AuthorDavis, Leona F.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCitizen science (CS) has become increasingly popular as a method of collecting data, and participants in CS projects have been shown to gain knowledge and self-efficacy to effectively address community issues through participation. However, a participation gap exists as volunteers in CS projects are overwhelmingly college educated, affluent, and white. Acknowledging the potential benefits of CS participation to understand and address environmental health risk, how can researchers design projects to invite and engage diverse participants? A mixed methods approach is used here to analyze 1) Environmental health literacy in participants of participatory environmental health trainings, and 2) Motivation, support, and barriers to participation in an environmental health CS project. This research involves 53 training participants, 127 CS project participants, and 7 promotoras in five Arizona communities with documented environmental contamination, who participated in the co-created CS program Project Harvest. Over half of these participants are “low-income” or below, over half are people of color (predominantly Latino/Hispanic), and over half do not have a college degree. Findings suggest the following as effective criteria for promoting participation and learning of diverse citizen scientists: 1) Relevant research questions, 2) Appropriate communication methods, 3) Adaptive and contextual project design, and 4) Balancing flexibility and relationship-building at all levels of the project. Finally, the concept of designing participatory CS for participants to function as a community of practice is discussed as a novel conception of building a supportive culture for learning and action within an environmental health justice context.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Teaching & Teacher Education