New paper: key traits of Volunteer Monitoring Programs as related to Outcomes

From: Kris Stepenuck <kstepenu>

Subject: [citsci-discussion-l] New paper: key traits of VM programs as related to outcomes

Date: January 7, 2019 at 12:10:36 PM EST

To: “citsci-discussion-l” <citsci-discussion-l>

Reply-To: Kris Stepenuck <kstepenu>

Greetings citizen science community,

I wanted to share a recently released paper that identifies seven key traits of volunteer water monitoring programs as related to outcomes on natural resource policy and management. I hope it will be useful to volunteer monitoring and other citizen science programs as they grow and develop.

Here is a link to the full paper in Society & Natural Resources followed by the abstract:

As citizens take on expanded roles in gathering and reporting environmental data, their potential impact may relate to organizational traits. This study sought to understand the relationship through a survey that identified traits and impacts of U.S. volunteer water monitoring programs on natural resource policy and management. A multiple regression model tested the influence of nine traits on an index of impact, addressing eight a priori hypotheses related to natural resource management outcomes. Seven traits were significantly related to impacts. Significant positive relationships included: the objective to address an environmental crisis; an EPA and/or state approved quality assurance plan; support of external decision makers who may use or benefit from data; larger budget; volunteers playing more roles in the research process. Fewer impacts were expected from programs operating within schools. Understanding these relationships can help guide citizen science programs or other types of citizen engagement efforts.

Kris Stepenuck
Kristine Stepenuck, Ph.D.
University of Vermont
Extension Leader, Lake Champlain Sea Grant
Extension Assistant Professor of Watershed Science, Policy and Education, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
81 Carrigan Dr, #312F
Burlington, VT 05405
Phone: (802) 656-8504
Email: kris.stepenuck

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