Abstract: The ability of volunteers to undertake different tasks and accurately collect data is critical for the success of many conservation projects. In this study, a simulated herpetofauna visual encounter survey was used to compare the detection and distance estimation accuracy of volunteers and more experienced observers. Experience had a positive effect on individual detection…

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Here we have a real existential crisis – one that those of us in the field grapple with continuously – a search for the true meaning of the term  “citizen science”. This term has different meanings to various stakeholders, but to accurately track the contributions that are being made academically (and otherwise) by various forms…

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An article published in PLOS One tracking academic papers mentioning ‘citizen science’ caused a lot of discussion in the last month. My take is here, but Caren Cooper’s blog does a much better job of exploring the issues. –CJL Citizen science is skyrocketing in popularity. Not just among participants (of which there are millions), but…

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Abstract: Citizen science is key to the success of Future Earth Initiatives for urban sustainability. Emerging research in urban land teleconnections highlights the benefits of incorporating theoretical insights from political ecology and participatory action research. Reviewing some of the forces propelling the recent popularity of citizen science, this article outlines challenges to processes of collaboration…

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Abstract: Citizen science has a long history in the ecological sciences and has made substantial contributions to science, education, and society. Developments in information technology during the last few decades have created new opportunities for citizen science to engage ever larger audiences of volunteers to help address some of ecology’s most pressing issues, such as…

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We’re all used to citizen science projects that aim at education, or at producing scientific value, but the combination – especially involving groups of young children – remains incredibly difficult to pull off. The ‘Blackawton Bees’ study is a touchstone for much of my thinking, but hasn’t been replicated in the UK and required a…

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Citizen scientists’ important contributions to biodiversity conservation are constrained by their focus on data collection and public outreach in wealthy, accessible places. Sustainable conservation actions require initiatives such as those supported by the Participatory Monitoring and Management Partnership (www.pmmpartnership.com), in which data collected by land owners and resource users help to guide local decision-makers on…

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In the previous post, I described the creation of the Zooniverse Project Success Matrix from Cox et al. (2015). In essence, we examined 17 (well, 18, but more on that below) Zooniverse projects, and for each of them combined 12 quantitative measures of performance into one plot of Public Engagement versus Contribution to Science: Public Engagement…

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Abstract: Citizen science is becoming more valuable as a potential source of environmental data. Involving citizens in data collection has the added educational benefits of increased scientific awareness and local ownership of environmental concerns. However, a common concern among domain experts is the presumed lower quality of data submitted by volunteers. In this paper, we…

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Republished from the open access peer-reviewed journal PLOS One. Abstract: Volunteers are increasingly being recruited into citizen science projects to collect observations for scientific studies. An additional goal of these projects is to engage and educate these volunteers. Thus, there are few barriers to participation resulting in volunteer observers with varying ability to complete the…

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