Broad Implementation – COASSTNET: Scaling Up COASSTal Citizen Science

November 1st, 2011 - October 31st, 2012 | PROJECT

University of Washington researchers and their collaborators are evaluating the impacts and effectiveness of a citizen science program called COASST (Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team) that engages 600 trained non-scientists in collecting data on beached birds found on more than 300 beaches from the north coast of California to Alaska. The goals of the COASST program are to expand coastal citizen involvement in scientifically meaningfully science and improve the use of citizen science as a tool for scientific inquiry and resource management. Project personnel are analyzing current COASST materials and activities to determine (1) the best uses of COASST bird data, (2) how to maximize engagement of coastal citizens in COASST\'s scientific activities, (3) how to increase COASST participant learning, skills development, awareness and action, and (4) how to scale up the project by developing additional materials and facilitating adoption of the COASST model by other organizations around the country. The analysis includes an evaluation study of the existing beached bird instructional module to identify successful components for future use and determine whether the balance between automation and individualization of components, such as the materials, website, and training, optimizes participant experience. The project team is also working with current participants, marine scientists, and marine natural resource managers via surveys, focus groups and design and testing groups, to determine what other types of data are important for citizen scientists to collect. The project's findings will help researchers understand how citizens, scientists, and resource managers can partner to engage the public in rigorous citizen science activities, create a flexible citizen science program that can be scaled-up demographically and geographically, and work with new and existing COASST participants, COASST data end-users, and potential COASST model adopters to meet new scientific, educational, and resource management needs.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products
Promoting Rigorous Citizen Science: Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) Evaluation Report on Citizen Impact
Exposing the Science in Citizen Science: Fitness to Purpose and Intentional Design

Team Members

Julia Parrish, Principal Investigator, University of Washington


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1114734
Funding Amount: 313695


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Education and learning science | Life science | Nature of science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Citizen Science Programs | Public Programs