Investing in Citizen Science Can Improve Natural Resource Management and Environmental Protection
Citizen science has made substantive contributions to science for hundreds of years. More recently, it has contributed to many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has influenced natural resource management and environmental protection decisions and policies across the nation. Over the last 10 years, citizen science—participation by the public in a scientific project—has seen explosive growth in the United States and many other countries, particularly in ecology, the environmental sciences, and related fields of inquiry. The goal of this report is to help government agencies and other organizations involved in natural resource management, environmental protection, and policymaking related to both to make informed decisions about investing in citizen science. In this report, we explore the current use of citizen science in natural resource and environmental science and decisionmaking in the United States and describe the investments organizations might make to benefit from citizen science.
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