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Creating positive environmental impact through citizen science

van Noordwijk, T. (C. G. E.), Bishop, I., Staunton-Lamb, S., Oldfield, A., Loiselle, S., Geoghegan, H. ORCID: and Ceccaroni, L. (2021) Creating positive environmental impact through citizen science. In: Vohland, K., Land-Zandstra, A., Ceccaroni, L., Lemmens, R., Perelló, J., Ponti, M., Samson, R. and Wagenknecht, K. (eds.) The Science of Citizen Science. Springer, Cham, pp. 373-395. ISBN 9783030582777

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-58278-4_19


Interest in citizen science is growing, including from governments and research funders. This interest is often driven by a desire for positive environmental impact, and the expectation that citizen science can deliver it by engaging the public and simultaneously collecting environmental data. Yet, in practice, there is often a gap between expected and realised impact. To close this gap, we need to better understand pathways to impact and what it takes to realise them. We articulate six key pathways through which citizen science can create positive environmental change: (1) environmental management; (2) evidence for policy; (3) behaviour change; (4) social network championing; (5) political advocacy; and (6) community action. We explore the project attributes likely to create impact through each of these pathways and show that there is an interplay between these project attributes and the needs and motivations of target participant groups. Exploring this interplay, we create a framework that articulates four citizen science approaches that create environmental impact in different ways: place-based community action; interest group investigation; captive learning research; and mass participation census.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:102929


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