What do we mean by “citizen science”? Citizen Science efforts are those projects that use trained volunteers and scientists together to answer local questions, inform natural resource decisions, advance scientific understanding, or improve environmental education. More generally, citizen science includes efforts to educate local community members about issues through outreach and field-based events. They may be one-time events or include repeated monitoring over time.
Why should we do citizen science? The Forest Landscape Restoration Act specifically requires a multi-party monitoring program for each CFLRP project. The benefits of a multi-party approach are to 1) leverage the expertise and capacity of resources outside the Forest Service, 2) provide an unbiased evaluation of forest restoration treatments, and 3) to provide educational experiences on forest restoration for local citizens. The SWCC Monitoring Committee has identified public learning about natural resource management as a parallel goal to understanding treatment effectiveness throughout the monitoring program.