In late 2017, the Center for Community and Citizen Science began an assessment of public participation in research throughout the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The final report, “Community and Citizen Science at the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources” is now available! Authored by our Executive Director Ryan Meyer and California Naturalist Interim Director Sabrina Drill, the report examines the status of community and citizen science at UC ANR and provides a roadmap for increasing UC ANR’s capacity for CCS.
While the report is focused intently on California, it also has implications for Cooperative Extension more generally. A recent workshop at CitSci2019 brought together colleagues from across the country to share insights, and take initial steps toward a national network for citizen science in Cooperative Extension. We hope that this report, and the special issue of California Agriculture planned for Fall, 2019, can all support this broader work.
The specific recommendations included in the report contribute to a vision of a broad, forward-thinking rationale for CCS at ANR which would advance ANR’s strategic objectives. The path towards this vision is summarized in the report’s broad concluding recommendations:
- Develop a shared understanding of CCS
- Embrace the diversity of CCS happening at ANR
- Better equip and prepare researchers with skills, technology, and administrative support needed for CCS.
- Continue to foster inclusive volunteer networks, expand volunteer opportunities and think big about how they can yield data and insights that would be otherwise impossible.
- Strategically invest in capacity that helps sustain and scale valuable projects.
- Seek and support creative partnerships that expand participation and ensure meaningful learning through that participation.
To read more about our specific recommended actions, and the many different kinds of community and citizen science already underway at ANR, click here to access the full report.