How can marine and coastal citizen science provide opportunities for communities while contributing to scientific knowledge and its application? Our research on marine and coastal CCS has examined the unique challenges of working in this environment, and developed insights that can be applied across many different contexts.
Co-edited by Dr. John Cigliano and our Faculty Director, Heidi Ballard, Citizen Science for Coastal and Marine Conservation provides a broad range of case studies exploring the utility and feasibility, as well as limitations, of using marine and coastal citizen science for conservation to leverage these resources and address these tensions. The book also provides critical considerations (i.e., which questions and systems are best suited for citizen science), and presents recommendations for best practices for successful marine and coastal citizen science projects.
Scaling Up Effectiveness for Coastal Citizen Science
Over the course of their lives, people learn most of the science they know outside of school, in informal educational contexts of their own choosing. This project examined such “free-choice learning” in the context of COASST — a successful and long-running citizen science program spanning much of the West Coast of North America. Researchers used quantitative and qualitative approaches to advance understanding of how learning and engagement work for COASST volunteers, and what that means of the success of the program in terms of engagement and retention of volunteers, and broader outcomes related to scientific knowledge and its application. Researchers at the Center collaborated with the University of Washington and Oregon State University, with funding from NOAA Sea Grant.
Citizen and Community Science plays a special role in efforts to conserve and manage California’s ocean and coastal resources. There is a huge diversity of projects and programming operating up and down the coast, which engage the public in science and monitoring, often with direct connections to policy and management processes.
Co-edited by Dr. John Cigliano and our Faculty Director, Heidi Ballard, this new volume provides a broad range of case studies exploring the utility and feasibility, as well as limitations, of using marine and coastal citizen science for conservation to leverage these resources and address these tensions.