Public Participation in Scientific Research

Public participation in scientific research (PPSR) refers to initiatives in which the public is involved in one or more phases of scientific research – from defining questions to using results – and encompasses citizen science, participatory monitoring, community science, and a variety of other endeavors and approaches.

PPSR offers significant opportunities for biodiversity conservation by addressing the increasing demand for information and the need for action. In April 2011, a group of 60 researchers and practitioners convened at the American Museum of Natural History to discuss factors that influence specific outcomes, as part of an ongoing conversation in this evolving field.

The links below take you to the video archives of the plenary session of the workshop, which set the stage for discussion.

Visit Citizen Science Central to learn more about the initiative, including key questions that have emerged, workshop participants and proceedings, and to join the online discussion forum.

PPSR in Perspective
Rick Bonney, Director, Program Development and Evaluation, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Project Co-Principal Investigator Rick Bonney sets the stage for discussion of conservation outcomes of public participation in scientific research, introducing a series of brief presentations illustrating experiences in different projects.

Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
Karen Oberhauser, University of Minnesota; Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Extension Service

Fresno Bird Count: Citizen Science for a Changing World
Madhusudan Katti, Department of Biology, California State University, Fresno

Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) and Reserve Effectiveness Project
John A. Cigliano, Department of Biological Sciences, Cedar Crest College

Ndee Bini’Bida’Ilzaahi, Pictures of Apache Land
Jonathan Long, Biologist/Tahoe Science Program Coordinator, USDA Pacific Southwest Research Station; Adjunct Faculty in Natural Resources, American River College

State of the Field
Rick Bonney, Director, Program Development and Evaluation, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Project Co-Principal Investigator Rick Bonney provides an overview of the state of the field, including early work on citizen science and identification of collaborative, contributory, and co-created models.

Tools for Engagement in Conservation
Judy Braus, Senior Vice President for Education and Centers, National Audubon Society

Project Co-Principal Investigator Judy Braus introduces the BETA version of Tools of Engagement, a planning tool for integrating people into conservation planning.


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Audubon logo

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology logo

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This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-1020909. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of the PIs and coordinating team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.