Collaboration with the Citizen Science Community

CSP Program Lead Kelly Coy speaking in front of a screen and a room full of people at the Citizen Science Association conference
Project lead Kelly Coy presenting on the role iNaturalist can play in BioBlitzes.

NPS Photo.

The second Citizen Science Association (CSA) conference kicked off on May 17th, 2017 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. It brought together more than 500 people, representing the entire spectrum of the Citizen Science movement. The four day conference was a combination of keynote speakers, workshops, poster sessions, and citizen science activities (BioBlitz). The key focus of the conference was to give the attendees a better understanding of the best practices for running a citizen science project. Secondarily and perhaps more importantly was that the conference facilitated a dialogue amongst people that may not have had the opportunity otherwise. These informal dialogues have proven to be invaluable for citizen science as new projects and partnerships have been developed from just sitting at a table with someone you didn’t know previously.
The National Park Service’s Biological Resources Division (BRD) had the opportunity to participate in both the poster sessions and a workshop. The poster developed by BRD was showcasing the newly formed Community Stewardship Program (CSP). The mission of the CSP team is “Empowering youth and underrepresented communities through biological stewardship that connect people with the natural world and inspire an enduring conservation ethic.” The theme of the poster emphasized the need for such a program and the current projects that the team is piloting in their first year. During the poster session the team interfaced with many different people excited about the focus and interested in developing partnerships.

The workshop that BRD participated in was the Symposium: A Diversity of BioBlitz Approaches. Kelly Coy gave ted talk style presentation on the role of the iNaturalist Pro-Observer and how they can improve data collection during a BioBlitz. This was one of seven presentations during the symposium on different approaches to BioBlitzes. Following this symposium the presenters and the audience went outside to participate in a BioBlitz at the conference.

For more information contact Kris Barnes at kriston_barnes@nps.gov.

Last updated: June 13, 2017