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Citizen Science
Provider: Faculty of Science

Activity no.: 5930-23-12-31 
Enrollment deadline: 31/07/2023
PlaceNatural History Museum of Denmark,
Date and time31.07.2023, at: 09:00 - 11.08.2023, at: 16:00
Regular seats15
ECTS credits7.50
Contact personNatalie Iwanycki Ahlstrand    E-mail address: natalie.iwanycki@snm.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserAnders P. Tøttrup    E-mail address: aptottrup@snm.ku.dk
Course workload
Course workload categoryHours
Field Work15.00
Practical exercises15.00
Theory exercises8.00



This PhD course offers an in-depth introduction to citizen science: the involvement of the public in scientific research. The development and application of citizen science is increasing around the world as an effective and progressive research method, and is gaining interest from policy makers and funding bodies across multiple disciplinesStudents will be presented to the various applications of citizen science through interactive lectures, discussions, exercises, field, and lab activities. The course includes several guest lectures from prominent citizen science experts in Europe and North America from academic and non-academic institutions, representing fields of natural & environmental science, social science, and the humanities. By the end of course students will gain a solid foundation in the theory and practice of citizen science including inter- and transdisciplinary aspects, and will apply this knowledge by designing their own project to address a specific research question using citizen science methods.

Learning outcome


Upon completing the course students will be able to:

  • Describe basic aspects of citizen science such as the history and typologies in citizen science
  •  Differentiate between methods in citizen science, community science, crowd sourcing, participatory science, and co-design
  •  Understand the benefits and current limitations of citizen science
  •  Explain and critique the various levels of citizen engagement from contributory to extreme citizen science
  •  Describe the benefits and challenges of collaborating and co-creating with citizen scientists 
  •  Understand the technological aspects of citizen science projects and current digital tools
  •  Understand communication strategies that are beneficial for explaining and conveying scientific methods and research results to the public and specific audiences
  •  Understand biases in, and handle and analyse citizen science data
  •  Draw links between citizen science research, Open Science, and the UN Sustainability Goals.


Upon completing the course students will be able to:

  •  Critically review and assess citizen science approaches 
  •  Make qualified contributions to the development of the rapidly evolving field of citizen science
  •  Design and apply inter- and transdisciplinary methods to meet the interests and needs of the public 


Upon completing the course students will be able to:

  • Evaluate and discuss citizen science literature and projects
  •  Identify research questions relevant for citizen science and reflect on solutions
  •  Target specific groups of volunteers based on motivation, prerequisites, and preferences
  •  Apply contributory, collaborative, and co-creation methods to research 
  •  Consider and plan for the technical aspects and digital tools for citizen science projects
  •  Design and implement a citizen science project including all aspects from idea/question and communication to methods development and data analyses

A list literature including journal articles and book chapters will be provided based on the daily themes planned in the course. Background literature and learning materials for preparation prior to the course including chapters of the book "Citizen Science – Innovation in open science, society and policy", by Hecker et al. UCL Press will also be provided.

Teaching and learning methods

Students will learn by participating in citizen science activities, discussing published citizen science studies, and designing and developing their own citizen science research projects. Hands-on experience in citizen science projects run at the Natural History Museum of Denmark will be included. A mixture of lectures, exercises, workshops, seminars, lab activities, fieldwork and excursions will be included. The course will be completed with each student having one week in the week following the course to write a 5-page written assignment (essay).

Marianne Achiam (Department of Science Education), Anders P. Tøttrup (Natural History Museum of Denmark), Natalie Iwanycki Ahlstrand (Natural Meseum of Denmark), Rob Dunn (North Carolina State University) and other guest lecturers from Denmark, Europe & North America.

Course fee:

Free for participants from UCPH

Participants not from UCPH course fee is 5000 DKK

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