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Citizen SciencePublic Participation in Environmental Research$
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Janis L. Dickinson and Rick Bonney

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449116

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449116.001.0001

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The Opportunities and Challenges of Citizen Science as a Tool for Ecological Research

The Opportunities and Challenges of Citizen Science as a Tool for Ecological Research

(p.99) 6 The Opportunities and Challenges of Citizen Science as a Tool for Ecological Research
Citizen Science

Caren B. Cooper

Wesley M. Hochachka

André A. Dhondt

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the opportunities and challenges of citizen science as a tool for undertaking ecological research. Before assessing the potential for large-scale citizen science to advance our understanding of ecological systems, the chapter considers the types of ecological research questions for which the scale (extent and resolution) of data from citizen science is particularly suitable. It then provides examples that illustrate how citizen science data can elucidate some of the processes relating to ecology, such as the underlying patterns of an organism's distribution and abundance as well as its life history and behavior. It also outlines research considerations that must be taken into account when designing (or continuing) citizen science projects.

Keywords:   citizen science, ecological research, ecological systems, ecology, citizen science projects, citizen science data

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