Reading
Putting our work in context

From time to time, we discover interesting pieces of reading which we find helpful and enjoyable. This is where we want to share that literature so others can study it too.

We really enjoyed studying this research paper on the three-fold benefit of conducting the type of citizen science which we've begun in Felixstowe: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000632071731947X

It was interesting to read that those authors state: "To fully realize the potential of citizen science for generating knowledge, priority should be given to enhance capacities to more effectively share research results with the scientific community through publication, also in scientific journals". With us, we have already had our first paper accepted in Communities which is due for worldwide publication in September 2018. We also share our data and results with the Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service and the National Biodiversity Network. We use Twitter and Facebook to share our results. We will expand that sharing process in 2019.   

The next paper is also correct in noting that citizen science attracts the interest of people from many different backgrounds, and from the young to young-at-heart: R. Bonney, J.L. Shirk, T.B. Phillips, A. Wiggins, H.L.Ballard, A.J. Miller-Rushing, J.K. Parrish Next steps for citizen science, Science, 343 (2014), pp. 1436-1437

This paper confirms that citizen science is particularly well-suited to community based conservation projects such as ours: T.D. Forrester, M. Baker, R. Costello, R. Kays, A.W.Parsons, W.J. McShea Creating advocates for mammal conservation through citizen science Biol. Conserv., 208 (2017), pp. 98-105

The Ten Principles of Citizen Science published by ECSA are of fundamental interest to us: https://ecsa.citizen-science.net/sites/default/files/ecsa_ten_principles_of_citizen_science.pdf

Since we were only founded in April 2018, it's fair to say that we are still working toward those principles. However, we are weaving them into the core design and planning of our work.

There are three research papers which state that citizen science can stimulate local environmental knowledge and a greater sense of local environmental stewardship. Here are the details:

  • H.L. Ballard, C.G.H. Dixon, E.M. Harris Youth-focused citizen science: examining the role of environmental science learning and agency for conservation Biol. Conserv., 208 (2017), pp. 65-75
  • R. Bonney, J.L. Shirk, T.B. Phillips, A. Wiggins, H.L.Ballard, A.J. Miller-Rushing, J.K. ParrishNext steps for citizen science Science, 343 (2014), pp. 1436-1437
  • J.L. Shirk, H.L. Ballard, C.C. Wilderman, T. Phillips, A.Wiggins, R. Jordan, E. McCallie, M. Minarchek, B.V.Lewenstein, M.E. Krasny Public participation in scientific research: a framework for deliberate design Ecol. Soc., 17 (2012), p. 29 

In this next paper, the authors state that finding clear learning outcomes is quite rare in citizen science. H.L. Ballard, C.G.H. Dixon, E.M. Harris Youth-focused citizen science: examining the role of environmental science learning and agency for conservation Biol. Conserv., 208 (2017), pp. 65-75 

With us, we'd suggest that the following are our main learning outcomes:

  1. Learning to work as a team
  2. Defining scientific questions in clear simple English
  3. Conducting random samples
  4. Collating results
  5. Mapping with QGIS eg our Hedgehog Map
  6. Data Visualization using Excel 2016
  7. Data Visualization using R
  8. Sharing our work through this web site, social media and the print media