Edelson, Mindy Carol
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Although the first Citizen Science project dates back as early as 1900, it was not until recently that scientists in a variety of disciplines began employing citizen science programming. These projects seek to gather broad-scale data, often from a large geographic range, by recruiting volunteers to act as data-gathering devices. This results in scientists getting much more data in a shorter period of time, and citizens getting educational and recreational experiences. Citizen science is a multi-disciplinary field, drawing from the sciences as well as the social sciences, and as a result the field is dynamic and holds great potential. Many fields of science can benefit from incorporating citizen science techniques, but conservation ecology seems to be the most relevant and welcoming field. This thesis assesses the ‘gaps’ in citizen science – such as taxonomic and subject-matter disparities – and makes recommendations to citizen science project coordinators for the future of this burgeoning field.