Ecosystems

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 493–506 | Cite as

Citizen Science as an Approach for Overcoming Insufficient Monitoring and Inadequate Stakeholder Buy-in in Adaptive Management: Criteria and Evidence

  • Eréndira Aceves-Bueno
  • Adeyemi S. Adeleye
  • Darcy Bradley
  • W. Tyler Brandt
  • Patrick Callery
  • Marina Feraud
  • Kendra L. Garner
  • Rebecca Gentry
  • Yuxiong Huang
  • Ian McCullough
  • Isaac Pearlman
  • Sara A. Sutherland
  • Whitney Wilkinson
  • Yi Yang
  • Trevor Zink
  • Sarah E. Anderson
  • Christina Tague
Article

Abstract

Adaptive management is broadly recognized as critical for managing natural resources, yet in practice it often fails to achieve intended results for two main reasons: insufficient monitoring and inadequate stakeholder buy-in. Citizen science is gaining momentum as an approach that can inform natural resource management and has some promise for solving the problems faced by adaptive management. Based on adaptive management literature, we developed a set of criteria for successfully addressing monitoring and stakeholder related failures in adaptive management and then used these criteria to evaluate 83 citizen science case studies from peer-reviewed literature. The results suggest that citizen science can be a cost-effective method to collect essential monitoring information and can also produce the high levels of citizen engagement that are vital to the adaptive management learning process. The analysis also provides a set of recommendations for citizen science program design that addresses spatial and temporal scale, data quality, costs, and effective incentives to facilitate participation and integration of findings into adaptive management.

Keywords

citizen science community-based monitoring Public Participation in Scientific Research adaptive management natural resource management environmental science and management 

Supplementary material

10021_2015_9842_MOESM1_ESM.docx (42 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 41 kb)

