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This content will become publicly available on September 14, 2022

Title: Connecting Community and Citizen Science to Stewardship Action Planning Through Scenarios Storytelling
Community and citizen science on climate change-influenced topics offers a way for participants to actively engage in understanding the changes and documenting the impacts. As in broader climate change education, a focus on the negative impacts can often leave participants feeling a sense of powerlessness. In large scale projects where participation is primarily limited to data collection, it is often difficult for volunteers to see how the data can inform decision making that can help create a positive future. In this paper, we propose and test a method of linking community and citizen science engagement to thinking about and planning for the future through scenarios story development using the data collected by the volunteers. We used a youth focused wild berry monitoring program that spanned urban and rural Alaska to test this method across diverse age levels and learning settings. Using qualitative analysis of educator interviews and youth work samples, we found that using a scenario stories development mini-workshop allowed the youth to use their own data and the data from other sites to imagine the future and possible actions to sustain berry resources for their communities. This process allowed youth to exercise key cognitive skills for sustainability, including systems more » thinking, futures thinking, and strategic thinking. The analysis suggested that youth would benefit from further practicing the skill of envisioning oneself as an agent of change in the environment. Educators valued working with lead scientists on the project and the experience for youth to participate in the interdisciplinary program. They also identified the combination of the berry data collection, analysis and scenarios stories activities as a teaching practice that allowed the youth to situate their citizen science participation in a personal, local and cultural context. The majority of the youth groups pursued some level of stewardship action following the activity. The most common actions included collecting additional years of berry data, communicating results to a broader community, and joining other community and citizen science projects. A few groups actually pursued solutions illustrated in the scenario stories. The pairing of community and citizen science with scenario stories development provides a promising method to connect data to action for a sustainable and resilient future. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1636476 1713156
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10313761
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Volume:
9
ISSN:
2296-701X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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