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Abstract Detail

The Importance of Communicating Science

Soltis, Pamela  S. [1], James, Shelley [2], Mast, Austin R. [3], Ellwood, Elizabeth R. [3].

Communicating Science through Action: Technology-Enabled Citizen Science.

For many members of the public, science is best learned by doing. However, biodiversity education usually focuses on the variety of life and the complexity of ecosystems, an approach that fails to impact public understanding of the economic and ecological importance of biodiversity or transform public behavior toward conservation measures and policies. Moreover, even acquired knowledge often fails to translate into behavioral change that leads to the preservation of biodiversity. Increased learning often becomes a substitute for action rather than its catalyst unless knowledge acquisition is linked to engagement and collaborative effort. Novel technology-enhanced citizen science approaches that link knowledge acquisition to the development of behavior favoring conservation and sustainability can effectively communicate science to a multi-generational public. Citizen science introduces participants to knowledge and skills while allowing them to (1) observe the accumulation of data in real time with geographic specificity; (2) relate scientific findings to relevant public policy efforts at local, national, and global scales; (3) monitor their own (team’s or network’s) data contributions; and (4) participate in issue-specific ecological footprint measurement protocols that encourage sustainable behavior change. Such projects can thus have positive, cumulative, and measurable impacts on biodiversity. Here we introduce iDigBio – the national coordinating center for digitization of biodiversity collections – and describe multiple citizen science projects associated with transcription of label data from herbarium specimens. We have found that citizen science projects can be extremely effective at communicating science and that especially positive user experiences result when innovative technology-enabled citizen science platforms are coupled with in-person social interactions.

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Related Links:
homepage for iDigBio
homepage for Notes from Nature
homepage for WeDigBio

1 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, PO BOX 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, USA, 352/273-1964
2 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, Florida, 32611-7800, United States
3 - Florida State University, Department of Biological Science, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, USA

citizen science
Notes From Nature.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY01, The importance of communicating science
Location: Chatham Ballroom - B/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 11:45 AM
Number: SY01009
Abstract ID:848
Candidate for Awards:None

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