Training Materials Needed

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Calling all project managers – we need your training materials!

Do you ever wonder how your training materials and approaches influence data quality? You work hard to develop training materials and offer in-person trainings for your volunteers, yet the scholarly literature suggests that, despite your best efforts, land managers and scientists may still question the quality of the data collected by citizen scientists. It is time we link our training efforts to data quality outcomes. Please join fellow project manager Maggie Gaddis in exploring this important citizen science research topic.

Maggie is a PhD student investigating training for citizen scientists who collect ecological data in the field. Maggie hopes to characterize current training efforts. She will be looking for themes in instructional design and conceptual content. Your participation will improve our understanding of how citizen scientists learn in various training environments. Understanding how citizen scientists learn in training environments provides a potential link between citizen scientist participation and data reliability. The literature already tells us that it’s not the characteristics of the person that determine his or her success in data collection. Let’s turn our focus on better understanding how our own efforts to train citizen scientists affects data quality to improve our participants’ knowledge, the landscapes they hope to conserve, our collaborative scientific investigations, and the future of citizen science!

How can I help?

Participation involves sharing your organization’s training documents, completion of a survey, and participation in a telephone interview. If you would like to learn more about the research initiative, please visit Maggie’s research website

If you are ready to get started, please contact or call her anytime at (719) 314-5177

Additional Impacts

In addition to advancing our understanding of how volunteer training materials and approaches may influence data quality outcomes in citizen science, sending Maggie your training materials and protocols will give us at the opportunity to create a growing directory of training materials, approaches and associated vetted protocols so that they can be shared among interested colleagues who may wish to use them in their own endeavors. This is a win-win-win scenario for Maggie, and yourselves as a community of practitioners.

Many thanks for helping Maggie out.

–The Team

Cover photo: Maggie Gaddis

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