Here is the Workshop Program in PDF format.


Dr. Fred Wrona

Opening Remarks

Speaker Bio: Dr. Fred Wrona is the Chief Scientist for the Government of Alberta, Department of Environment and Parks and the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Environmental Monitoring and Sciences Division. He also continues to have...

Dr. Michael Quinn

Opening Remarks

Speaker Bio:Speaker Bio: Michael Quinn is the AVP - Research, Scholarship & Community Engagement at Mount Royal University. His academic career has spanned a wide range of interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability topics and projects.


Four different panels presented their ideas based on various themes.


In Alberta, there are varying perceptions of what citizen science is – from an engagement tool to a tool to collect rigorous scientific data. The aim of this panel was to build awareness on how the field of citizen science has evolved, common challenges across the field, public involvement in citizen science programs, and opportunities for growth in the field.

Dr. Lea Shanley

Embrace the Bureaucracy: navigating institutional barriers to citizen science

Speaker Bio: Dr. Lea Shanley co-leads the South Big Data Innovation Hub, one of a network of four Hubs launched by the NSF. We serve as a bridge organization, connecting researchers, businesses, and government...

Jennifer Shirk

Deep Roots, Broad Branches - growing a multidisciplinary field

Speaker Bio: Jennifer Shirk works to support citizen science as a field of practice, advancing promising strategies that support integrity in both research and public engagement. As Interim Executive Director of the...

Jade Cawthray-Syms

How Participatory is our Citizen Science?

Speaker Bio: Jade is a PhD student at the University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. With a Bachelors degree in Ecology and Conservation from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and a Masters in Science Communication from Imperial College London, Jade has spent the last 10 years...


There are few clear and standardized processes, protocols, and support tools to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of Alberta-based citizen science projects. This undermines the utility and limits the applicability of data and information generated through citizen science. Through a series of case studies, the Panel highlighted methods, guidelines and tools used in citizen science programs to enhance credibility and relevance.

Julie Vastine

Creating Credible Community-Based Stream Monitoring Programs

Speaker Bio:Julie Vastine is the director of the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She is responsible for leadership of the ALLARM program and...

Kat Hartwig

Groundwater, CABIN and SHIM Applied Data

Speaker Bio:Kat grew up in southeastern BC and has been involved in international, national and regional environmental advocacy relating to sustainable tourism, endangered species, corporate social responsibility...

Gary Redmond

Air Quality and Citizen Science

Speaker Bio:Gary Redmond has been the Executive Director of the Alberta Capital Airshed since 2011. Gary has an extensive background in not-for-profit management, multi-stakeholder facilitation and...


There are a variety of citizen science projects in Alberta ranging along the spectrum of participation (from contributory to co-created), purpose and objectives, and geographic scale (from local to international). This Panel highlighted place-based projects in Alberta.

Bill Abercrombie

Alberta Wolverine Project

Speaker Bio:Currently President of Alberta Trappers Association. President and senior consultant for Bushman Inc a wildlife management and consulting company. Life long trapper and conservationist my goal is to facilitate...

Robert Anderson

Lessons Learned from Working with Trappers to Conserve Wolverines

Speaker Bio:Robert’s introduction to multi-stakeholder research came when he began studying Alberta’s woodland caribou as part of his graduate thesis in the late 1990s. Over the past 20 years, he’s worked on a wide range of conservation topics...

Elliot Fox

Indigenous Citizen Science in Traditional Blackfoot Territory & the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem: Blackfoot Science, Bison Repatriation & the Earthwatch-Kainai Community Fellows

Speaker Bio:Elliot is a member of the Kainai (Blood Tribe) First Nation (Blackfoot Confederacy) who has worked in natural resource conservation and land management in southwest Alberta for the past 24 years...

Danah Duke

Exploring the Potential for Place-based Citizen Science to Advance Conservation: lessons learned from Alberta case studies

Speaker Bio:Danah has been the Executive Director of the Miistakis Institute for the past 17 years. The Miistakis Institute is a not for profit environmental research institute affiliated with...

John Paczkowski

Volunteers Conducting Ecological Research in Alberta Parks – The Kananaskis Region Example

Speaker Bio:John is a biologist who has concentrated his career on wildlife research and conservation, mainly with large carnivores. John uses wildlife research as a lens to focus decisions on...

Bradley Peter

Community Based Monitoring of Alberta’s Lake Ecosystems

Speaker Bio:Bradley Peter is the Executive Director of the Alberta Lake Management Society. Bradley has spent 8 years working on community based monitoring projects including projects monitoring for....


Engaging citizens in the scientific process can lead to a deeper understanding of critical environmental issues. There is a strong trend among government agencies and other organizations to incorporate citizen science as a tool to realize science, monitoring, and citizen engagement objectives. However, there is a lack of understanding around how to do so. This panel highlighted strategies and actions to enhance linkages between citizen science data and decision-making.

Elizabeth Hendriks

Assessing Freshwater Health

Speaker Bio:Elizabeth Hendriks is Vice-President of the National Freshwater Programme at WWF-Canada, one of Canada’s oldest conservation organizations. She has fifteen years of experience working nationally...

