Curiosity for cryptic species, knowledge gain and motivation in a regional citizen science project

Finn, Samantha (2013) Curiosity for cryptic species, knowledge gain and motivation in a regional citizen science project. Masters dissertation, University of Cumbria. Item availability may be restricted.

[thumbnail of Finn_CuriosityForCryptic.pdf] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to Registered users only
Available under License CC BY-NC

Download (57MB) | Contact the author


Citizen science, the participation of lay people in scientific research, has seen a prolific explosion globally in the last two decades. Contemporary projects engaging the public in wildlife recording should ensure appropriate protocols and management of volunteer initiatives are well planned and take participant experience into account. This study examines volunteer motivation and education through a regional citizen science project, WildWatch North Pennines (WWNP). Grounded theory was used as part of a mixed method approach to evaluate volunteer’s experiences in training and recording at the project interim. Statistically significant knowledge gain was found amongst the sample trained in herpetofauna compared to those who had not received training up to 18 months later. Qualitative analysis demonstrated recruitment and inspiration for learning has been promoted by first appealing to the public’s curiosity around cryptic species. For sustained engagement the project designer must maintain interest by offering developmental training, surveying foci, providing feedback and supporting connections on a local level. A motivational framework adapted with findings from this case study is presented to evaluate regional citizen science projects against. This offers the opportunity to apply findings directly to the project in question during its lifetime to improve impacts for volunteers and conservation.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Masters)
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Outdoor Studies
Additional Information: Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the MSc Conservation Biology, Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, University of Cumbria, September 2013.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2023 09:59
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 11:46
Edit Item