The impacts of an invasive species citizen science training program on participant attitudes, behavior, and science literacy

Alycia W. Crall, Rebecca Jordan, Kirstin Holfelder, Gregory J. Newman, Jim Graham, Donald M. Waller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations

Abstract

Citizen science can make major contributions to informal science education by targeting participants' attitudes and knowledge about science while changing human behavior towards the environment. We examined how training associated with an invasive species citizen science program affected participants in these areas. We found no changes in science literacy or overall attitudes between tests administered just before and after a one-day training program, matching results from other studies. However, we found improvements in science literacy and knowledge using context-specific measures and in self-reported intention to engage in pro-environmental activities. While we noted modest change in knowledge and attitudes, we found comparison and interpretation of these data difficult in the absence of other studies using similar measures. We suggest that alternative survey instruments are needed and should be calibrated appropriately to the pre-existing attitudes, behavior, and levels of knowledge in these relatively sophisticated target groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-764
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • behavior
  • citizen science
  • global positioning systems
  • invasive species
  • science literacy
  • vegetation monitoring

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