NatureServe releases Citizen Science Strategy


Citizen science taps the human passion for explora­tion and discovery to illuminate our understanding of the natural world. Functioning as both a scientific methodology and an organizing principle, citizen science encourages amateur participants (who, in the word’s original sense, do the work for love, not money) to take an active part in creating knowledge by align­ing their interests and labor with those of professional scientists.

Read the complete Strategy

Work Together: Citizen Scientists and the NatureServe Network

NatureServe’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan calls for better communication of trends in distribution and condition of species and ecosystems across the Americas. We believe a coordinated strategy of collaborating with citizen scientists will provide an important, cost-effective means for rapidly increasing the number of observations needed to doc­ument patterns of biodiversity and habitats in a rap­idly changing world, including potential declines or conservation successes.

NatureServe’s Vision for Citizen Science Engagement

NatureServe will strive to provide citizen scientists with tools that collect and manage data in ways that improve its quality, interoperability, and applicability — thereby enhancing the enjoyment they gain from their experiences in the natural world. NatureServe will partner with and build upon select existing citi­zen science tools and programs, emphasizing collabo­ration with efforts that are consistent with our data standards and organizational mission. By connecting citizen science data to larger international datasets, broader scientific networks, and demonstrations of its useful application, we can help ensure that citizens’ activities will contribute directly to effective conser­vation action.

At the same time, collaborating with citizen scientists will expand the reach, effectiveness, and impact of the NatureServe network and its biodiversity scien­tists, information specialists, and other professionals in their efforts to guide conservation action.

Partners

NatureServe will partner with and build upon select existing citi­zen science tools and programs, emphasizing collabo­ration with efforts that are consistent with our data standards and organizational mission.

Our partners include:

Resources

Numerous online sources provide tools and digital infra­structure along with information and support for project developers and participants, including:

Acknowledgements

The NatureServe Board of Directors and Science Advisory Panel, Thomas Brooks, and numerous individuals from our network for provided inspiration, funding, intellectual guidance, and practical insights that helped us develop the plan.