Editor’s Choice: This is a rather provocative essay whose arguments are completely specious in many instances, and completely wrong in others, but has enough seeds of truth that it is worth pondering and acknowledging, and then considering much-needed rebuttals. –LFF– Excerpt: The very label ‘citizen science’ (as opposed to, say, ‘amateur’ or ‘extramural’) carries the unsubtle…

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Editor’s Choice: What resonated for me with this article is the conclusion that embedding data collection activities within a virtual citizen science application not only supported improved data collection for marine science but also provided better opportunities for volunteers to engage in a larger community that contributed to social learning. –LFF– Methods (excerpt): In this…

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Abstract: Citizen science – the active participation of lay people in research – may yield crucial local knowledge and increase research capacity. Recently, there is growing interest to understand benefits for citizen scientists themselves. We studied the perceived impacts of participation in a public health citizen science project on citizen scientists in a disadvantaged neighbourhood…

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Excerpt: Some 95% of the ocean is completely unexplored, unseen by human eyes. That naturally means that there are many marine environments that we don’t know much about, but that we’re still putting at risk from damaging activities such as bottom trawling. Meadows of seagrass – flowering plants that live in shallow, sheltered areas –…

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Editor’s Choice: Peering into the pits of rotted stumps, poring over craggy tree bark, and most importantly, pausing. Patient and still, awaiting subtle movements that betray the presence of tiny, cryptic, eight-legged predators. A mantra in the nature museum field is “connect with nature,” an aspiration conjuring up images of vast landscapes or charismatic megafauna….

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Excerpt: Sleepy sea otters piling onto pads of pickleweed in Elkhorn Slough are causing quite a stir. A partnership between local researchers and dedicated citizen scientists is researching Elkhorn Slough’s rebounding sea otter populations and the strange behavior that might have brought them there. The results of this years-long study, published in the journal Ecology,…

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Excerpt: FIU deployed more than 100 citizen scientists to investigate whether flooding from the most recent King Tide in October was bringing saltwater or freshwater inland to urban areas. The findings could provide critical clues as to why such unusual flooding is occurring in South Florida, what areas are most at-risk and whether the frequency…

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Abstract: Cities are under pressure to operate their services effectively and project costs of operations across various timeframes. In high-latitude and high-altitude urban centers, snow management is one of the larger unknowns and has both operational and budgetary limitations. Snowfall and snow depth observations within urban environments are important to plan snow clearing and prepare…

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Excerpt: Along the jagged coast of Maine, prehistoric shell middens mark spots where Maine Indians feasted on clams, shells and other seafood, then tossed aside the remains. “Midden,” to archaeologists, means the waste left behind by long-gone humans. In practice, though, these ancient garbage heaps contain a treasure trove of data that can shed light…

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Abstract: A survey of 345 volunteer water monitoring programs in the United States was conducted to document their characteristics, and perceived level of support for data to inform natural resource management or policy decisions. The response rate of 86% provided information from 46 states. Programs represented a range of ages, budgets, objectives, scopes, and level…

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