Special Issue of Maine Policy Review on Citizen Science
The Fall 2017 issue of Maine Policy Review (MPR, vol. 26, no. 1) is a special issue on citizen science in Maine. Citizen science initiatives are rapidly growing in number and popularity around the world, and Maine is a leader in this approach to science.
In the Margaret Chase Smith Essay, Ted Ames shares his view on the efforts of Maine’s commercial fishermen to engage in citizen science initiatives. Other articles describe projects that engage citizen scientists in monitoring alewives, tracking signs of the seasons, counting loons, protecting vernal pools, documenting bumble bee diversity, and using dragonflies to monitor mercury.
As they describe their projects, some of the authors explore the problem of how research approached through citizen science might better inform policy. Authors discuss whether the involvement of particular groups of citizen scientists is important for increasing impacts on policy and what quality controls must be in place for citizen science to be considered reliable. Several pieces examine the benefits of citizen science in schools as a way to engage students in authentic science.
Other topics covered include an online platform for citizen science projects, design principles for online learning communities, the Wabanki Youth Science Program, the importance of place in citizen science, interesting projects in Arizona and Colorado, and an interview with Abe Miller-Rushing of Acadia National Park.
Maine Policy Review publishes independent, peer-reviewed analyses of public policy issues important to the state. Archival issues are also available on UMaine’s Digital Commons.