Volunteers play a vital role in ensuring that a range of valuable long-term datasets continue to survive, a team of scientists will say.
They argue that without citizen scientists, it would be too costly to carry out regular monitoring surveys.
However, they add that appropriate training is needed to allay concerns about inaccurate recordings.
The researchers from Oxford University will present their case at the Earthwatch annual lecture on Thursday.
“Government and research councils’ funding wants you to test hypotheses and produce very specific, short-term high-impact results, ” said Chris Newman, one of the researchers from the university’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) who will be making the presentation. [Read full article]
Mark Kinver, BBC News
Comment: I found the following statement quite startling: “For example, the US House of Representatives voted in 1993 to ban the National Biological Survey from accepting the services of volunteers”. If such a policy was ever applied to environmental NGO’s in the UK the whole biodiverity information gathering process would grind to a halt! Amateur natural historians have formed the backbone of natural history recording since Victorian times.