**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>

Citizen science and ocean resource management – what’s the opportunity? At Ocean Science Trust we’re excited to see how this conversation will play out at the 2015 Citizen Science Association Conference, next week in San Jose, CA (February 11-12)! This conference brings together people involved in all aspects of citizen science, to share and learn from one another. Ocean Science Trust staff will be participating in several events. If you’re attending, stop by and say hello!  

(The Otter Project/mpawatch.org)

 

  • MPA Watch Panel Discussion. Ocean Science Trust’s Ryan Meyer and Aaron McGregor will participate in a panel discussion on MPA Watch – a citizen-science monitoring program that collects data about human activities inside and outside of California’s marine protected areas (MPAs). The panel will discuss some of the challenges in building consistency and alignment across a regional citizen science network. The panel will also highlight the importance of collaboration and partnership in developing and sustaining the program over time. (Thursday, February 12th, 1:00-2:30pm Session 8F Lower Level 20D)

  • Join us for a Coastal and Ocean Citizen Science Mixer.  Ocean Science Trust will host a Coastal and Ocean Citizen Science Mixer following the first day of the conference (Wednesday, February 11th). This mixer will be a fun event for those interested or involved in coastal and ocean citizen science, to network and discuss the challenges and opportunities of working in the field. Food and drinks will be served! For more info and to RSVP click here.

If you aren’t attending the 2015 Citizen Science Association Conference, stay connected to the conversation! We will be live tweeting CSA Conference highlights! Follow us on Twitter at @CaliforniaOST (#CitSci2015). You can also join the Citizen Science Community Group on OceanSpaces to connect and share resources with others interested in coastal and ocean citizen science.

If you’re interested in learning more about our work around citizen science, check out our guidance document! Citizen Science and Ocean Resource Management in California: Guidance for forming productive partnerships. We’ve been exploring how to integrate citizen science into ocean and coastal resource management, in particular around MPA monitoring. This guidance document brings together some of our findings from working with Citizen Science Groups in California, and helps to inform ongoing conversations among citizen science practitioners, scientists and natural resource managers around the role of citizen science in ocean resource management.