Using citizen science for early detection of tree pests and diseases

New research, published recently in the journal “Biological Invasions” by NBN Trustee – David Slawson – and his colleagues Nidhi Gupta and Andy Moffat, shows that tree health surveillance capacity can be increased by engaging and training citizens.

Their study examined the personal motivations, expectations and experiences of both professional and public participants engaged in the relatively novel concept of publicly supported government surveillance of tree pests and diseases.

Substantial testimony has shown that the Citizen Science approach can not only generate data of value to scientists and policymakers but also raise awareness of environmental issues amongst the public – benefits which are often overlooked.

Serious concerns were expressed that the realisation of the full potential of Citizen Science in support of government surveillance will require greater integration of Citizen Science activity into existing government surveillance programmes and the development of more sustainable long-term funding models with appropriate mechanisms for recognition and reward.

Read the full research paper, Using citizen science for early detection of tree pests and diseases: perceptions of professional and public participants.



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