Presentation Abstract

Citizen science forms a nexus point between research and education, between social outreach and project implementation, and between local knowledge (traditional ecological knowledge) and scientific knowledge. For this reason, citizen science can be a valuable tool to integrate the many different players in ecosystem restoration projects and help projects succeed. Citizen science can increase civic engagement in ecosystem restoration, fill in data gaps, and help make adaptive ecosystem management a real community process. However, significant challenges often impede the ability of citizen science projects to reach their full potential. Here, we discuss trends and insights gained through examining three citizen science case studies on Vashon Island, WA where citizen scientists monitor watershed and shoreline restoration (Salmonwatchers, Vashon Stream Bugs, BeachNET bulkhead removal monitoring). Some challenges found include: long-term sustainability, quality of volunteer training, data management, scientific credibility, and communicating project effectiveness to resource managers, funding organizations, and the public. Preliminary findings indicate four main factors crucial to success: strong local leadership and organization of volunteers; common vision and ambitious goals shared between volunteers, resource managers, and scientists; involvement of resource managers and scientists in the creation of citizen science projects and in the volunteer training process; and the use of multiple creative forums (like science pub talks, school-based TED talks, citizen stewardship committees) that promote communication between volunteers, resource managers, scientists, and the community. We describe some “citizen scientific methods” or tools that put the above factors for success into play.

Session Title

Building Effective Citizen Science Projects for the Collection of Influential Data

Keywords

Citizen science, Monitoring, Forage fish, Aquatic invertebrates, Adaptive management, Biodiversity

Conference Track

SSE15: Data and Information Management

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE15-262

Start Date

5-4-2018 3:45 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 4:00 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

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

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

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.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 3:45 PM Apr 5th, 4:00 PM

The citizen scientific method: tapping a human natural resource in ecosystem restoration

Citizen science forms a nexus point between research and education, between social outreach and project implementation, and between local knowledge (traditional ecological knowledge) and scientific knowledge. For this reason, citizen science can be a valuable tool to integrate the many different players in ecosystem restoration projects and help projects succeed. Citizen science can increase civic engagement in ecosystem restoration, fill in data gaps, and help make adaptive ecosystem management a real community process. However, significant challenges often impede the ability of citizen science projects to reach their full potential. Here, we discuss trends and insights gained through examining three citizen science case studies on Vashon Island, WA where citizen scientists monitor watershed and shoreline restoration (Salmonwatchers, Vashon Stream Bugs, BeachNET bulkhead removal monitoring). Some challenges found include: long-term sustainability, quality of volunteer training, data management, scientific credibility, and communicating project effectiveness to resource managers, funding organizations, and the public. Preliminary findings indicate four main factors crucial to success: strong local leadership and organization of volunteers; common vision and ambitious goals shared between volunteers, resource managers, and scientists; involvement of resource managers and scientists in the creation of citizen science projects and in the volunteer training process; and the use of multiple creative forums (like science pub talks, school-based TED talks, citizen stewardship committees) that promote communication between volunteers, resource managers, scientists, and the community. We describe some “citizen scientific methods” or tools that put the above factors for success into play.