Technology and Engineering
  • ISSN: 2333-2581
  • Modern Environmental Science and Engineering

Citizen Science a Tool for Community Engagement in Parks with an Urban Dominating Landscapes in Puerto Rico

Yogani Govender1, Sandra Faría2, Astrid Maldonado2, Jean Manuel Sandoval2, Carlos Báez Torres2, and Rubén
1. Inter American Universityof Puerto Rico, Metropolitian Campus, Puerto Rico
2. Para la Naturaleza, San Juan, Puerto Rico
3. University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, Puerto Rico
Abstract: With a population of 3.5 million on an island of 100 miles long and in severe economic crisis partners for the conservation of biodiversity is crucial for the sustainability of urban natural protected areas (NPA surrounded by large population centers, IUCN). The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico (CTPR) is using citizen science (CS) an informal science education method to engage citizens in nature. While the conventional model for CS is a participant attending a workshop or training session, learn standard methodologies to measure and assess species, habitats and ecosystems from a scientist and then go off to collect data on their own and share data with the scientist, the CTPR propose an alternative model that includes the scientist with citizens, throughout the spatial and temporal long-term data collection. In this model, the citizens are mentored by the scientists or scientist assistant to pass through the different phase of the Informal Science Education model (contributory, collaborative, co-created). The main goal is to enable the citizens to develop the skills of scientific inquiry and to address environmental concerns within their community. Of the 1300 participants 19 have developed community based projects to better understand their environment and the impacts of urban development. The co-creator participants have used three levels of communication to disseminate findings of biodiversity in NPA along an urban gradient. The citizen science research projects conclude that urban protected areas play an important functional role in the watershed.
Key words: citizen science, urban dominating landscapes, natural protected areas

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