Winter 2020

Newsletter Archive


New Guidelines will Enhance Citizen Science Practice

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New Citizen Science Principles of Good Practice, co-developed by Miistakis and Alberta Environment and Parks, will improve the design, implementation, and evaluation of citizen science programs.

After years of work - and extensive engagement with an advisory committee of practitioners, researchers, and government personnel - new Principles of Good Practice have been released by Alberta Environment and Parks' Office of the Chief Scientist to help improve the effectiveness of citizen science programs in Alberta.

Citizen science is scientific research that includes amateurs and the public in gathering and analyzing data. This can mean anything from reporting where animals cross the road, to listening to amphibian calls, to monitoring water quality.

Both non-government organizations and government agencies are increasingly seeking to engage Albertans in environmental science and monitoring. Through the use of citizen science, the public can make important contributions to data and information gaps, and environmental decision making.

The new Principles highlight successful citizen science initiatives in Alberta, like LakeWatch, Alberta PlantWatch, PronghornXing and GrizzTracker.

The principles will make for stronger programs, increase acceptance of results, and ultimately lead to better conservation decision-making. Importantly, the principles give everyone common guidance - practitioners, researchers and decision makers so that they have something concrete to consider when designing, implementing and evaluating citizen science initiatives. The principles will serve as a foundation and catalyst for ongoing dialogue and collaboration in using citizen science.

You can download the Citizen Science Principles for Good Practice from the Government of Alberta website.