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Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Candie Wilderman

Professor, Founder, and Science Director of the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) at Dickinson College

Candie C. Wilderman is a Professor of Environmental Sciences at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. She earned a B.S. in Geology from Tufts University, an M.A. in Geology from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. She is also Founder and Science Director of ALLARM (Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring), a project of the Environmental Studies Department that provides programmatic and technical support to watershed groups in Pennsylvania. ALLARM was founded in 

1986 and is staffed by Dickinson College faculty and students.  Her teaching and research interests include: operational models for community-based research, watershed assessment and management, aquatic ecology, and Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection issues. She was named 'Educator of the Year' by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in 1998 and was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award at Dickinson College in 2002. She lives on a collectively-owned organic farm in Perry County, PA.

The Power of Knowledge: Volunteer Monitoring Models and the Building of Community Response Capacity tiny PDF icon

The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), a community science project of the Environmental Studies Department at Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, has provided technical and programmatic support to Pennsylvania communities and individuals who are working to assess, protect, and restore watersheds since its founding in 1986. The roles in which ALLARM has engaged citizen-scientists have varied over the past 19 years, as we have evolved from a single-issue, 'top-down' program to a multi-issue, 'bottom up' program. This presentation will focus on the range of operational models adopted by community science projects in the U.S., using the experience of ALLARM to examine some of these models in terms of: 1) differences in the nature and scope of the issues addressed, 2) the required investment by the service provider to meet the mentoring needs of the community to achieve the goals of the project, and 3) the outcomes of the projects in terms of the interest and engagement in the project, community-building, ownership and understanding of data, and empowerment of community members. Particular emphasis will be placed on the importance of building community capacity to develop sound study designs and to interpret and utilize data.

Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research... this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research.

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