Citizen science has been described by Wikipedia as “scientific research conducted in whole or in part by amateur (or nonprofessional) scientists.” Citizen science can be as simple as a small group of volunteers helping a scientist collect field data or as large and complex as hundreds of volunteers around the world gathering data in their backyards.
Although citizen science activities vary, the generally accepted principles are that there is a genuine science outcome; that both professional scientists and the citizen volunteers benefit; and that citizens receive feedback on their work.
At Saguaro National Park, literally hundreds of citizen scientists are helping the park measure and map saguaros, monitor stream levels, and study Gila monsters. Because of their work we are able to accomplish important work that has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is essential for the park’s effort to conserve Sonoran Desert plants and animals.
Last updated: March 10, 2022