“Citizen science (also known as crowd science, crowd-sourced science, civic science, volunteer monitoring or networked science) is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists.” — Wikipedia, 2015
Falmouth Water Stewards has a long history of encouraging citizen science through its ten-year old water quality monitoring program, PondWatch. With an all volunteer staff except for the support provided by WBNERR, PondWatch monitors various markers of water quality at fifteen salt ponds in Falmouth each week, year-round. Until late summer of 2015, these data were reported weekly in The Falmouth Enterprise. At present, FWS is working on a new method of sharing the data with the public in both The Enterprise and on our website.
In summer of 2015, we expanded our citizen science activities with the launching of a new Water Watcher initiative in which citizens ‘adopt’ water bodies and provide regular updates of their experiences and observations, including photos, video and audio to water body specific pages. The initiative encourages more direct engagement with the waters we rely on as well as begins to build a picture of how our ponds, estuaries, and rivers are changing over time.