S. Andrew Sheppard

Minneapolis, MN • USA • +1 763.227.8106

Research Interests

My research is focused on computer support for community-based monitoring, at the intersection of citizen science, volunteered geographic information (VGI), and mobile crowdsourcing. I am exploring the tensions between project goals and technical constraints that many small- to medium- volunteer monitoring programs experience. As a systems designer, I am interested in the application of open source software and design patterns as a means to deploying reusable software platforms for citizen science. To that end, I am building wq (http://wq.io), a modular framework for supporting volunteer and professional field monitoring workflows.


Ph.D., Computer Science
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, December 2017
Thesis: Managing Data Quality in Observational Citizen Science

M.S., Computer Science
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, May 2010 (awarded 12/2017)

B.S., Information Technology Management
Minor in Business Management
University of Minnesota, Crookston, May 2005

A.A.S., Software Development
A.A.S., Web Design and Development
Anoka-Hennepin Technical College, Anoka, MN, May 2002


Sheppard, S. A., Turner, J., Thebault-Spieker, J., Zhu, H., and Terveen, L. Never Too Old, Cold or Dry to Watch the Sky: A Survival Analysis of Citizen Science Volunteerism. In Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, Volume 1, CSCW. December 2017.

Sheppard, S. A., Wiggins, A., and Terveen, L. Capturing Quality: Retaining provenance for curated volunteer monitoring data.
In Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2014). ACM. February 2014.

Sheppard, S. A. wq: a modular framework for collecting, storing, and utilizing experiential VGI.
In Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Crowdsourced and Volunteered Geographic Information (GEOCROWD '12). ACM. November 2012.

Sheppard, S. A. and Terveen, L. Quality is a Verb: The operationalization of data quality in a citizen science community.
In Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (Wikisym '11). ACM. October 2011.

Torre, F., Sheppard, S. A., Priedhorsky, R., and Terveen, L. bumpy, caution with merging: an exploration of tagging in a geowiki.
In Proceedings of the 16th ACM international conference on Supporting group work (GROUP '10). ACM. November 2010.

Presentations & Posters

Sheppard, S. A. An Open Source Framework for Volunteer Field Data Collection (Presentation).
Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial - North America (FOSS4G-NA 2013). Minneapolis, MN. May 23, 2013.

Read, N. and Sheppard, S. A. One Data Entry Web App for Many Devices? Yes! (Presentation).
31st Annual Minnesota Government IT Symposium. St. Paul, MN. December 6, 2012.

Sheppard, S. A. and DeMuth, D. Ensuring Data Integrity for the River Watch Citizen Monitoring Program (Poster).
2011 University of Minnesota Quality Fair & Forum, Minneapolis, MN. February 3, 2011.


Reviewed a total of 8 papers and notes for IUI 2010, CHI 2011-2013 and CSCW 2013.

Student volunteer at MobileHCI 2012 and CSCW 2013.

Conducted a workshop on Leaflet and d3 at FOSS4G-NA 2013.


Mobile/Web Software Architect, Houston Engineering, Inc., 2010–Present

Research Assistant, GroupLens Research, University of Minnesota, 2008-2010

Information Technology Professional, University of Minnesota Extension, 2005–2011

Technical Skills

Web & Mobile Development: CSS3, JavaScript (ES5), Compass/SCSS, RequireJS/AMD, jQuery Mobile, PhoneGap/Cordova
Document Markup: HTML5, Markdown, Mustache, LaTeX, Pandoc
Server Environments: Python (Django), Perl, Apache (WSGI), PostgreSQL
Mapping and Visualization: d3, Leaflet, Proj4js, GeoJSON, PostGIS, GeoMOOSE, MapServer
Operating Systems: Android, iOS, Debian/Ubuntu, OS X, Windows