Citizen science enables participants to make a direct contribution to research, increase their scientific understanding, and immerse themselves deeply afield in learning about environmental issues. These opportunities provide personally transformative experiences. Additionally, citizen-scientist participants can help researchers to maximize the amount of data collected on a project. Partnering with Earthwatch also can enable researchers to have broader impacts with their science (e.g., education, local community engagement and support).
Earthwatch is a world leader in supporting team-based, researcher-facilitated citizen science. Since 1971, we have supported research projects that produce rigorous, relevant, and impactful science, address global change, and actively involve citizen-scientist participants. In designing their research, prospective Earthwatch-supported PIs must consider citizen-scientist participant involvement a priori. Earthwatch participants (aka, volunteers) must meaningfully contribute to research by collecting field data under the direct supervision of scientists and their professional field technicians.
Participants do not need previous research experience or skills. Earthwatch staff prepare participants for the field using materials developed by the PI and our organization, such as the project’s web content and briefing document. Here is a sample briefing document.
PIs and their staff are responsible for training participants upon arrival to the field.
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