Presentation Abstract

As the acceptance of citizen science and public participatory research improves and funding sources diminish, interest is turning to the cost effectiveness of using volunteers to collect data. For over 35 years, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center has been training citizen scientists and managing volunteers for the purpose of inspiring conservation of the Salish Sea. We have developed independent research as well as partnered with other organizations to conduct over 25 different citizen science projects in this time. Our efforts are based on concerns of our volunteers and priorities set by state and federal agencies. PTMSC projects include monitoring for harmful algae with SoundToxins, collecting stranded marine mammal data through NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network, monitoring for fecal contamination with Washington Department of Ecology’s BEACH program, surveying for marine birds and mammals in Protection Island Aquatic Reserve, and a study of marine debris. With such diversity of projects, partners and volunteers we have developed a number of training and management strategies to keep our volunteers engaged and to inform our partners. In this session we will present what works for training volunteers and highlight the successful and effective components, from the perspective of the volunteers, of projects where citizen scientists collect data that inform agencies and policy. In addition, PTMSC will host the Puget Sound Citizen Science Summit in January 2018. Planning this event brought together researchers, agency representatives and volunteer managers. The resulting priority actions for enhancing the role of citizen science in Puget Sound recovery will be shared.

Session Title

Building Effective Citizen Science Projects for the Collection of Influential Data

Keywords

Citizen science, Port Townsend Marine Science

Conference Track

SSE15: Data and Information Management

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE15-443

Start Date

5-4-2018 4:45 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 5:00 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, 4:45 PM Apr 5th, 5:00 PM

From the ground up: ideas for supporting successful citizen scientists

As the acceptance of citizen science and public participatory research improves and funding sources diminish, interest is turning to the cost effectiveness of using volunteers to collect data. For over 35 years, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center has been training citizen scientists and managing volunteers for the purpose of inspiring conservation of the Salish Sea. We have developed independent research as well as partnered with other organizations to conduct over 25 different citizen science projects in this time. Our efforts are based on concerns of our volunteers and priorities set by state and federal agencies. PTMSC projects include monitoring for harmful algae with SoundToxins, collecting stranded marine mammal data through NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network, monitoring for fecal contamination with Washington Department of Ecology’s BEACH program, surveying for marine birds and mammals in Protection Island Aquatic Reserve, and a study of marine debris. With such diversity of projects, partners and volunteers we have developed a number of training and management strategies to keep our volunteers engaged and to inform our partners. In this session we will present what works for training volunteers and highlight the successful and effective components, from the perspective of the volunteers, of projects where citizen scientists collect data that inform agencies and policy. In addition, PTMSC will host the Puget Sound Citizen Science Summit in January 2018. Planning this event brought together researchers, agency representatives and volunteer managers. The resulting priority actions for enhancing the role of citizen science in Puget Sound recovery will be shared.