EPA Promotes Citizen Science

By Kevin Kubik

You’ve heard about Citizen Kane…Citizen Soldier…Citizen of the World.  But how about Citizen Science? 

Citizen Science is all the rage.  I read a definition that I like in Wikipedia. According to it, Citizen Science is “The systematic collection and analysis of data; development of technology; testing of natural phenomena; and the dissemination of these activities by researchers on a primarily a vocational basis.” 

Now, that’s a mouthful.  EPA scientists in our region are looking for ways to provide citizen scientists or citizen scientist groups with the means to address environmental issues in their communities.

Just this week, EPA announced the availability of 10 grants ranging from $12,500 to $25,000 for a total of $125,000.  These grants are available to individuals, non-profit and community groups, and to others interested in receiving funding for water and air monitoring projects in New York City.  Projects receiving funding under these grants will be expected to promote a comprehensive understanding of local issues, and identify and support activities that address these issues at the local level. 

Proposed projects must include addressing Environmental Justice issues, and should engage, educate and empower communities.   The closing date and time for submissions is April 20, 2012, 5:00 p.m., EST. The full announcement, guidance outlining the eligibility, purposes, goals and general procedures for application and award are available at http://www.epa.gov/region2/grants/ or through www.grants.gov.

Stay tuned for future efforts on how EPA is helping to empower the new “Citizen Scientists in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

About the Author: Kevin Kubik serves as the region’s Deputy Director for the Division of Environmental Science and Assessment out of EPA’s Edison Environmental Center.  He has worked as a chemist for the Region for more than 29 years in the laboratory and in the quality assurance program.