ECSA Webinar: Young people in conservation and biodiversity citizen science

8. November 2021by Ciara Davies

This webinar has a focus on young people and their participation in projects about conservation and biodiversity; a recording of the webinar is available to watch on YouTube. It is part of a wider series initiated by members of the ECSA working group on “Learning and Education in Citizen Science” and the Citizen Science COST Action WG2 – Develop synergies with education

Andy Ruck presented his research on young people’s lived experience of the conservation and citizen science project Polli:Nation. Polli:Nation was a nationwide, school-linked conservation and citizen science project that took place in over 250 schools in the UK. Based on his research findings, Andy shared what he learned about the advantages of embedding citizen science within a conservation project, the challenges of making a project ‘good science’ as well as ‘good education’, and the unplanned things that can happen during CS projects that lead to different forms of learning.

Julia Lorke and Lucy Robinson presented insights on youth participation in museum-led citizen science programmes from the LEARN CitSci project. As this international research-practice partnership comes to an end, Julia and Lucy reported their findings on youth participation in natural history museum-led BioBlitzes and introduced a new resource for the citizen science & learning community – “Key Findings: Enhancing youth learning through Community & Citizen Science – A guide for practitioners“.

These fascinating presentations prompted discussion along four key lines; firstly, the importance of considering the ongoing life of Citizen Science projects, and how to make this visible to participants and the wider public. Next, an exploration of the existing and possible future connections between Further Education Institutions and Citizen Science illuminated some of the opportunities and challenges involved in bringing these areas together. The importance of meaningful intergenerational dialogue among participants involved in Citizen Science projects was another key area of discussion, great examples of how to encourage this were given. And finally, the importance of the reporting stage of Citizen Science projects was explored, existing barriers and potential solutions were presented in the discussion.

A huge thank you to all our presenters for stimulating such fascinating discussions, and to the audience for engaging so positively.

We hope that you will join us for our next webinar which is scheduled for the 23rd November, look out for more details soon!

Ciara Davies