Citizen Science Musings: Looking Backward

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By Sheldon Greaves

A last glimpse of the Venus Transit. Photo by Sheldon Greaves.

A last glimpse of the Venus Transit. Photo by Sheldon Greaves. Click to enlarge.

This is as good a time as any to take a look back at what has happened this last year. It’s been an interesting trip thus far and CSL has made considerable strides towards filling our mission objectives with a lot of help from our loyal readers and friends. Thanks to all of you.

A number of things stand out in the past year, one of which was the CSL meeting in Clearwater, FL last Fall that has helped us flesh out our agenda for the future. I’ve also been delighted to make the acquaintance of some new bloggers and contributors to our blog, which is gaining ground and reaching more and more people all the time. I’ve heard some wonderful stories about kids looking for some specific piece of information or how-to, and finding it on CSL. This only stands to increase in the coming year, particularly when we launch our new membership program with some great benefits for paid members.

For me, there have been some particularly wonderful moments: watching local harbor seals care for their pups, meeting some new members, photographing the annular eclipse, the transit of venus, or watching the last flight of shuttle Endeavour, this past year has been a wonderful experience for Denise and me. I hope that it has been enriching for each of you as well.

We expect to see some significant changes in 2013, changes for the better. As we transition from being a website with a blog to a more complex organization I’m going to be spending even more time working to make CSL into a genuine community with lots of subgroups and many conversations going on–what you find in any healthy community. We want to expand our services, especially to those who like doing science, and to those who are looking to join this great adventure. 

One thing I do want all of you to keep in mind is that as we expand, there will be a greater need for our members to pitch in to help us realize our goals and initiatives. More on that later, but suffice to say that CSL is getting to the point where one or two people can’t manage everything that needs doing, nor should it be thus. CSL is for you, to make of it what you will. For my part, I can hardly wait to see what our members do in 2013.

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