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


    07dec(dec 7)8:00 am11(dec 11)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 103 Microgravity Research CampaignMicrogravity Research Campaign supporting the IIAS BIO 103 Program


    15jan(jan 15)6:30 pm20(jan 20)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2001 and 2002

    18jan(jan 18)8:00 am22(jan 22)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Red Sprite Group

    22jan(jan 22)6:30 pm27(jan 27)5:00 pmPoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Class 2003

    25jan(jan 25)8:00 am29(jan 29)5:00 pm2020 PoSSUM Academy - Blue Jet Group

    30jan(jan 30)8:00 am03feb(feb 3)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


    04feb(feb 4)8:00 am08(feb 8)5:00 pmFeaturedBIO 104: Advanced Egress - Spacesuit Landing and Post-Landing Testing


    24apr(apr 24)8:00 am27(apr 27)3:00 pmEVA 103 Planetary Field Geology Field CampaignEVA 103 course covers the requirements and design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology

    28apr(apr 28)8:00 am02may(may 2)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


    03may(may 3)8:00 am07(may 7)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

    © 2020 International Institute for Astronautical Sciences