References

  1. Allen CR, Gunderson LH. 2011. Pathology and failure in the design and implementation of adaptive management. J Environ Manag 92:1379–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Au J, Bagchi P, Chen B, Martinez R, Dudley SA, Sorger GJ. 2000. Methodology for public monitoring of total coliforms, Escherichia coli and toxicity in waterways by Canadian high school students. J Environ Manag 58:213–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Becker CD, Agreda A, Astudillo E, Costantino M, Torres P. 2005. Community-based monitoring of fog capture and biodiversity at Loma Alta, Ecuador enhance social capital and institutional cooperation. Biodivers Conserv 14:2695–707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bois ST, Silander JA, Mehrhoff LJ. 2011. Invasive Plant Atlas of New England: the role of citizens in the science of invasive alien species detection. Bioscience 61:763–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bone J, Archer M, Barraclough D, Eggleton P, Flight D, Head M, Jones DT, Scheib C, Voulvoulis N. 2012. Public participation in soil surveys: lessons from a pilot study in England. Environ Sci Technol 46:3687–96.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonney R. 2007. Citizen science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Exemplary science in informal education settings: Standards-based success stories. Arlington: NSTA Press. pp 213–29.Google Scholar
  7. Bonney R, Ballard H, Jordan R, McCallie E, Phillips T, Shirk J, Wilderman CC. 2009a. Public participation in scientific research: defining the field and assessing its potential for informal science education. A CAISE Inquiry Group Report. Online Submission.Google Scholar
  8. Bonney R, Cooper CB, Dickinson J, Kelling S, Phillips T, Rosenberg KV, Shirk J. 2009b. Citizen science: a developing tool for expanding science knowledge and scientific literacy. Bioscience 59:977–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brook RK, Kutz SJ, Veitch AM, Popko RA, Elkin BT, Guthrie G. 2009. Fostering community-based wildlife health monitoring and research in the Canadian North. EcoHealth 6:266–78.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Brunsdon C, Comber L. 2012. Assessing the changing flowering date of the common lilac in North America: a random coefficient model approach. Geoinformatica 16:675–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cohn JP. 2008. Citizen science: can volunteers do real research? Bioscience 58:192–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cooper CB, Dickinson J, Phillips T, Bonney R. 2007. Citizen science as a tool for conservation in residential ecosystems. Ecol Soc 12:11.Google Scholar
  13. Cornwell ML, Campbell LM. 2012. Co-producing conservation and knowledge: citizen-based sea turtle monitoring in North Carolina, USA. Soc Stud Sci 42:101–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cox TE, Philippoff J, Baumgartner E, Smith CM. 2012. Expert variability provides perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of citizen-driven intertidal monitoring program. Ecol Appl 22:1201–12.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Crall AW, Newman GJ, Jarnevich CS, Stohlgren TJ, Waller DM, Graham J. 2010. Improving and integrating data on invasive species collected by citizen scientists. Biol Invasions 12:3419–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Crall AW, Newman GJ, Stohlgren TJ, Holfelder KA, Graham J, Waller DM. 2011. Assessing citizen science data quality: an invasive species case study. Conserv Lett 4:433–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Crewe TL, Timmermans ST, Jones KE. 2005. The Marsh monitoring program annual report, 1995-2003. Port Rowan: Bird Studies Canada.Google Scholar
  18. Dangles O, Carpio FC, Villares M, Yumisaca F, Liger B, Rebaudo F, Silvain JF. 2010. Community-based participatory research helps farmers and scientists to manage invasive pests in the Ecuadorian Andes. Ambio 39:325–35.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Danielsen F, Burgess ND, Balmford A. 2005. Monitoring matters: examining the potential of locally-based approaches. Biodivers Conserv 14:2507–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Davies AL, White RM. 2012. Collaboration in natural resource governance: reconciling stakeholder expectations in deer management in Scotland. J Environ Manag 112:160–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Devictor V, Whittaker RJ, Beltrame C. 2010. Beyond scarcity: citizen science programmes as useful tools for conservation biogeography. Divers Distrib 16:354–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dickinson JL, Zuckerberg B, Bonter DN. 2010. Citizen science as an ecological research tool: challenges and benefits. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 41:149–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Doremus H. 2010. Adaptive management as an information problem. NCL Rev. 89:1455.Google Scholar
  24. Downs CT. 2005. Abundance of the endangered Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus, in South Africa: implications for its survival. African Zoology 40:15–24.Google Scholar
  25. Ellul C, Francis L, Haklay M. 2011. A Flexible database-centric platform for citizen science data capture. In: 2011 IEEE Seventh International Conference on e-Science Workshops (eScienceW). pp 39–44.Google Scholar
  26. Farmer RG, Leonard ML, Horn AG. 2012. Observer effects and avian-call-count survey quality: rare-species biases and overconfidence. Auk 129:76–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fernandez-Gimenez ME, Ballard HL, Sturtevant VE. 2008. Adaptive management and social learning in collaborative and community-based monitoring: a study of five community-based forestry organizations in the western USA. Ecol Soc 13:4.Google Scholar
  28. Finn PG, Udy NS, Baltais SJ, Price K, Coles L. 2010. Assessing the quality of seagrass data collected by community volunteers in Moreton Bay Marine Park, Australia. Environ Conserv 37:83–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fitzpatrick MC, Preisser EL, Ellison AM, Elkinton JS. 2009. Observer bias and the detection of low-density populations. Ecol Appl 19:1673–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Fleiss JL. 1971. Measuring nominal scale agreement among many raters. Psychol Bull 76:378–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Fleming JR, Love EA. 2012. Healthy lakes and vibrant economies: linking history, sense of place, and watershed protection in the Belgrade Lakes region. Maine Policy Rev 21:90–4.Google Scholar
