This study explored how citizen science programs can connect young people with nature while providing needed scientific data. The premise was that, with attention to proper design, modification of current programming might increase citizen science outcomes for conservation. Furthermore, combining sound scientific protocols with effective education and positive youth development strategies can lead to consequential benefits for youth and society. An embedded single-case study explored a set of 20 citizen science programs relevant to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine how the programs intended to educate and develop youth and to understand the programs’ designs. A theoretical framework based upon science education, environmental education, and positive youth development guided the inquiry. The study also explored how environmental educators, youth group leaders, scientists, and public land managers might work together to design and implement youth community and citizen science programs on federal lands. Study findings informed development of a prototype planning framework to guide planning and implementation of youth-focused community and citizen science programs on federal lands. Using the framework to design robust citizen science programs can assist scientists monitoring environmental conditions to inform land management decisions; and assist environmental education program coordinators to design meaningful service–learning activities for youth.
|Commitee:||Ballard, Heidi L., Monroe, Martha C., Trauth-Nare, Amy|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental education, Natural Resource Management, Science education|
|Keywords:||Citizen science, Environmental education, Natural resource management, Positive youth development, Science education, Service-learning|
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