Meet the Museum's core citizen science team. First up, it's Lucy:
Citizen Science Programme Manager
"Hello! As Programme Manager, I oversee all of the Museum's citizen science activities. My role is to update and promote our existing projects, and to work with our researchers, curators and public engagement staff to develop exciting new projects that support the Museum's scientific research.
Lucy Robinson, worm charming for the OPAL soil and earthworm survey.
A key element of the citizen science programme is to support other citizen science practitioners to develop their own projects. We do this by producing knowledge exchange guides and publications, and I regularly represent the Museum at national and international citizen science conferences. I am a member of the global Citizen Science Association and the European Citizen Science Association, within which I lead a working group that aims to share best practice and build capacity in citizen science across Europe.
I've been working at the Museum in the field of citizen science for 7 years now, initially on the Big Lottery Funded OPAL project, and now as the Museum's programme manager. I love being at the interface of science research and public engagement, and am fortunate that my job means I'm working alongside world-class researchers. Over the past 7 years I've worked on citizen science projects studying earthworms, lichens, seaweeds, urban invertebrates, microorganisms and many other areas of biodiversity, and I love this variety in my role."
Citizen Science Project Officer
"As Citizen Science Project Officer I am responsible for setting up and running citizen science projects here at the Museum. I work with staff from across the Museum, to define a research question, develop the data collection method, produce the resources that support participants in collecting and analysing the data, and communicate the results at the end of the project.
Jade collecting leaf samples in the Bialowieza Forest, Poland.
Really important to furthering our work in citizen science is my role in advocating and communicating citizen science and the projects that we run. Not only do we need to communicate to the public what projects they can contribute to and how they might benefit from getting involved, but we also need to demonstrate to research scientists how working with citizen scientists can support them in fulfilling their research ambitions.
As both an ecologist and a science communicator, I combine knowledge from both fields to developing public engagement opportunities that support people in engaging with and better understanding nature.
I started working at the Museum nearly 3 years ago as a Science Educator, delivering the Museum’s learning offer to school and family groups. I then joined the citizen science team in August 2014."
Head of the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity
"With a background in palaeoecology, I - like Lucy - also worked on the OPAL citizen science programme for many years as OPAL Project Manager. That time was spent developing and delivering new citizen science projects as well as coordinating the taxonomy, public events and exhibitions, and voluntary natural history societies aspects of the OPAL programme.
John teaching identification skills to Cubs, out in the field.
I subsequently left my role in OPAL to become Head of the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity (AMC). The AMC forms a hub for partnership-based UK natural history engagement, training and research, and provides a focus for the Museum’s citizen science programme. Our mission is to inspire and support the development of existing and future naturalists.
Projects range from citizen science surveys, to answering public identification enquiries, provision of wildlife identification resources and training, and research into critical aspects of the UK’s biodiversity.
The AMC also acts as a free drop in resource centre where UK natural history enthusiasts of all abilities can further their interest by accessing UK reference collections, library materials, microscopes and expertise.
I am a founding Steering Committee member for the global Citizen Science Association and a member of the British Ecological Society Citizen Science Special Interest Group."
So, that's a quick introduction to each of us. In our next blog post, we’ll introduce you to our latest citizen project... see you there.