Program Coordinator NCSU - Forestry and Env Resources
Background/Question/Methods Citizen science involves the collection of data by members of the public as part of a project with scientists. This project involves the introduction of citizen science in the course curricula for an Introduction to Environmental Science class which is a large entry level university course. Incorporating citizen science in entry level courses provides students the opportunity to actively engage in the scientific process and exposes them to concepts in a hands-on environment. This is especially important for non-majors since one of the main goals of environmental science education is to enhance ecological literacy.
The Four-Dimensional Ecology Education (4DEE) Framework provides a structure for eco-literacy instruction that encompasses ecological and cross-cutting concepts, practices, and human dimensions. Citizen science project exposure can be used to integrate the practices and concepts dimensions.
Results/Conclusions Students were tasked with collecting samples from various locations on campus as part of a class assignment to reveal the presence Delftia strains. Students were assessed before and after participating in the project. Additionally, they were asked to provide feedback on their experience with the project.
This research engages students in interdisciplinary explorations of public science and explores the presence and genetic diversity of Delftia. Based on the results of the assessment, the introduction and resulting outcome assessment after participation in a citizen science activity can be adjusted as needed to ensure the learning objectives are achievable and integration of the 4DEE framework takes place.