Our inaugural Chicago-area meetup was great fun! Zooniverse volunteers came to the Adler Planetarium, home base for our Chicago team members, to meet some of the Adler Zooniverse web development team and talk to Chicago-area researchers about their Zooniverse projects.
- Zooniverse Highlights and Thank You! (Laura Trouille, co-I for Zooniverse and Senior Director for Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium)
- Chicago Wildlife Watch (Liza Lehrer, Assistant Director, Urban Wildlife Institute, Lincoln Park Zoo)
- Gravity Spy (Sarah Allen, Zooniverse developer, supporting the Northwestern University LIGO team)
- Microplants (Matt Von Konrat, Head of Botanical Collections, Field Museum)
- Steelpan Vibrations (Andrew Morrison, Physics Professor, Joliet Junior College)
- Wikipedia Gender Bias (Emily Temple Wood, medical student, Wikipedia Editor, Zooniverse volunteer)
- In-Person Zooniverse Volunteer Opportunities at the Adler Planetarium (Becky Rother, Zooniverse designer)
Researchers spoke briefly about their projects and how they use the data and ideas generated by our amazing Zooniverse volunteers in their work. Emily spoke of her efforts addressing gender bias in Wikipedia. We then took questions from the audience and folks chatted in small groups afterwards.
The event coincided with Adler Planetarium’s biennial Member’s Night, so Zooniverse volunteers were able to take advantage of the museum’s “Spooky Space” themed activities at the same time, which included exploring the Adler’s spookiest collection pieces, making your own spooky space music, and other fun. A few of the Zooniverse project leads also led activities: playing Andrew’s steel pan drum, interacting with the Chicago Wildlife Watch’s camera traps and other materials, and engaging guests in classifying across the many Zooniverse projects. There was also a scavenger hunt that led Zooniverse members and Adler guests through the museum, playing on themes within the exhibit spaces relating to projects within the Zooniverse mobile app (iOS and Android).
We really enjoyed meeting our volunteers and seeing the conversation flow between volunteers and researchers. We feel so lucky to be part of this community and supporting the efforts of such passionate, interesting people who are trying to do good in the world. Thank you!
Have you hosted a Zooniverse meetup in your town? Would you like to? Let us know!