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The Power of Citizen Science, with Dr. Caren Cooper and Crowd the Tap

September 3, 2020 @ 6:00 pm 7:00 pm

 for "The Power of Citizen Science with Dr. Caren Cooper and Crowd the Tap"

This event was originally scheduled for September 1st but has been rescheduled for September 3rd. This program will be live-streamed on the museum’s Facebook page and via Zoom Webinar. Register below to receive event updates and a link to the recorded program.

Learn how you can help create the first robust national inventory of water pipe materials in the United States!

Dr. Caren Cooper will explore the history of citizen science and explain how we can work with scientists to research and discover solutions to real world problems. Dr. Cooper will also tell us about Crowd the Tap, a project that promotes access to safe drinking water by assisting individuals to investigate the pipes that deliver drinking water to their homes. 

Video courtesy of Crowd the Tap.

The Crowd the Tap project relies on volunteers to share information about their home plumbing and service lines to help build a national inventory of pipe materials. The pipes that transfer water to our homes are typically made of copper, plastic, galvanized steel, or lead. Lead pipes are a known source of lead in tap water, which is hazardous to human health. The installation of lead pipes was banned in the United States in 1986, but much of the drinking water infrastructure still contains lead pipes. Crowd the Tap needs information on all pipe materials to create a complete picture of our drinking water infrastructure and identify lead pipe hot spots in the United States.

Dr. Cooper is a professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Research and Leadership in Public Science cluster at NC State University. Cooper is an advocate of Citizen Science, Open Science, and Science Communication and the author of Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery. She is also a Primary Investigator of Crowd the Tap, an EPA-funded project that promotes access to safe drinking water.

Program Recording


Registration for this event has closed.

This event is part of Water/Ways, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition that explores water’s environmental and cultural impact. Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Humanities Council, and was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

This event is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Humanities council.