Fall 2018

Citizen Science

In this issue of Trends, we discuss citizen science – public participation in scientific data collection and analysis – including how recent tools are increasing the amount and accessibility of citizen data, and also the potential shortfalls of data generated outside the confines of trained scientists.

The first Trendsarticle discusses key strengths and limitations of low-cost air monitoring sensors relative to traditional fixed-site monitors, and their promise for improving air quality awareness and supplementing data from fixed-site networks. The second article discusses the rigor of collecting data using established quality assurance practices, and how samples collected in a casual or reactionary method are unlikely to meet the high bar for decision-making and litigation. The third article discusses the interface between community-based participatory public health research and environmental justice.

Gradient contributors to this issue include Dr. Chris Long, DABT, Dr. A. Dallas Wait, and Julie Lemay, M.P.H. Joining us with a guest editorial are attorneys Steven Burns and Katlyn Caldwell from the law firm of Balch & Bingham LLP, providing legal perspective on citizen suits under the Coal Ash Rule.

We hope that this issue of Trends gives you insight into citizen science.

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  • IntroLetter from the Editors