Researchers from Colorado State University are looking for members of the public to participate in a citizen science experiment, July 11-12 at CSU. As part of the experiment, volunteers will participate in a free workshop and online training where they will learn citizen scientist skills such as invasive species and plant identification, proper GPS use and monitoring protocols. Following the training, the new citizen scientists will test their skills against professionals in the field.
CSU scientists from the university’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory are studying the effectiveness of different training approaches – in-person and hands-on, online training, and online multimedia presentations. Researchers are aiming to ensure that all volunteer participants, whether trained online or in-person, are equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to become successful citizen scientists.
There are three ways that members of the public can volunteer and participate in the training and experiment.
In-person training 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11 at CSU’s Lory Student Center, with a field test to demonstrate what was learned through the training from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 12 at CSU’s Environmental Learning Center.
Other volunteers can participate by joining the online training and complete the study tutorials from their personal computers anytime from July 4-10. The online users will then demonstrate their learned skills in the field from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. July 11 at the ELC.
Volunteers can also complete a mail-in survey that will help CSU researchers determine what people know about the training topics.
Beyond members of the public volunteering for this experiment, researchers are also looking for professional botanists who could volunteer and help out with the field testing.
To register for any of the volunteer opportunities, visit http://TinyURL.com/ColoradoInvasivePlantEvent. For more information, contact Greg Newman at (970) 491-0410 or NewMang@NREL.ColoState.edu or visit www.CitSci.org.