Abstract: Citizen science is often assumed to increase public science engagement; however, little is known about who is likely to volunteer and the implications for greater societal impact. This study segments 1,145 potential volunteers into six groups according to their current engagement in science (EiS). Results show groups with high levels of EiS are significantly…

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Abstract: Species distribution models relate the geographic occurrence pattern of a species to environmental features and are used for a variety of scientific and management purposes. One source of data for building species distribution models is citizen science, in which volunteers report locations where they observed (or did not observe) sets of species. Since volunteers…

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Editor’s Choice: Biological observations require patience. Biological conservation calls for urgency. When citizen science works in concert with national policy, it allows us to coordinate slow and rapid paced efforts. This is necessary to gain traction on challenging issues. For specific actions you can take to help the rusty patched bumble bee, read the species…

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Abstract: Currently, observations of an agricultural land system (ALS) largely depend on remotely-sensed images, focusing on its biophysical features. While social surveys capture the socioeconomic features, the information was inadequately integrated with the biophysical features of an ALS and the applications are limited due to the issues of cost and efficiency to carry out such…

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Abstract: From 2013 to 2015, citizen scientist volunteers in Toronto, Canada were trained to collect and analyze water quality in urban stormwater ponds. This volunteer sampling was part of the research program, FreshWater Watch (FWW), which aimed to standardize urban water sampling efforts from around the globe. We held training sessions for new volunteers twice…

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The intent of this project is just wonderful and one of the most intriguing uses of citizen science I have seen. The authors combine the need to collect water quality data with the need to motivate patients who require rehabilitation with a lot of repetitive motion. While the study is somewhat contrived, the results show real…

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Excerpt: A dozen MIT students and community members clamber into a van on a bright morning in late January. There’s palpable excitement as the van drives down Main Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and crosses onto Portland Street. The chilly weather and light snow does nothing to dampen the group’s spirits. They’re on a hunt —…

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Abstract: Global changes to fish distributions are expected to continue in coming decades with predicted increases in ocean temperatures and the frequency of extreme climatic events. In the eastern Indian Ocean during the 2010/11 summer, sea surface temperatures 4–5 °C above average and an unseasonal, anomalously strong, Leeuwin Current (LC) triggered a “marine heatwave” along…

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Abstract: Crowd-sourced environmental observations are increasingly being considered as having the potential to enhance the spatial and temporal resolution of current data streams from terrestrial and areal sensors. The rapid diffusion of ICTs during the past decades has facilitated the process of data collection and sharing by the general public and has resulted in the…

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Excerpt: I’ve encountered citizen-scientist bankers who turned from climate change skeptics into sustainability advocates, neighbors who sent an industry manager to jail for polluting their air, a community that accepted the weighty responsibility of managing federally designated threatened sea turtles, and online gamers who became ambassadors for science. These amateurs absorb the scientific method, and…

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