Citizen science starts with an idea
All citizen science and community science projects begin as ideas. Perhaps you work for a city and are interested in how local greenspaces support pollinators. Or maybe you’re a researcher trying to understand how invasive plants spread. Or you’re a member of your community concerned about how activities affect stream quality. These are all ideas – important ones! However, transforming them into citizen science projects designed to have meaningful management, research, and societal outcomes can be challenging.
Generating measurable results with citizen science
Ah, but don’t fret! We have a secret to share: your projects can generate measurable results – and it’s easier than you think!! You just have to plan for it.
Your projects generate data and, when standardized with data from other projects, create even larger datasets of real value to community leaders, scientists, and decision-makers. When projects are carefully designed, your data answer questions decision makers need to make evidence based decisions. Plus, your projects can create meaningful change by increasing health and wellness, restoring wetlands, reducing disease, removing noxious weeds, mapping safe places in times of crisis, or reducing trail erosion. We help make these changes realities for your project by helping you design your project with measurable results in mind.
We connect you with interested stakeholders, assist you with linking and standardizing your data with regional or national datasets, help you create experimental designs that generate powerful insights, and can automate data exports directly into stakeholder databases.
Lefthand Watershed Center Connects Local Data to National Phenology Network
The Lefthand Watershed Center approached us with their ideas to create an effective community science program for their community. After an initial brainstorming session to listen to their ideas, we recommended they go out into their community and learn from their stakeholders using customer discovery interviews and our situation analysis and stakeholder assessment process. This process helped them refine their ideas into a workable project having significant community support from the beginning. They conceived the Catch the Hatch project to track mayfly emergence in their local watershed. We helped them then take their idea and devise a protocol standardized with the US National Phenology Network (NPN) protocols. Their project easily reached its volunteer recruitment goal to cover the required window of mayfly emergence and is generating data that automatically augments US NPN datasets. Best of all, the (largely) volunteer base of anglers are inherently motivated to participate because Catch the Hatch meets their interests in matching their artificial flies to a natural phenomena (mayfly emergence) for better fishing results!
Let us help you transform your citizen science idea into measurable results
Our staff have worked with over 800 citizen and community science projects, both large and small. If you have ideas for citizen or community science programs or projects and would like help transforming your ideas into measurable results, we’d love to work with you.
Read More about Results-based Citizen Science
Cover Photo: Sarah Newman