Citizen Science: A Tool for Integrating Studies of Human and Natural Systems

  • Crain R
  • Cooper C
  • Dickinson J
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Abstract

Citizen science has proliferated in the last decade, becoming a critical form of public engagement in science and an increasingly important research tool for the study of large-scale patterns in nature. Although citizen science is already interdisciplinary, it has untapped potential to build capacity for transformative research on coupled human and natural systems. New tools have begun to collect paired ecological and social data from the same individual; this allows for detailed examination of feedbacks at the level of individuals and potentially provides much-needed data for agent-based modeling. With the ongoing professionalization of citizen science, the field can benefit from integrating a coupled systems perspective, including a broadening of the social science perspectives considered. This can lead to new schema and platforms to increase support for large-scale research on coupled natural and human systems.

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Authors

  • Rhiannon Crain

  • Caren Cooper

  • Janis L. Dickinson

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