Community Collaboration to Advance Citizen Science: A Success Story in Louisiana

Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Fator1, D. Chaisson2, D. Chari3, S. Gauthe4
1 - Hanby Environmental, 1772 W. Sam Houston Parkway N, Houston, Texas, 77043, United States
2 - The Lifeline Group, 4610 Quarter Charge Drive, Annandale, VA, 22003, United States
3 - RAND Corporation, 1200 South Hayes Street, Arlington, Virginia, 22202-5050, United States
4 - BISCO (Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing), 3002 Poplar Circle, Houma, Lousiana, 70363, United States


Contact Information: CFator@HanbyEnvironmental.com; 713-468-3898


ABSTRACT

This presentation is a report on a success story of a collaboration of Community Partners pulling together a three day workshop for the training of Citizen Scientists. By the collaboration of several organizations and industry experts, during the three day workshop, Citizens were exposed to the science behind many instruments and tools that can be used to monitor their respective communities. In addition to being exposed to the science behind the tools, they were trained on the information the equipment and tools provided as well as trained on the proper utilization of them. This type of activity empowers local Citizens to bridge the gap between science and The Public at large and assists in The Public to have a better understanding and ability to assist in monitoring their communities. This is a huge success story, as those Citizens that attended the workshop gained the knowledge and experience to be comfortable in being able to recognize a potential issue and have the ability to access a tool and make a measurement of concern to confirm if the concern has merit to be reported to a high authority for further examination. With Citizens empowered to help on the front line to recognize potential issues, gets them seen faster while at the same time may be a means of front line screening to lower the burden of response to potential issues that are determined to false. This Public Community involvement is a great step toward everyone working together with the common goal of watching out for the communities we live in and this Louisiana Local Collaboration is a perfect example of successful integration of the idea of Citizen Scientists.