Date of this Version
Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 41 (2021), pp 53–60. DOI: 10.32873/unl.dc.tnas.41.5
Citizen science, which has contributed greatly to scientific understanding, works through partnerships between non-governmental and governmental organizations, academia, and most importantly, volunteers. In the United States, Master Naturalist training programs prepare adults as knowledgeable environmental stewards. Once certified, Master Naturalists are encouraged to log annual volunteer activity hours involving scientific research and education. Compared to untrained volunteers, individuals who have completed Master Naturalist training (or similar programs) exhibit greater project involvement and efficiency at collecting data. These traits align well with the goals of citizen science and point to a symbiotic relationship between citizen science and Master Naturalist programs. Here, we convey how Master Naturalist programs benefit citizen science and provide guidelines for individuals who wish to pursue citizen science projects or programming to produce high quality citizen scientists.