Hawai'i conservation alliance

Citizen Science Efforts In Hawai‘i

Updates, Overview And Opportunities In Support Of Community-Based Monitoring Of Coastal Marine Resources

Chair/Moderator:  Liz Foote, Coral Reef Alliance

Co-Chair/Moderator: Jennifer Barrett, U.H. Sea Grant College Program

Thursday, August 4, Room 313BC
Part 1: 8-10 am; Part 2: 10:20 am - 12:20 pm

Citizen science has become an increasingly popular way for society to contribute to scientific efforts on a local scale. Citizen science empowers people with appropriate training and expertise, regardless of scientific background, to make significant contributions in the stewardship of natural resources. In Hawai‘i, a number of place-based efforts are underway, most notably Makai Watch communities, which utilize citizen science monitoring efforts to enhance our collective understanding of Hawai‘i’s near-shore marine resources and create opportunities for community-based management. One challenge these communities face is limited capacity to develop and implement tools to manage their data. Another challenge relates to the need to standardize monitoring protocols in order to facilitate sharing of methodology and training resources and promote comparability of data and results.

In this forum, representatives from Makai Watch and other citizen science projects across the state will be invited to provide an update on their current monitoring efforts and share their greatest successes and challenges. A break-out session will allow time for small group discussion to brainstorm possible solutions and identify areas for greatest need related to the challenges raised. Results will be shared, compiled and distributed to forum participants as well as the Makai Watch Steering Committee.

The forum will also include a demonstration of an online resource developed by the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL).  In 2010, CORAL launched the Coral Reef Monitoring Data Portal to consolidate and facilitate Hawaii-based citizen science initiatives. Working collaboratively with DAR and local NGOs, appropriate protocols for inclusion on the site were identified and standardized, supporting resources and materials were compiled and posted, and the site’s capabilities were field-tested. The site currently supports several local community-based monitoring efforts, including coral reef studies and water quality monitoring, and is poised to expand its functionality to serve the needs of citizen science projects statewide.


Session I: Overview & Community Updates (2 hrs)

  • 15 minutes  Welcome and introductions
  • 10 minutes Overview of Makai Watch program objectives & update on statewide monitoring efforts (HCSN)
  • 10 minutes Overview of Coral Reef Monitoring Data Portal (Liz Foote)
  • 75 minutes  Updates by each community (6-8 presentations; 1-2/county)
  • 10 minutes  Brief explanation of purpose and agenda for Session II / Wrap-up

Session II: Collective Opportunities & Problem Solving (1.5 hrs)

  • 05 minutes  Overview of thematic teams and break-out group objectives
  • 45 minutes  Break-out session; group work in thematic teams
  • 25 minutes  Break-out teams report back to group
  • 10 minutes  Additional discussion, delegation of action items
  • 05 minutes  Wrap-up/evaluation

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