World Rivers Review – December 2012: Focus on Citizen Science

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Decisions about managing rivers are too often based on an incomplete understanding about how ecosystems in the watershed function. Combined with the lack of transparency that darkens the dam-planning process in so many countries, this can lead to projects that do more harm than good. When there is no provision for professional scientists to fill in these gaps, citizen scientists can help uncover critical information about a river’s health, and make use of their findings to press for protections of ecosystem services and community health. This issue focuses on citizen science efforts around the world.

What's inside:

Southeast Asia: Citizen science efforts help promote a healthy Mekong.

US: Rivers get a boost from citizen scientists. Read about projects by the Nature Conservancy, SYRCL and Columbia Riverkeeper.

China: Green Hunan trains citizen scientists to fight river pollution.

Commentary: Citizens increase scientific data and watershed stewardship when they band together to document river health.

Poster: Why our rivers need citizen scientists.

India: Dams are devastating fisheries, but fishing groups are pushing back.  

Also in this issue:

  • An independent analysis shows Zambezi hydrodams are at great risk of climate change.
  • Plus Making Waves, News Briefs and more!
More information: 

Toolkit for setting up a Citizen Science project (Cornell Univ.)

List of Citizen Science projects at Scientific American

SciStarter (online journal)