|Pre - 2007: The first version of FieldScope was developed at Northwestern University under the direction of Dr. Daniel Edelson, then a faculty member in the Education and Computer Science program. This version was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF)1 in conjunction with the GLOBE Program to provide access to hydrology data to K-12 schools through a free, web-based platform.|
|2007 - 2011: Dr. Edelson joined the National Geographic Society as VP for Education in 2007, and he brought FieldScope with him. In those early years, National Geographic launched a small initiative that invited K-12 classrooms to collect and analyze water quality data from bodies of water in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This early effort was conducted in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office, and others.|
|2010 - 2015: Based on the success of these early efforts, in 2010 the National Geographic Society sought and received funding from NSF2 to expand FieldScope into a platform that could be used to host multiple networked field studies, each with its own set of users, data entry form, and tools for visualizing and analyzing data. The driving goal of this project was to demonstrate that a web-based platform could serve as both a data collection platform for networked field studies and as a data analysis platform to support inquiry-based learning in K-12 schools.|
|As part of this project, National Geographic worked with three “testbed” projects that were selected to represent different categories of networked field study. They were (1) FrogWatch USA, run by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, (2) Project BudBurst, run by the GLOBE Program and Chicago Botanic Garden, and (3) Trash Free Potomac, run by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. All three projects are still active and hosted in the FieldScope platform.|
|This research and development project brought FieldScope to a greater level of functionality, which allowed the platform to meet the data entry, data storage, and data analysis needs of a diverse set of programs and platform users. The project also demonstrated FieldScope’s ease of usability for project organizers, project participants, teachers, and students. During this time, National Geographic obtained funding from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)3 to expand the Chesapeake Bay water quality initiative to the entire 7-state Chesapeake watershed through improved educational materials and large-scale teacher professional development in each state.|
2016 - 2019: In 2014, Dr. Edelson left the National Geographic Society and became the Executive Director of BSCS Science Learning. One year later, BSCS acquired the FieldScope software and name from the National Geographic Society. With the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, BSCS launched an initiative to modernize the FieldScope software for the mobile age and increase its usefulness for a broader audience. Under BSCS, FieldScope has been redesigned to meet the needs of three overlapping audiences with distinct needs: (1) institution-led participatory science projects (often referred to as citizen science projects), (2) K-12 educators and their students, and (3) grassroots community science projects. Key design, research, and development partners in this effort have been Inquirium, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Blue Dragonfly Labs, and Azavea.
2020: The FieldScope product team at BSCS Science Learning, led by longtime Program Manager Sean O’Connor, completed a major upgrade and re-launch of the FieldScope tool, modernizing the user interface, adding new features project managers can use to manage groups and data, and improved tools users can leverage to visualize and analyze data.
2021 and Beyond: In early 2021, with the help of funding from the Pisces Foundation, BSCS Science Learning released Invitations to Inquiry with FieldScope, activities in which students use citizen and community science data sets uploaded to FieldScope to grow their skills in data literacy over the course of 2-4 days of learning. These were augmented with new updates in 2022. Also in 2022, the FieldScope team welcomed Jessica Bean, leader of the Understanding Global Change Project at the Museum of Paleontology at UC Berkeley, as a Research Affiliate and integral part of our outreach work moving forward.
- Student Analysis of Data Driving Learning about the Earth: A Next Generation GLOBE Project. Daniel Edelson (PI); Kemi Jona, David Maidment (co-PI’s). National Science Foundation GLOBE Program (GEO-0627923) 8/06-7/12. $1.2M.
- National Geographic FieldScope. Daniel Edelson, PI. National Science Foundation, Informal Science Education Program (DRL-1010749) 9/10-12/15. $2.8M. (7/1/2012-6/30/2014)
- Chesapeake Watershed Education Scale-Up: A Partnership for Geographic and Environmental Science Literacy. Kathleen Schwille, PI; Daniel C. Edelson, Co-PI. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce (Award no. NA12SEC0080021). 7/12-6/14. $1.9M.