In 2014, the North Pacific Ocean became unusually warm; a “marine heatwave” that persisted for over four years, covered an area the size of Canada, and wreaked havoc in ocean ecosystems from plankton to seabirds. Citizen science programs, including the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) collected first responder data on seabird species die-offs from California to the Bering Sea, Alaska, collectively creating one of the most vivid pictures of the impacts of global warming. (How) could HCI have made this on-the-ground response more effective? With a corpus of almost 1,000 trained participants in dozens of small coastal communities, how can HCI propel us to a more efficient, more effective state of data collection, data analysis, and data interaction and dispersion. Or, can it? This talk pokes at what the “right” blend of high-to-low tech might be to optimize data quality and participant retention in a hands-on, repeated activity CitSci project.
Julia K. Parrish is a Lowell A. and Frankie L. Wakefield Professor of Ocean Fishery Sciences, and the Associate Dean of the College of the Environment, at the University of Washington. She is also the Executive Director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), the largest beached bird program in the world. Julia has been honored as a NOAA Year of the Oceans Environmental Hero, and has received a Champions of Change award at The White House for her leadership in coastal citizen science. She is an Elected Fellow of the American Ornithological Union and of the Ecological Society of America, and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow.