Excerpt: Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world and can grow to more than 40 feet long and more than 65,000 pounds. Despite their massive size, they are harmless “filter feeders” that move slowly through tropical waters, scooping up plankton with gaping mouths. (A)lthough whale sharks are gentle and easy-to-see, they are also…

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Summary: 1.Protected areas are the cornerstone of global conservation, yet financial support for basic monitoring infrastructure is lacking in 60% of them. Citizen science holds potential to address these shortcomings in wildlife monitoring, particularly for resource-limited conservation initiatives in developing countries – if we can account for the reliability of data produced by volunteer citizen…

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Excerpt: For the second year in a row, Oklahoma University (OU) researchers will employ residents from around Oklahoma to collect data for the state’s first major study on amphibian pathogens. The lab, which is run by Cameron Siler, assistant curator of herpetology for the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, is part of the…

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Abstract: With around 3,200 tigers (Panthera tigris) left in the wild, the governments of 13 tiger range countries recently declared that there is a need for innovation to aid tiger research and conservation. In response to this call, we created the “Think for Tigers” study to explore whether crowdsourcing has the potential to innovate the…

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The acceptance of citizen science as a valid method for research and participatory monitoring uses rests on the quality of the data produced. Instead of “blaming” citizen participants for providing bad data, this article refreshingly makes it clear that data quality rests on many factors including good project design and training. — LFF — Abstract:…

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Excerpt: For the third consecutive year, Defenders of Wildlife has teamed up with wildlife biologists from the Bitterroot National Forest to monitor multiple species of mesocarnivores (medium sized meat eaters like lynx, fishers, martens, and wolverines) in the Bitterroot Mountains of western Montana. Known as the Wolverine Watchers program, our small army of volunteers has…

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Abstract: As a model of communication and engagement, citizen science has the potential to promote individual and collective climate change action. This article systematically reviewed literature that jointly addressed climate change and nature-based citizen science and identified 23 reported learning outcomes. Overall, evidence related to learning outcomes was limited across reviewed studies, but documentation of…

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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: 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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