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Available for download here are the proceedings from the workshop, Engaging and Learning for Conservation: Public Participation in Scientific Research, held April 7 and 8, 2011 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Proceedings, produced by conference documenter and magician Cathy McEver, are divided into four sections. Click on the title (or scroll down) for a description of the section and a link to download.

Setting the Stage

Challenges and Opportunities

Putting Strategies into Practice

Next Steps

(suggested citation)


Setting the Stage (PDF, 6.7 MB)

In a series of introductory presentations, participants are offered an overview of workshop goals and session formats, as well as opening thoughts on public participation in scientific research, illustrated by brief
presentations of four project case studies.

Co-PI Rick Bonney provides an overview of the state of the field, including early work on citizen science and identification of collaborative, contributory, and cocreated models.

Co-PI Judy Braus introduces the BETA version of Tools of Engagement, a planning tool for integrating people into conservation planning.
    world in hands


Challenges and Opportunities (PDF, 5 MB)

During this series of workshop sessions, participants are introduced to six key questions or overarching issues in the emerging field of public participation in
scientific research, and to seven “steps” or stages of program development in an intentional program design process. The questions and steps are presented in a matrix that serves as a tool for examining best practices.

      Wolley and Sterling at matrix
Maximize engagement on matrix   Using real-world project cases as a context, participants proceed to develop strategies and best practices and identify questions or concerns to address specific intersections on the matrix where steps and questions meet.


Putting Strategies into Practice (PDF, 4.7 MB)

Working in design studio mode, participants break into small groups to focus on areas of interest and issues of concern that lend themselves to a PPSR approach. In the process of designing potential PPSR projects to address
these topics, the goal is to keep conservation at the forefront, to apply and test the steps generated during the previous small group session (“Challenges and Opportunities”) and to see whether the best practices generated in the previous session hold up in the context of these potential PPSR projects.     phenology working group


Next Steps (PDF, 2 MB)

In this final set of workshop breakout sessions, participants learn about and discuss how they can become involved in activities beyond this workshop that will carry the field of PPSR forward. Those activities range from building a new association for PPSR, to addressing concerns about data management, to development of evaluation instruments to assess the impact of PPSR,
Bonney and Danielsen with working group     to contributing to the growth and refinement of the Toolkit steps and a new PPSR and conservation module for Tools of Engagement. The workshop concludes with a summary of the activities, highlights and key ideas over this two-day gathering, offered by PI Eleanor Sterling.


The amazing work of faithfully synthesizing presentations and discussions, and compiling and designing these proceedings was done by Cathy McEver, Bureau of Common Sense.


Suggested citation:

McEver, C., M. Domroese, E. Sterling, R. Bonney, J. Braus, F. Arengo, J. Shirk, R. Petty, and A. Toomey (editors). 2011. Proceedings of the Workshop, Engaging and Learning for Conservation: Public Participation in Scientific Research. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, April 7-8, 2011.


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