of Labrador, McGill-Queen’s Press, 2005

Cabot, WB, Labrador, 1858