The Great Sunflower project:Managing data when leveraging public participation in science to evaluate ecosystem services
Over the past five years, increasing numbers of scientists have developed and launched citizen science projects. This interest in citizen science is driven in part by the lure of data collection at temporal and spatial scales that would not be feasible with traditional scientific methods and levels of funding. Data collection at these scales requires careful attention to the interfaces for data collection, curation of data and the long term management of the data set. In addition, scientists leading citizen science projects must consider what obligations they have to the public who contributed data. Issues ranging from the protection of privacy to the obligation to make data publically available need to be addressed.
We will use the Great Sunflower Project, the largest citizen science project focused on pollinator service, to demonstrate these issues and to provide recommendations for management and sharing of long term data.