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Citizen Science Can Renew A Child's Love of Nature (page 2)

By — Nature Deficit Disorder Special Edition Contributor
Updated on May 17, 2010

Citizen Science Encourages Civic Engagement

The educational literature suggests that citizen science cultivates citizen development. This means that while youth are engaged as citizen scientists they are also being engaged as participants in the democratic process of decision-making in their local communities. This participation equates to civic responsibility later in life when children become voters. In other words, when youth are engaged in tangible opportunities to develop as citizens, they are more likely to participate in making choices about adverse environmental issues.

Our children may eventually be the only advocates for the flora and fauna that lack economic worth. With fewer agricultural and natural resources per capita on the horizon, today's kids will soon be making important choices about where to invest scarce resources. If we are diligent about finding ways to renew our children's love for nature, they will help do their part to ensure a more sustainable future.

Citizen Science Projects for Parents, Teachers, and Young Citizens

The Citizen Science Toolkit is the most comprehensive clearinghouse for news, project ideas, and resources in support of citizen science projects worldwide (http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citscitoolkit).

Citizen Science Canada is an online community for people involved in environmental monitoring in Canada (http://www.citizenscience.ca).

The Society for Amateur Scientists is an organization to support citizen scientists (http://www.sas.org/).

The Citizen Scientist is a published bi-weekly by the Society for Amateur Scientists (http://www.sas.org/tcs/).

A Citizen Science Weblog that connects citizen scientists with the latest news, archival weblogs, citizen science by category, multimedia, and comprehensive articles on upcoming events, equipment, and resource books (http://citizensci.com/).

Dynamic Patterns Research Institute supports and guides citizen science, and offers educational references and opportunities to engage in authentic scientific investigations (http://research.dynamicpatterns.com/).

National Aeronautics and Space Administration mentoring and inquiry using NASA data on atmospheric and earth science for teachers and citizen scientists (http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/citsci_index.php).

 The U.S. Youth Network for Sustainable Development is an organization to support young people advancing sustainable development and youth empowerment in the United States, with a citizen science paper competition, listserv, and partnership building ( http://sustainus.org/content/view/16/128).

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