County of Los Angeles Public Library Partnership
The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County's (NHMLAC) Community Science office began a partnership with the County of Los Angeles Public Library in June 2016 with the goal of expanding the reach of scientific literacy and nature awareness to more communities within the L.A. County region. NHMLAC staff continue to work closely with library staff to explore different methods to make community science more accessible. Some efforts include family-friendly education programs such as "Library Nature Days," empowering library staff through museum-led iNaturalist trainings, and the implementation of "Nature Kits" that library patrons can check out to help facilitate nature exploration in their own neighborhoods.
County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation Partnership
In May 2017, NHMLAC began a partnership with the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation to support them as they piloted a new six-week summer camp experience in which their campers participated in fun activites that incorporated Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). Eight parks throughout the county were part of this pilot. Staff from each park came to NHMLAC for facilitating resources, and support from NHMLAC. For 2018, the partnership expanded to include a nine-month long development of activities with both County Parks & Rec staff and NHMLAC staff working as a team to expand the activities to incorporate more STEAM elements, and to provide additional resources for parks staff to implement the activities. "Environment" was added as a core element, and the ESTEAM camp offering grew to 16 parks in Los Angeles County.
NHMLAC is part of a $2.2 million international research project that aims to understand what youth gain from participating in natural history museum-led community science. The project will help us to better understand how to design community science projects, and help shape the next generation of science leaders!
The Learning and Environmental science Agency Research Network for Citizen Science (LEARNCitSci) is a 4-year research project funded through the Science Learning+ initiative, a partnership between the National Science Foundation and the Wellcome Trust with the UK Economic and Social Research Council. This project is a collaboration between community science practitioners and learning researchers and is based at three natural history museums (NHMLAC, NHM London, and California Academy of Sciences). Through ethnographic observations of participants (ages 5-19), the team will gain an understanding of how youth develop Environmental Science Agency. Our findings will help community science practitioners around the world design programs that can better educate, enable, and empower youth in science.
Want to be part of this ground-breaking international research?
- Attend one of our community science events
- Check out our calendar and join one of our events. We’ll teach you all you need to know about using iNaturalist and you will explore nature in L.A. and contribute to real science.
- Participate online through the iNaturalist platform
- If you are already using iNaturalist, share your username with us. Join LEARNCitSci by emailing us your iNaturalist username so you can help us with vital data collection and research.
This research is a collaboration between learning researchers and community science practitioners at the following organizations:
- University of California Davis
- Natural History Museum in London
- California Academy of Sciences
- Natural History Museum Los Angeles County
- Open University
- Oxford University
Our International Staff
- Heidi Ballard (Primary Investigator), Déana Scipio, Ryan Meyer (UC Davis, School of Education)
- Lucy Robinson (Primary Investigator), Julia Lorke, Harpreet Sanghera (Natural History Museum, London)
- Alison Young (Co-PI), Rebecca Johnson (Co-PI), Annie Miller (California Academy of Sciences)
- Lila Higgins (Co-PI), Greg Pauly (Co-PI), Jessie Jennewein (Natural History Museum Los Angeles County)
- Christothea Herodotou, Maria Aristeidou (Open University)
- Grant Miller (Oxford University)