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Investing in citizen science can improve natural resource management and environmental protection

November 3, 2015

Citizen science has made substantive contributions to science for hundreds of years. More recently, it has contributed to many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has influenced natural resource management and environmental protection decisions and policies across the nation. Over the last 10 years, citizen science—participation by the public in a scientific project—has seen explosive growth in the United States, particularly in ecology, the environmental sciences, and related fields of inquiry. In this report, we explore the current use of citizen science in natural resource and environmental science and decision making in the United States and describe the investments organizations might make to benefit from citizen science.

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