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  1. A design-based project grounded in learning technology theories and systematically implemented can impact environmental education in many positive ways. This paper explores the systematic application of best practices from design-based projects that were used to combine and implement a drought education program. Embracing diffusion of innovation as its framework, augmented and virtual reality applications were used to design a virtual meeting space called the Virtual Citizen Science Expo. The results and findings show that users found Mozilla Hubs engaging as it gave them new ideas on the creative and inspirational use of virtual reality technology as an interactive and collaborative learning space. The discussions demonstrate that our VCSE can be used to promote and engage learners in science related to environmental monitoring. 
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  2. Citizen science holds the potential and capacity to change the role of science in the face of current and impending environmental sustainability challenges. However, the sustainability science community must also address the ethical challenges inherent in the nature and outcomes of citizen participation and inclusion. In this article, we provide a brief history of Participatory Action Research (PAR), long popular in the social sciences, and explain how participatory methods can inform the process and products of citizen science to meet the dueling ideals of ethically engaging communities and producing more robust science. Our decade of human-environment research on drought resilience and adaptation in the Southern High Plains of the United States illustrates how PAR complements formal science and can contribute to community resilience and adaptation efforts. Synthesized into 10 entry points for more ethical and participatory science, our semi-chronological narrative offers concrete strategies informed by PAR principles and values, at various stages of research, and highlights the place-based, ethical, and methodological contexts for applying each strategy. 
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  3. Recent reports indicate that there are less than 1900 (0.6%) Native American undergraduate and graduate engineering students nationwide (Yoder, 2016). Although Native Americans are underrepresented in the field of engineering, there is very little research that explores contributing factors. The purpose of our exploratory research is to identify those barriers, supports, and personal strengths that Native American engineering students identify as being influential in developing their career interests and aspirations in engineering. Informed by research in Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), we developed an on-line survey to assess the motivational variables that guide the career thinking and advancement of students preparing to enter the field of engineering. Instrumentation included Mapping Vocational Challenges (Lapan & Turner, 2000, 2009, 2014), Perceptions of Barriers (McWhirter, 1997), the Structured Career Development Inventory (Lapan & Turner, 2006), and the Career-Related Parent Support Scale (Turner et al., 2003), which were used to measure interests, goals, personal strengths and external supports. Participants (N=23) consisted of graduate (≈25%) and undergraduate (≈75%) Native American engineering students. Their responses indicated that their most challenging barriers were financial (e.g., having expenses that are greater than income, and having to work while going to school just to make ends meet), and academic barriers (e.g., not sufficiently prepared academically to study engineering). A lack of career information, and perceptions of not fitting in were also identified as moderately challenging barriers. Students endorsed a number of personal strengths, with the strongest being confidence in their own communication and collaboration skills, and commitment to their academic and career preparation. The most notable external support to their engineering career development was their parents’ encouragement to make good grades and to go to a school where they could prepare for a STEM career. Study results will be interpreted in light of theory, and recommendations for future research and practice will be provided. 
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