Presentation Title

Citizen Science, Data Quality and Participant Experience: Stacking Functions

Session Title

Tools and Strategies for Growing Citizen Science

Conference Track

Engagement

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

Citizen science is a fast-growing movement that, at its best, promises fine-grain, broad extent data that are relevant to a range of environmental issues facing the marine environment. Climate forcing, invasive species, biodiversity loss, and the impacts of pollution, fisheries and coastal development are all phenomena that can be documented by high quality volunteer-based monitoring programs. But is the quality of the average coastal citizen science program really that high? Can non-expert volunteers collect scientific information at the level of precision and accuracy as members of the scientific community? Restated: how can citizen science programs insure the data are highly accurate, collected without bias, and at the spatial and temporal resolution that mirrors the problem or question the program is attempting to address? And finally, if a program is tuned only to production of high quality data, is that fact alone enough to keep participants excited about their involvement? This presentation will review the design steps needed to insure high quality, high relevance programs. Emphasis will be placed on organizational structure, training and follow-up, participant testing, participant retention, data verification and data use, and communication strategies. Case examples of successful coastal marine citizen science programs delivering consistently high quality data immediately useful in science and resource management will be provided.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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Citizen Science, Data Quality and Participant Experience: Stacking Functions

2016SSEC

Citizen science is a fast-growing movement that, at its best, promises fine-grain, broad extent data that are relevant to a range of environmental issues facing the marine environment. Climate forcing, invasive species, biodiversity loss, and the impacts of pollution, fisheries and coastal development are all phenomena that can be documented by high quality volunteer-based monitoring programs. But is the quality of the average coastal citizen science program really that high? Can non-expert volunteers collect scientific information at the level of precision and accuracy as members of the scientific community? Restated: how can citizen science programs insure the data are highly accurate, collected without bias, and at the spatial and temporal resolution that mirrors the problem or question the program is attempting to address? And finally, if a program is tuned only to production of high quality data, is that fact alone enough to keep participants excited about their involvement? This presentation will review the design steps needed to insure high quality, high relevance programs. Emphasis will be placed on organizational structure, training and follow-up, participant testing, participant retention, data verification and data use, and communication strategies. Case examples of successful coastal marine citizen science programs delivering consistently high quality data immediately useful in science and resource management will be provided.