Investing in Citizen Science Can Improve Natural Resource Management and Environmental Protection

September 1st, 2015 | RESEARCH

Citizen science has made substantive contributions to science for hundreds of years. More recently, it has contributed to many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has influenced natural resource management and environmental protection decisions and policies across the nation. Over the last 10 years, citizen scienceā€”participation by the public in a scientific projectā€”has seen explosive growth in the United States and many other countries, particularly in ecology, the environmental sciences, and related fields of inquiry. The goal of this report is to help government agencies and other organizations involved in natural resource management, environmental protection, and policymaking related to both to make informed decisions about investing in citizen science. In this report, we explore the current use of citizen science in natural resource and environmental science and decisionmaking in the United States and describe the investments organizations might make to benefit from citizen science.


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Team Members

Duncan McKinley, Author, USDA Forest Service
Abraham Miller-Rushing, Author, National Park Service
Heidi Ballard, Author, University of California, Davis
Rick Bonney, Author, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Hutch Brown, Author, USDA Forest Service
Rebecca French, Author, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Julia Parrish, Author, University of Washington
Tina Phillips, Author, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Sean Ryan, Author, University of Notre Dame
Lea Shanley, Author, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Jennifer Shirk, Author, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Kristine Stepenuck, Author, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Jake Weltzin, Author, U.S. Geological Survey
Andrea Wiggins, Author, University of Maryland, College Park
Owen Boyle, Author, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Russell Briggs, Author, State University of New York
Stuart Chapin, Author, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
David Hewitt, Author, Academy of Natural Sciences
Peter Preuss, Author, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Michael Soukup, Author, Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park


Publication: Issues in Ecology
Volume: 19

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Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Reference Materials | Report | Research Products
Environment Type: Citizen Science Programs | Public Programs