Using Citizen Science for Conservation Applications

Date and Time
112 Buckhout Building or Online
Orin Robinson

Fall Invited Speaker Series: Dr. Orin Robinson

Robinson is Research Associate, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

Citizen science data is being collected at an unprecedented rate. This enormous source of data can provide information that is very helpful to wildlife management and conservation policy and decision making. However, this data suffers from many sources of bias (e.g. spatial, temporal, observer skill level, etc.) that make CS data difficult to use. The sources of bias must be accounted for when incorporating CS data into any analyses or decision making framework. Here, I will discuss these sources of bias, what we understand about them, and show how we account for them when using data from the citizen science project, eBird. I will then show examples of how eBird data and its data products have been used to direct policy change in the permitting process for wind energy development, how we have used eBird in integrated populations models to support the listing of the Tricolored Blackbird under the California Endangered Species Act, how we have integrated eBird and point counts to evaluate and direct dynamic conservation of shorebirds in the Central Valley of California, and other applications of this data in management and conservation.