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Cornell Lab of Ornithology


    Background                            Key questions                             Workshop


PPSR and conservation

Numerous benefits for both scientists and the public have been documented as outcomes of public participation in scientific research (PPSR).

Advancing the field of PPSR to specifically affect conservation demands that we understand what factors and strategies influence conservation interests and the desired outcomes for all involved.

A series of online and in-person conversations have brought together conservation scientists and practitioners, resource managers, academics, community leaders and project leaders, educators, land stewards, and others to voice perspectives on PPSR as it relates to conservation goals.


Key questions, challenges, and opportunities

In the fall of 2010, more than 200 people responded to survey questions that explored new strategies for conservation through citizen science and other forms of public participation in scientific research. Respondents described PPSR and other related conservation initiatives in which they are involved, the audiences and conservation aims they address, and the major challenges and opportunities they encounter.

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Respondents also raised a number of key questions that touched on issues of participation, knowledge and credibility, data management, scaling partnerships, and more. These questions were used to inspire online conversations that drew thoughtful responses from a wide range of practitioners, and were so well received that the conversation continues (your thoughts are welcomed).

Comments from the both the survey and the online forum informed the design of a small workshop, where these ideas were discussed in more depth.



On April 7th and 8th, 2011, 60 practitioners from a diversity of academic, government and non-profit sector backgrounds came together to answer the following question: How can public participation in scientific research (PPSR) help to bridge the divide between science research and conservation practice?

A short workshop summary is available on this website, as are the full workshop proceedings and videos of the opening talks. Many participants also brought posters describing projects, scientific and/or educational research, or tools and technologies they employ. Cigliano poster


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