Questions and Answers for Travelers
Do I have to know any science?
No. We will explain what needs to be done and how you can help.
How long is the trip?
Most trips are one week, Sunday to Saturday, leaving you with a weekend on either side to enjoy activities at the city nearest your destination. In some cases where back-to-back trips are available, it might be possible to stay for two weeks or longer.
Can we spend more time doing the science?
Absolutely. You are volunteering 2-4 hours per day (depending on the trip) but can certainly spend more time doing the science.
Are children allowed on the trips?
While we hope to be able to accommodate children in the future, at this point we have to limit it to ages 12 and above. You know your child the best – if you found out about Citizen Science Trips because your child brought you to the website and said “this is so cool, can we go?” then those are the type of kids we welcome on the trips. There won’t likely be other children, or access to the internet, or in some instances even access to power so if your child will be bored then perhaps it might be better to leave them at home (not alone, obviously!) or wait until they are older.
Will there be something for my teenager to do?
Teenaged Citizen Scientists will be treated just like adult Citizen Scientists. You know your child the best. There won’t likely be other children, or access to the internet, or in some instances even access to power so if your child will be bored then perhaps it might be better to leave them at home (not alone, obviously!) or wait until they are older.
What if one of us doesn’t want to participate in the Citizen Science?
Citizen Science volunteers are just that – volunteers. While we hope that all of our trip participants will be passionate about the science, that might not always be the case. There won’t be other scheduled activities for someone to do, but as long as you realize that, you are welcome.
What do we need to bring?
That depends on the trip. Your Trip Lead will be in touch a month before the trip to tell you what you might want to bring and answer any questions. But you should be prepared to be outdoors a significant part of the day.
Can we bring alcohol?
You are on vacation, that is certainly up to you!
Questions and Answers for Researchers
What type of people can I expect?
We never know who will be interested in any given trip. We can promise that they are interested in volunteering on your project and are willing to learn and contribute.
Do I have to train the Citizen Scientists?
No. Your Team Lead will work with you to understand the research project and what you need from the Citizen Scientist volunteers. The Team Lead will then train the volunteers and take responsibility for the quality of their work. Of course, if you want to be involved, that would be great!
Do you have a budget/equipment for …?
No. We can provide the people and train them in what you need, but you need to provide any equipment. If they are collecting samples, for example, then you need to provide the equipment to complete the analysis, or have the lab budget to do so.
Do I have to have an existing field program in place? Can I get Citizen Scientists even if I don’t have a field crew there?
While ideally Citizen Science Trips are a complement to existing field programs, this is not necessary. We will consider trips where the only field scientist is the Trip Lead.
Will my field team have to spend time with the Citizen Scientist volunteers?
No. The Team Lead takes on the responsibility of working with the Citizen Scientists. However, if anyone on the field team wants to be involved with the volunteers, that’s fine. Socially, of course, people can do what they want but we do ask that your field team treat the volunteers as a unit (for example – if an evening hike is being planned, the team should invite all of the Citizen Scientist volunteers, not just one person. Or they may choose not to invite the volunteers.)
Questions and Answers for Trip Leads
What are the minimum qualifications?
You have to have completed at least one year towards a Masters’ degree and have completed one field season. You have to be fluent in English. You have to like working with people as you will be responsible not only for the science they do but for the fun they have on their vacation. You have to be able to cook for a group over a camp stove!
Will I really have to cook?
Yup. There is a very real probability. While some of our more expensive trips are in lodges, the majority will be camping. You will be expected to prepare the meals for the clients, although we will provide you with menus and quantities.
Am I expected to entertain the clients when they aren’t working on the project?
Not really. You are expected to be familiar with the area and be a resource for the clients. You should be able to point them in the direction of hiking trails, or suggest where they might be able to go to get good pictures, that kind of thing. While they are relaxing, you will be expected to be correlating and organizing data, checking data quality and integrity, and doing the science part of the research. And cooking meals!
Is Team Lead a full time job?
No, but you can make it one. If you think you can accommodate a new group of clients every week for however long the research needs are there, then we are open to the idea. At a minimum we need a commitment from you full time for the week before and the week of the Citizen Science Trip, and for 8 hours per week for the 6 weeks prior.