Citizen science, the process of engaging the public in data collection, analysis, and reporting, is a rapidly growing field in its scale as well as its contributions to science, education, and society (Dickinson et al., 2010, Bonney et al., 2015, Kobori et al., 2016). While traditional long-term monitoring studies, including those involving birds, are often geographically limited, and expensive to carry out and maintain, many citizen science programs cover broad geographic areas and temporal scales, sometimes resulting in large, cost-efficient data sets that are an excellent resource for land managers, ecologists, and ornithologists (Bonney et al., 2014). However, many potentially valuable citizen science data sets remain unanalyzed and unused by researchers. The first step in unlocking the potential of citizen science is to identify high-quality data sets, quantify their error and identify biases, and assess their value for climate change science and natural resource management (Kosmala et al., 2016).
Program Report: Assessing the value of Mass Audubon’s citizen science data for climate change biology