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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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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Editor’s Choice: And accompanying the more disheartening article about scientists’ attitudes towards citizen science, here is a small ray of hope where we hear about one scientist’s journey of accepting citizen science as a legitimate methodology through actual participation in a citizen science project. — LFF — Excerpt: For years I scoffed at the very…

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Editor’s Choice: A warm & fuzzy story about creepy crawlies. Though slightly tangential to citizen science, this story illustrates a key ingredient to successful science outreach: scientists seeing a little bit of themselves in their audience. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Morgan Jackson and Sophia Spencer interviewed on NPR, via the…

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Editor’s Choice: Getting meta with the data. This study examines learning as well as pre- and post- attitudes of college biology students who participate in, what I’d term “deep” inquiry-based learning. The college students were not only assigned to analyze a species’ potential response to climate change using citizen science phenology data, but also to…

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Abstract: Citizen science—the involvement of volunteers in data collection, analysis and interpretation—simultaneously supports research and public engagement with science, and its profile is rapidly rising. Citizen science represents a diverse range of approaches, but until now this diversity has not been quantitatively explored. We conducted a systematic internet search and discovered 509 environmental and ecological…

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Abstract: Citizen science approaches provide opportunities to support ecosystem service assessments. To evaluate the recent trends, challenges and opportunities of utilizing citizen science in ecosystem service studies we conducted a systematic literature and project review. We reviewed the range of ecosystem services and formats of participation in citizen science in 17 peer-reviewed scientific publications and…

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Abstract: Citizen science involves volunteers who participate in scientific research by collecting data, monitoring sites, and even taking part in the whole process of scientific inquiry (Roy et al. 2012, Scyphers et al. 2015). In the past two decades, citizen science (also called participatory or community-based monitoring) has gained tremendous popularity (Bonney et al. 2009,…

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