EDU 101: Citizen Science Research Methods

EDU 101: Citizen Science Research Methods

This course provides PoSSUM scientist astronaut candidates with an overview of current citizen science research and a foundation for conducting their own research. Current citizen science research gaps in bioastronautics, extra-vehicular activity (EVA), spacecraft technology, and aeronomy, and possible ways to address these gaps are discussed. Guest instructors, including PoSSUM alumni, and subject matter experts within the space community, will present their citizen science work as examples.



The purpose of this course is to give PoSSUM scientist astronaut candidates a foundation on which to participate in or conduct their own research, complimentary to the science activities of PoSSUM, OTTER, and IIAS.


Upon completing this course, scientist astronaut candidates will be able to:

  1. Describe existing citizen science work supported by space agencies
  2. Design and propose citizen science research projects
  3. Demonstrate the requirements for human subject research
  4. Communicate the current gaps in knowledge within bioastronautics, EVA, spacecraft technologies, and aeronomy research
  5. Develop and present their own citizen science research project proposal with objectives, procedures, budget, and data collection and analysis strategy


Please view slides, supplemental articles, assignment instructions, and links before each webinar in the shared course drive.


Use the PoSSUM assignment instructions (in the shared course drive) to:

  1. Describe how citizen science enabled a specific research project or discovery that would have otherwise been infeasible (due 13 April 2020)
  2. Develop a research project idea of your own and the means by which citizen science methods could be of benefit (due 27 April 2020)
  3. Complete a funding proposal for your research project (due 11 May 2020)
  4. Present your funding proposal to the class and provide feedback for others (due 18 May 2020)

Each assignment is worth 25 points and is graded according to the course evaluation form in the shared drive.


6 April 2020 08:00-09:00 PDT

Introduction to Citizen Science Research
Instructor: S. Ritter

  • Course overview, definition of citizen science, funding opportunities
  • Example projects

13 April 2020 08:00-09:00 PDT

Introduction to Human Subjects Research

Instructor: K. Harris

  • CITI Program, Institutional Review Boards, informed consent
  • Data management, study design

20 April 2020 08:00-09:00 PDT

Citizen Science in Bioastronautics & Microgravity Spacesuit Evaluation

Instructors: S. Ritter, H. Hammerstein

  • Spaceflight physiology and study design (S. Ritter)
  • Microgravity spacesuit evaluation (H. Hammerstein)

27 April 2020 08:00-09:00 PDT

Citizen Science in Extravehicular Activity, Remove Medicine, Life Support

Instructor: S. Ritter

  • Research in space and remote medicine, space analogs
  • Life Support Systems, EVA operations

4 May 2020 08:00-09:00 PDT

Citizen Science in Spaceflight Systems, Aeronomy and Remote Sensing

Instructor: H. Hammerstein, S. Ritter

  • Spacecraft systems engineering (H. Hammerstein)
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics (S. Ritter)
  • Suborbital space environments, Teachers in Space (H. Hammerstein)
  • Remote sensing of noctilucent clouds, CubeSats, Virtual Reality (S. Ritter)

11 May 2020 08:00-09:00 PDT

Citizen Science at NASA Science Mission Directorate

Instructors: M. Kuchner, S. Higashio

  • NASA Citizen Science: From Space Tomatoes to Planet 9 (M. Kuchner)
  • Using Citizen Science to Search for Young Moving Groups in Virtual Reality (S. Higashio)

18 May 2020 08:00-10:00 PDT

Proposal Presentations

19 May 2020 08:00-10:00 PDT

Proposal Presentations

20 May 2020 08:00-10:00 PDT

Proposal Presentations


Pass/fail, all assignments must be submitted for course credit.

Each Assignment All Assignments Description Grade
25 100 Very Good A+
24 93 – 99 A
23 90 – 92 A-
22 87 – 89 Good B+
21 83 – 86 B
20 80 – 82 B-
19.5 77 – 79 Fair C+
19 73 – 76 C
18 70 – 72 C-
17 67 – 69 Needs Improvement D+
16 63 – 66 D
15 60 – 62 D-
14 0 – 59 Poor F

2021 Course Schedule


17apr(apr 17)6:30 pm21(apr 21)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2001 and 2002

19apr(apr 19)8:00 am23(apr 23)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Red Sprite Group

24apr(apr 24)6:30 pm28(apr 28)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2003 and 2101

26apr(apr 26)8:00 am30(apr 30)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Blue Jet Group


01may8:00 am05(may 5)5:00 pmOPS 102 Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations On-SiteOn-site compliment to OPS 102 course providing aircraft egress and sea survial training to complement post-landing human space flight system engineering instruction

06may(may 6)8:00 am09(may 9)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 104: Advanced Egress - Spacesuit Landing and Post-Landing Testing

10may(may 10)8:00 am12(may 12)5:00 pmOPS 104 On-Site Mission Simulation TrainingOn-Site compliment to OPS 104 Orbital Mechanics and Mission Simulation using the IIAS Orion simulator to provide high-fidelity simulation of ISS rendezvous and docking missions.

13may(may 13)8:00 am16(may 16)5:00 pmEVA 105 Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory EVA Operations CampaignOn-Site compliment to EVA 105 Fundamentals of Underwater EVA Operations using the IIAS Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. This NAUI-certified prepares on to evaluate actual EVA space suits in analog underwater conditions.

17may(may 17)8:00 am21(may 21)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 103 Microgravity Research CampaignMicrogravity Research Campaign supporting the IIAS BIO 103 Program

25may(may 25)8:00 am28(may 28)5:00 pmEVA 102 Operational Space Medicine Field CampaignField component to cover wilderness medicine in extreme environments, culminating with a 4-day on-site lab portion devoted to triage, scenarios and skills pertaining to wilderness medicine

29may01junEVA 103 Planetary Field Geology Field CampaignEVA 103 course covers the requirements and design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology


06jun(jun 6)8:00 am12(jun 12)5:00 pmFTE 102 Fixed-Wing Performance Flight Test CampaignOn-Site compliment to FTE 102 Fixed-Wing Performance Flight Testing using Turbo Mooney aircraft.

13jun(jun 13)8:00 am19(jun 19)5:00 pmFTE 103 Fixed-Wing Stability and Control Flight Test CampaignOn-Site compliment to the FTE 102 Fixed-Wing Stability and Control Flight Test Course using Turbo Mooney, Piper Twin, and Pitts S2B aircraft.


10julAll Day20FeaturedAER 103 Noctilucent Cloud Imagery Field Research CampaignField campaign as part of AER 103, Airborne Noctilucent Cloud Imagery course to study noctilucent cloud formations through coordinated ground, airborne, and balloon observations.


01nov8:00 am05(nov 5)5:00 pmFeaturedEVA 104 Gravity-Offset EVA Space Suit Evaluation CampaignGravity-offset research campaign to evaluate the Final Frontier Design EVA space suit by applying the tools and techniques developed through EVA 102 and EVA 103 courses

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