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Benefits and challenges of citizen science: examples from US to guide initiatives in Brazil

Grant number: 23/10137-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): December 05, 2023
Effective date (End): December 04, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Forestry Resources and Forestry Engineering - Nature Conservation
Principal Investigator:Katia Maria Paschoaletto Micchi de Barros Ferraz
Grantee:Eduardo Roberto Alexandrino
Supervisor: David Neil Bonter
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Cornell University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:22/01242-7 - Optimizing citizen Science in Brazil: identifying ways to increase social and scientific impacts to improve conservation, BP.PD

Abstract

Formal researchers that led projects or initiatives with ecological and ornithological focus, generally consider citizen science as 'the participation of non-professionals in genuine scientific investigations". In Brazil, citizen science has been gaining significant attention within educational and research institutions in recent years, and public policies to encourage the implementation of this science approach have been considered and discussed. However, because it is still a relatively untested in this country, there is little reference of which top-down project formats (i.e., formal researchers requesting assistance from citizens) and their respective governance are most efficient in each research context. Aiming to provide knowledge for the formulation of public policies, this project will: (1) evaluate the direct scientific production and social impacts (i.e., usage in schools) that two large citizen science initiatives for bird monitoring are promoting - Project FeederWatch (which monitors birds using feeders across the United States, led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and WikiAves (monitors birds in general in Brazil, independent initiative); (2) Evaluate how much compromised a scientific investigation would be if an independent small-scale project fails in engaging a proper number of citizens or achieving data without quality enough. In this case, the project "Did I see a banded bird!?" - that monitors birds at a local scale in Brazil - and a similar project in USA (to be chosen) will be focused. The knowledge gains in this project will be readily applied in the planning of citizen science in Brazil, as well as it will be useful in countries where citizen science is becoming popular. (AU)

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