Citizen Science programs and champions honored at White House ceremony

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"Science can unlock how the world works, and can help solve the problems we face. In this century, citizens are getting back into the game."

“Champion of Change,” Julia Parrish of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) was recently recognized in a special ceremony at the White House for her work with coastal residents from Alaska all the way down the Pacific coast.  The “Champions of Change” program acknowledges ordinary citizens doing extraordinary work, and this ceremony focused on the critical work of engaging non-scientists in research. One of four Citizen Science programs singled out for this honor, COASST has long been active across Alaska.  Local partner organizations across the state include: Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Alaska Sea Grant Program and the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island’s Tribal Government Ecosystem Conservation Office.

Community-Based Monitoring (CMB), or Citizen Science, has a history of practice in Alaska, and recent advancements in computing, mathematics and communications have contributed to growing popularity and refinements in the methods of data collection used by Citizen Science groups.  Recently, several resource management agencies have begun using or are considering using community-collected data to inform management decisions.  For more information on various statewide observing programs, click here.  Have a program to add? Contact

Alaska Sea Grant and the Alaska Ocean Observing System are working together to develop a project focused on Best Practices for Community Based Monitoring of Alaska’s Coastal and Ocean Environment. Stay tuned for more in the coming months as this project develops!

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