This blog is a summary of a very dynamic workshop that took place at the end of the NZ Ecological Society Conference last week in Christchurch. Amazingly, around 30 scientists, students, academics, teachers, consultants and project coordinators summoned their remaining energy to discuss some key citizen science topics.
Earlier in the year, a call was put out by the organisers of NZES2015 (the annual NZ Ecological Society conference), for symposia and workshops. I thought it high time to capitalise on the gathering momentum of citizen science in New Zealand, and the initial 5 talks proposed rapidly grew to 9. Projects from NZ and Chile were presented, with Karen James and Caren Cooper beaming in from the US showcasing projects they are involved with.
The workshop was based around 4 interdependent questions that rose out of my PhD research:
- How can we ensure that community groups collect quality data?
- What can community-generated data be used for?
- How can community-generated data be integrated with agency data?
- What do we need to grow citizen science in NZ?
So when you put around 30 intelligent and inquiring people in a room after 4 long days at a conference… move them around 4 tables each facilitated by a dynamic leader (Jon Sullivan, Heidi Kikillus, Colin Meurk and Peter Handford) for some short, sharp discussions…. you get best practice for citizen science in New Zealand.