Community science (CS) programs (also called citizen science), like iNaturalist, eBird, or eButterfly, allow volunteers to report species observations from anywhere and anytime, and can assemble huge volumes of data much faster than traditional data collection programs. This is a great potential opportunity for conservation management and global change research. By comparing one of these CS datasets to a more traditional dataset of professionally collected observations, we find that CS generates substantial new information on species distributions and phenologies. In complement with professional data, CS can provide a better understanding of species and communities. Given the power of CS programs to generate data on wildlife, CS presents an interesting alternative or complement to traditional threatened species monitoring. Using iNaturalist as an example, we examine the benefits and limitations of using CS data for this purpose.
Presenter: Peter Soroye
Bio: Peter Soroye is a PhD Student at the University of Ottawa. He is a conservation biologist studying the impacts of climate change and land use change on biodiversity across the globe, with the goal of informing conservation management and policy to find more effective ways of protecting species and reversing declines of biodiversity. Read more about Peter and his work at petersoroye.com.