The Key Biscayne Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that empowers philanthropic-minded community members to create programs and support efforts that can lead to lasting change. The Foundation allows donors to create their own funds, from which various charitable efforts are given financial support.
These funds are professionally managed so that community members can rest assured that their contributions are being put to the greatest possible use. An impressive array of projects receive Foundation support, and one of the initiatives that the Foundation is most proud of is the Citizen Science Project.
What is Citizen Science?
Citizen science is the process of involving everyday people in the practice of science. It gives community members who may not have a scientific background the power to participate in data collection, interpretation of that data and the overall scientific process.
Citizen scientists are led by professionals in the field of study for each project and work as “junior” scientists while the project is underway. At the heart of citizen science is the goal of producing community members who have an intimate knowledge of their place in the greater ecosystem and are willing to effect positive change in their own lives and their communities.
What Kind of Projects Are Supported?
Citizen science projects can encompass a wide range of topics and vary in duration and involvement. The Key Biscayne Citizen Science Project website contains a wealth of information for community members who have an interest in the ecology of the island of Key Biscayne. Visitors can learn more about local government decisions that impact the area, changes that have affected the Key’s natural resources over time, and information about the animals who make the island their home.
The website also contains information on current and upcoming Citizen Science projects, as well as how interested community members can get involved. The Science Lab portion of the site is where participants go to enter data that they have collected and track how various projects are moving forward.
Everyone in the community is encouraged to participate. In fact, the Foundation believes that people are one of our most valuable natural resources, and the central purpose of the Citizen Science Project is to harness the collective power of our community to create a lasting impact on our area.
The Key Biscayne Community Foundation is proud to support the Citizen Science Project. We hope that community members will continue to embrace the work that is being done within the Project, and will feel inspired to suggest new projects that will further expand our understanding of the complex natural environment that makes Key Biscayne such a special place to call home.
As our world continues to become more interconnected, projects that are centered on the principles of citizen science give people a chance to make powerful connections to the natural world at the community level. We feel that doing so has a wide range of benefits, at the personal, local, regional and global levels.