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Public Participation in Science and Research Working Group

The goal of the Public Participation in Science and Research (PPSR) Working Group (WG) is to describe and understand the potential contribution of PPSR projects to generate information useful to, and used by, various end-users (e.g., scientists, resource managers, decision-makers, the public). Participatory scientific data gathering, monitoring, evaluation and assessment of environmental data by PPSR (i.e., volunteer-based) programs can provide substantial broad-scale and unique datasets that have the potential for greatly increasing the volume of observational data of biodiversity for DataONE. Science and society will benefit greatly if data generated by PPSR programs are collected, organized, curated, validated, preserved, and made accessible to broader scientific, educational, and policy management communities according to best practices and standards for data management.

The purpose of this working group is to (1) document the potential contributions of volunteer collected data to science, (2) identify the diversity of data and data practices in projects that focus on gathering or processing observations of environmental variables (e.g., species occurrence, abundance, or behavior; air or water quality), (3) provide recommendations to programs for improving the quality, quantity and accessibility of volunteer-derived data, and (4) provide requirements and standards for tools and tool developers to promote more complete integration of these data into conventional science activities and accessibility of data to program participants.

WG Charter (pdf)

Working Group Leaders

  • Rick Bonney, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University
  • Greg Newman, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University

Working Group Members

PPSR Working Group
  • Megan Hines, Wildlife Data Integration Network
  • Gretchen LeBuhn, San Francisco State University
  • Kelly Lotts, University of Idaho
  • Andrea Wiggins, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University & University of New Mexico
  • Eric Russell, National Geographic Society
  • Jennifer Shirk, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Robert D. Stevenson, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Julian Turner, Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, Colorado State University
  • Karen Oberhauser, University of Minnesota
  • William Michener, University of New Mexico (ex officio)

Past Members

  • Eric Graham, Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, UCLA
  • Sandra Henderson, National Ecological Observatory Network
  • Jake F. Weltzin, USGS and USA National Phenology Network
  • Arfon Smith, Adler Museum, Chicago, IL

Current Projects

  • Creation of a knowledge network for PPSR data management: A core, networked community of practitioners interested in PPSR
  • A peer-reviewed paper that documents the potential contribution of volunteer-collected data to science and that provides a comprehensive meta-analysis of several hundred published PPSR papers
  • A comprehensive follow-up survey on data management practices within citizen science
  • A white paper that identifies best practices that advance the quality, quantity and accessibility of data, and that provides requirements and standards for tools and tool developers to promote more complete integration of these data into conventional science activities and accessibility of data to program participants

Project Outcomes