Citizen Science and
Sea Turtle Conservation

NSF project no. SES-0724608, 2007-2010

The research examines the relationship between citizen scientists collecting data on sea turtles as part of the North Carolina Sea Turtle Project, and the scientific establishment to which they contribute this information. Its intellectual contribution arises from questions addressed regarding: 1) the nature of knowledge (e.g. how knowledge is established as legitimate), 2) possibilities for democratizing science and how this might improve science-society relationships, 3) how citizen scientists are empowered by participating and the impacts of such empowerment on environmental activities; and 4) theoretical understanding of science-society relationships and the meaning of citizenship.

Doctoral student Myriah Cornwell is an RA on this project, and Matthew Godfrey, sea turtle biologist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, is a collaborating researcher.