National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401
Citizen science greatly expands the scale at which we can collect data and thus explore problems and solutions that are increasingly global in nature. Leslie Ries works on biodiversity data flowing from citizen-science monitoring efforts, currently focused on North American butterflies. She focuses on several facets of citizen-science, including the use of these data to answer large-scale ecological questions, especially those related to climate and land cover; developing statistical tools to extract the most robust information from the data; designing systems to support data management, visualization, and sharing; and developing “knowledge” databases that compile life history and other trait data to enrich multi-species analyses. In addition to carrying out and enabling large-scale ecological research, Leslie has also been working on methods to integrate big-data approaches into formal (currently undergraduate) education, and is also increasingly interested in informal education opportunities as well. More recently, she has become interested in how citizen-science can inform conservation values, behavior, and outcomes.