  32. Foster-Smith J, Evans SM. 2003. The value of marine ecological data collected by volunteers. Biol Conserv 113:199–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gardiner MM, Allee LL, Brown PMJ, Losey JE, Roy HE, Smyth RR. 2012. Lessons from lady beetles: accuracy of monitoring data from US and UK citizen-science programs. Front Ecol Environ 10:471–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gregory R, Ohlson D, Arvai J. 2006. Deconstructing adaptive management: criteria for applications to environmental management. Ecol Appl 16:2411–25.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Gunderson L. 1999. Resilience, flexibility and adaptive management—antidotes for spurious certitude. Conserv Ecol 3:7.Google Scholar
  36. Gura T. 2013. Citizen science: amateur experts. Nature 496:259–61.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Habron G. 2003. Role of adaptive management for watershed councils. Environ Manag 31:29–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hamilton RJ, Giningele M, Aswani S, Ecochard JL. 2012. Fishing in the dark-local knowledge, night spearfishing and spawning aggregations in the Western Solomon Islands. Biol Conserv 145:246–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Holck MH. 2008. Participatory forest monitoring: an assessment of the accuracy of simple cost-effective methods. Biodivers Conserv 17:2023–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Holling CS. 1978. Adaptive environmental assessment and management. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  41. Hoyer MV, Wellendorf N, Frydenborg R, Bartlett D, Canfield DE. 2012. A comparison between professionally (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) and volunteer (Florida LAKEWATCH) collected trophic state chemistry data in Florida. Lake Reserv Manag 28:277–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Humber F, Godley BJ, Ramahery V, Broderick AC. 2011. Using community members to assess artisanal fisheries: the marine turtle fishery in Madagascar. Anim Conserv 14:175–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jetz W, McPherson JM, Guralnick RP. 2012. Integrating biodiversity distribution knowledge: toward a global map of life. Trends Ecol Evol 27:151–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Johnson BL. 1999. The role of adaptive management as an operational approach for resource management agencies. Conserv Ecol 3:8.Google Scholar
  45. Jordan RC, Gray SA, Howe DV, Brooks WR, Ehrenfeld JG. 2011. Knowledge gain and behavioral change in citizen-science programs. Conserv Biol 25:1148–54.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Keith DA, Martin TG, McDonald-Madden E, Walters C. 2011. Uncertainty and adaptive management for biodiversity conservation. Biol Conserv 144:1175–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Landis JR, Koch GG. 1977. The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics 33:159–74.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Lee KN. 1999. Appraising adaptive management. Conserv Ecol 3:3.Google Scholar
  49. Leopold M, Cakacaka A, Meo S, Sikolia J, Lecchini D. 2009. Evaluation of the effectiveness of three underwater reef fish monitoring methods in Fiji. Biodivers Conserv 18:3367–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Levrel H, Fontaine B, Henry PY, Jiguet F, Julliard R, Kerbiriou C, Couvet D. 2010. Balancing state and volunteer investment in biodiversity monitoring for the implementation of CBD indicators: a French example. Ecol Econ 69:1580–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Linkov I, Satterstrom FK, Kiker G, Batchelor C, Bridges T, Ferguson E. 2006. From comparative risk assessment to multi-criteria decision analysis and adaptive management: recent developments and applications. Environ Int 32:1072–93.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Lombard M, Snyder-Duch J, Bracken CC. 2002. Content analysis in mass communication: assessment and reporting of intercoder reliability. Hum Commun Res 28:587–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lotz A, Allen CR. 2007. Observer bias in anuran call surveys. J Wildl Manag 71:675–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lye GC, Osborne JL, Park KJ, Goulson D. 2012. Using citizen science to monitor Bombus populations in the UK: nesting ecology and relative abundance in the urban environment. J Insect Conserv 16:697–707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lyons JE, Runge MC, Laskowski HP, Kendall WL. 2008. Monitoring in the context of structured decision-making and adaptive management. J Wildl Manag 72:1683–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. McKenzie L, Long L, Coles R, Roder C. 2000. Seagrass-Watch: community based monitoring of seagrass resources. Biologia Marina Mediterranea 7:393–6.Google Scholar
  57. McKenzie L, Campbell S, Roder C. 2001. Seagrass-Watch: manual for mapping and monitoring seagrass resources by community (citizen) volunteers. Cairns: QFS, NFC.Google Scholar
  58. Meffe G, Nielsen L, Knight RL, Schenborn D. 2010. Ecosystem management: adaptive, community-based conservation. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  59. Metzger ES, Lendvay JM. 2006. Seeking environmental justice through public participation: a community-based water quality assessment in Bayview Hunters Point. Environ Pract 8:104–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Miller IR, De’ath G. 1996. Effects of training on observer performance in assessing benthic cover by means of the manta tow technique. Mar Freshw Res 47:19–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Monroe MC, Plate R, Oxarart A. 2013. Intermediate collaborative adaptive management strategies build stakeholder capacity. Ecol Soc 18:24.Google Scholar
  62. Munson MA, Caruana R, Fink D, Hochachka WM, Iliff M, Rosenberg KV, Sheldon D, Sullivan BL, Wood C, Kelling S. 2010. A method for measuring the relative information content of data from different monitoring protocols. Methods Ecol Evol 1:263–73.Google Scholar
