Citizen Science: Bridging the Gap Between People and Policy
Joan Frances Chu
Citizen Science is an ever increasingly relevant societal tool employed to educate and motivate the populace in the ways and utility of science. Collaborative efforts benefit both the laity and academia, contributing to our body of scientific knowledge while creating opportunities to effect governmental policy changes. Investigations into perceived environmental problems especially issues surrounding clean water have mobilized legions of dedicated volunteer, amateur scientists to document the water quality of local streams and rivers. This paper reviews the work of three organizations that use citizen scientists to help gather data and assess the biological and chemical health of our public waterways. The groups investigated are: the Sierra Club New York Water Sentinels, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation WAVE Program, and the Community Science Institute Red Flag and Benthic monitoring programs. Recommendations for ways in which Citizen Science can facilitate environmental (especially clean water) initiatives are provided.
dissertation or thesis