Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Youth-focused Community and Citizen Science
Guest blogger Ryan Meyer, Executive Director of the Center for Community and Citizen Science out of the University of California-Davis, shares with us a suite of resources newly available through the Youth-focused Community and Citizen Science (YCCS) website.
In youth-focused community and citizen science (YCCS), youth contribute to authentic science. YCCS projects are extremely varied, and they may take place in both formal and informal learning environments. Youth may collect data, design quality control procedures, conduct analyses, present findings to a variety of audiences, help to organize and mentor their colleagues, or identify research questions, among other activities. What’s important is that their work matters outside of the educational context, whether to the research program of a professional scientist, or to the concerns of a local community.
There are many strategies for getting youth involved in community and citizen science in ways that promote learning, and link to environmental conservation outcomes. Through in-depth case studies of diverse YCCS projects, a group of researchers at University of California Davis led by Dr. Heidi Ballard, along with the Center for Community and Citizen Science, began conducting case studies with YCCS projects in Northern California and bringing together key stakeholders to explore when and how YCCS works best. Through this process, we have documented youth-centered practices that are effective in promoting learning and environmental science agency - the ability to use experiences in citizen science and environmental science to make positive change in one’s life and community.
You can explore our research through a video overview, overviews of key practices, case studies, and other resources to help you apply these ideas in your work.