  63. Nichols JD, Williams BK. 2006. Monitoring for conservation. Trends Ecol Evol 21:668–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Nichols JD, Runge MC, Johnson FA, Williams BK. 2007. Adaptive harvest management of North American waterfowl populations: a brief history and future prospects. J Ornithol 148:S343–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Oldekop JA, Bebbington AJ, Berdel F, Truelove NK, Wiersberg T, Preziosi RF. 2011. Testing the accuracy of non-experts in biodiversity monitoring exercises using fern species richness in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Biodivers Conserv 20:2615–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Pattengill-Semmens CV, Semmens BX. 2003. Conservation and management applications of the reef volunteer fish monitoring program. Environ Monit Assess 81:43–50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Pittman SE, Dorcas ME. 2006. Catawba River corridor coverboard program: a citizen science approach to amphibian and reptile inventory. J N C Acad Sci 122:142–51.Google Scholar
  68. Plummer R, Armitage DR. 2007. Charting the new territory of adaptive co-management: A Delphi study. Ecol Soc 12:10.Google Scholar
  69. Prell C, Hubacek K, Reed M. 2009. Stakeholder analysis and social network analysis in natural resource management. Soc Nat Resour 22:501–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Price CA, Lee H-S. 2013. Changes in participants’ scientific attitudes and epistemological beliefs during an astronomical citizen science project. J Res Sci Teach 50:773–801.Google Scholar
  71. Reed MS. 2008. Stakeholder participation for environmental management: a literature review. Biol Conserv 141:2417–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Reed MS, Graves A, Dandy N, Posthumus H, Hubacek K, Morris J, Prell C, Quinn CH, Stringer LC. 2009. Who’s in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management. J Environ Manag 90:1933–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Reever Morghan KJ, Sheley RL, Svejcar TJ. 2006. Successful adaptive management-the integration of research and management. Rangel Ecol Manag 59:216–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Ringold PL, Alegria J, Czaplewski RL, Mulder BS, Tolle T, Burnett K. 1996. Adaptive monitoring design for ecosystem management. Ecol Appl 6:745–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Rist L, Campbell BM, Frost P. 2013. Adaptive management: where are we now? Environ Conserv 40:5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Ryan RL, Kaplan R, Grese RE. 2001. Predicting volunteer commitment in environmental stewardship programmes. J Environ Plann Manage 44(5):629–48. doi:10.1080/09640560120079948.
  77. Sale PF, Cowen RK, Danilowicz BS, Jones GP, Kritzer JP, Lindeman KC, Planes S, Polunin NVC, Russ GR, Sadovy YJ, Steneck RS. 2005. Critical science gaps impede use of no-take fishery reserves. Trends Ecol Evol 20:74–80.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. Sharpe A, Conrad C. 2006. Community based ecological monitoring in Nova Scotia: challenges and opportunities. Environ Monit Assess 113:395–409.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. Shea CP, Peterson JT, Wisniewski JM, Johnson NA. 2011. Misidentification of freshwater mussel species (Bivalvia: Unionidae): contributing factors, management implications, and potential solutions. J N Am Benthol Soc 30:446–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Shirk JL, Ballard HL, Wilderman CC, Phillips T, Wiggins A, Jordan R, McCallie E, Minarchek M, Lewenstein BV, Krasny ME, Bonney R. 2012. Public participation in scientific research: a framework for deliberate design. Ecol Soc 17:29.Google Scholar
  81. Silvertown J. 2009. A new dawn for citizen science. Trends Ecol Evol 24:467–71.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. Silvertown J, Buesching CD, Jacobson SK, Rebelo T. 2013. Citizen science and nature conservation. Key Topics Conserv Biol 2:127–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Sunde P, Jessen L. 2013. It counts who counts: an experimental evaluation of the importance of observer effects on spotlight count estimates. Eur J Wildl Res 59:645–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Susskind L, Camacho AE, Schenk T. 2012. A critical assessment of collaborative adaptive management in practice. J Appl Ecol 49:47–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Szabo JK, Vesk PA, Baxter PWJ, Possingham HP. 2010. Regional avian species declines estimated from volunteer-collected long-term data using List Length Analysis. Ecol Appl 20:2157–69.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  86. Turnhout E, Van Bommel S, Aarts N. 2010. How participation creates citizens: participatory governance as performative practice. Ecol Soc 15(4):26.Google Scholar
  87. Van Rijsoort J, Zhang JF. 2005. Participatory resource monitoring as a means for promoting social change in Yunnan, China. Biodivers Conserv 14:2543–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Walters C. 1997. Challenges in adaptive management of riparian and coastal ecosystems. Conserv Ecol 1:1.Google Scholar
  89. Walters CJ. 2007. Is adaptive management helping to solve fisheries problems? AMBIO 36:304–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  90. Walters CJ, Hilborn R. 1976. Adaptive control of fishing systems. J Fish Board Canada 33:145–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Westgate MJ, Likens GE, Lindenmayer DB. 2013. Adaptive management of biological systems: a review. Biol Conserv 158:128–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Williams BK. 2011. Adaptive management of natural resources—framework and issues. J Environ Manag 92:1346–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Yaffee SL. 2002. Ecosystem management in policy and practice. In: Meffe GK, Nielsen LA, Knight RL, Schenborn DA, Eds. Ecosystem management: adaptive community-based conservation. Washington, DC: Island Press. p 89–93.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eréndira Aceves-Bueno
    • 1
  • Adeyemi S. Adeleye
    • 1
  • Darcy Bradley
    • 1
  • W. Tyler Brandt
    • 1
  • Patrick Callery
    • 1
  • Marina Feraud
    • 1
  • Kendra L. Garner
    • 1
  • Rebecca Gentry
    • 1
  • Yuxiong Huang
    • 1
  • Ian McCullough
    • 1
  • Isaac Pearlman
    • 1
  • Sara A. Sutherland
    • 1
  • Whitney Wilkinson
    • 1
  • Yi Yang
    • 1
  • Trevor Zink
    • 1
  • Sarah E. Anderson
    • 1
  • Christina Tague
    • 1
  1. 1.Bren School of Environmental Science & ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

Personalised recommendations