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You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinar / Citizen Science and Open Data in Urban Forestry: Opportunities and challenges

Citizen Science and Open Data in Urban Forestry: Opportunities and challenges

Two citizens assist with Tree Monitoring
Shea Zwerver

Citizen Science and Open Data in Urban Forestry: Opportunities and challenges
June 14, 2017

Citizen Science and Open Data in Urban Forestry: Opportunities and challenges
Lara Roman, USDA Forest Service
Deborah Boyer, Azavea

As urban forest managers seek new ways to engage the public, many municipalities, non-profit groups, and tree advocates turn to citizen science and open data to connect with stakeholders and constituents. These projects can generate public interest, but there are concerns about the need for data coordination, quality control, open access, and long-term funding and resource commitment. The goal is to create a project where time spent on training and oversight yields great benefits in public awareness and support, as well as quality data that will drive good management and policy decisions. In this webinar, Lara Roman will present findings from a study of volunteer data quality in urban tree inventories and implications for the use of citizen science for various urban forest data collection needs. Deborah Boyer will share lessons learned from citizen science and open data projects across the United States and discuss various technical approaches. Together, these presentations will help you determine whether citizen science and open data projects are right for your program.

Presentations

View the webinar podcast »

Volunteer Data Quality in Urban Tree Inventories
Lara Roman
Research Ecologist
USDA Forest Service

Trees and Citizen Science
Deborah Boyer
Project Manager, Urban Ecosystems
Azavea

Resources

Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

Data Quality in Citizen Science Urban Tree Inventories
In this article from Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Lara Roman and colleagues examined consistency across volunteer field crews doing street tree inventories, drawing implications for appropriate uses of citizen science in urban forestry.

TreesCount! 2015: Mapping every street tree in New York City
This webinar provides an overview of the TreesCount project that includes both organizational and technical details.

Data Management for Urban Tree Monitoring - Software Requirements
This report from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and the USDA Forest Service Philadelphia Field Station explores how technology could be used to support the long-term systematic monitoring of urban trees by trained professionals, student interns, and volunteers; assist with tree planting and maintenance data processes; and enable data to be organized and shared between researchers and practitioners.

US Forest Service Resources

Citizen Science at the Forest Service
Learn more about citizen science and crowdsourcing activities at the Forest Service.