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Marine Debris Program Participates in the NOAA Citizen Science Workshop

MAY 4, 2020 — On April 22-24, Sherry Lippiatt (California Regional Coordinator) and Carlie Herring (Research Coordinator) with the Marine Debris Program participated in the NOAA Citizen Science Workshop.

People collecting things on a beach.
MDMAP citizen scientists conducting a survey at Buskin Beach, Alaska. Image credit: Boy Scouts of America.


The workshop consisted of a series of lightning talks highlighting citizen science programs and efforts across NOAA, as well as panel discussions that focused on volunteer recruitment and retention, and data management and data quality. Carlie presented a lightning talk on the Marine Debris Program’s Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project, our citizen science initiative that engages NOAA partners and volunteers across the nation to survey and record the amount and types of marine debris on shorelines. 

The workshop goals included:

1) Building stronger relationships among community members;

2) Exchanging best practices for use of citizen science and crowdsourcing;

3) Discussing and documenting needs of NOAA staff using citizen science;

4) Reviewing best practices regarding citizen science data quality; and

5) Informing plans to advance appropriate use of citizen science within the agency.

The last day of the workshop, participants reviewed the draft NOAA Citizen Science Strategy and discussion ensued on the goals and objectives for the strategy. This Strategy will be made available for review and use at a later date.

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Mao of sites that were monitored.
Map of MDMAP sites monitored by citizen scientists. Image credit: NOAA.
Last updated Friday, May 8, 2020 4:11pm PDT