The UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science team has been working with researchers on the Elwha River in Washington state for more than a year now, and we are proud to share a new report summarizing what we have learned about Community and Citizen Science on the Elwha.
Our collaborative effort revealed that CCS has been an important component of studying the Elwha River before, during, and after the dam removals in the early 2010s. Though there was no systematic plan for CCS around these large-scale restoration efforts, many projects benefited tremendously from public engagement and participation in the research. Many of the projects required technical skills, guiding CCS towards smaller numbers of more highly trained participants (often paid or unpaid interns), and many projects involved K-12 or undergraduate students and their instructors. Past and current projects tended to involve biological surveys, but future plans for projects include a wider range of topics. We continue to support the agency, tribal, and NGO scientists of the Elwha “ScienceScape” in engaging the public in their ongoing monitoring as the river continues to change post-dam-removal, and also in finding out what the community wants to know regarding how the Elwha has changed. This report can provide background for future efforts along those lines.