Tracy Lee

How do Wildlife Cross the Road? Ask the people who live there!

Speaker Bio:Tracy is a senior project manager at the Miistakis Institute, a research institute affiliated with Mount Royal University, which brings people and ideas together to promote healthy communities and landscapes...

Tanya Rushcall

EDDMapS Alberta and Aquatic Invasive Species

Speaker Bio:Tanya Rushcall is the Aquatic Invasive Species Biologist and certified pesticide applicator for Alberta’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program. Tanya received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta in 2010. She has worked with...

KayeDon Wilcox

GrizzTracker: informing grizzly bear management

Abstract: Addressing complex sustainability challenges requires innovative approaches that integrate stakeholders, science, technology, and community engagement. Citizen science is a growing approach to engage the public...


Nine speakers gave fast yet fascinating presentations on a variety of citizen science topics, on everything from bees to bats to biodiversity networks.

Jordan Bell

Creating a Biodiversity Network: using a citizen science app to monitor biodiversity in Alberta

Speaker Bio: As the Citizen Science Coordinator at the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Jordan Bell is responsible for the development of ABMI’s citizen science application, NatureLynx...

Tyler Carlson

Linking Community-Based Monitoring to Water Governance: perceptions of citizen scientists

Speaker Bio: Tyler Carlson is a researcher in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University, where he studies the evolving role...

Tracy Howlett

An Inventory of the Who’s and What’s of Citizen Science in Alberta

Speaker Bio: Tracy Howlett has worked for the Government of Alberta for just over six years and is currently the Knowledge Translation Lead with the Indigenous Knowledge, Community Monitoring...

Megan Jensen

Pronghorn Xing: citizen scientists help conserve fastest animal in Canada

Speaker Bio: Megan Jensen began her career in the environmental field after attending Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge. She spent five years working with...

Kris Kendell

Alberta Volunteer Amphibian Monitoring Program and Alberta Snake Hibernaculum Inventory

Speaker Bio: As a biologist with Alberta Conservation Association, Kris Kendell has focused much of his career on citizen science, habitat stewardship, monitoring, translocation and...

Samantha Managh

Where the Wild Things Are: harnessing the power of citizen scientists

Speaker Bio: Samantha is a Parks Ecologist with Calgary Parks, Urban Conservation. She began her career at a not for profit environmental research institute. Through her time there, she...

Cory Olson

Going to Bat for Bats: bat roost monitoring using citizen science

Speaker Bio: Cory Olson is a wildlife biologist and Program Coordinator for the Alberta Community Bat Program, which he helped start in collaboration with...

Rob Schaufele

Collision Count

Speaker Bio: Rob has been the local coordinator for Collision Count since the project’s beginning in 2014. From 2003 to 2010, he was the local coordinator for Road Watch...

Luke Wonneck

Building Wild Bee Monitoring in Alberta

Speaker Bio: Luke is a Director of the Alberta Native Bee Council, and Agroforestry Technician with the Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society (AWES)...


Dr. Gwendolyn Blue (University of Calgary) summarized key points from the speakers and discussions in the closing keynote for the workshop.

Dr. Gwendolyn Blue, Keynote Presentation

Citizen Science as Civic Science: New spaces for reflexive practice?

Speaker Bio: Gwendolyn Blue is an Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Calgary. Formally trained in Cultural Studies, her research examines public controversies involving science and technology; public engagement with...


Plenary Working Session – Memorandum on Citizen Science

Building on earlier work with the Miistakis Institute, Alberta Environment and Parks’ Environmental Monitoring and Science Division is leading the development of principles, strategies and actions to guide good practice and appropriate application of citizen science.

In this session draft sections of the memorandum were introduced. Feedback was sought from workshop participants on the draft citizen science principles, strategies and actions for advancing citizen science in Alberta.

Plenary Working Session – Strategies for Enhancing Data Credibility: What is Needed for Alberta?

Data quality is an important consideration in citizen science projects. The involvement of volunteers adds a component to the study design that needs careful consideration. While all science needs to demonstrate its credibility, the specific context of citizen science and external assumptions lead to specific challenges and opportunities. Strategies are needed to enhance the usefulness of citizen science data in the research design and data quality assurance.

This session was introduced by a presentation from Dr. Long Fu, the resulting discussions focused on:

Concurrent Working Sessions: Air, Water and Biodiversity

Facilitator: Danah Duke
Participants were given general prompts to guide an open discussion about what barriers and opportunities exist in Alberta for citizen science air quality monitoring.

Facilitator: Krista Tremblett
Participants were given general prompts to guide an open discussion about what can be done to promote collaboration and determine what barriers and opportunities exist for future citizen science water monitoring projects.

Facilitators: Alberta Environment and Parks, EMSD Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health team
Participants were divided into four groups and asked to brainstorm answers to each of the following questions:
  1. How can citizen science help to identify where linear features are located, what condition they’re in (i.e. are they navigable, and if so, by what means), and whether they’re accessible to people?
  2. How can citizen science be used to quantify how frequently, at what times, and by what modes of travel linear disturbances are used by people?
  3. How can citizen science be used to determine how ecological responses vary with changes in the frequency, timing, and type of human activities on linear disturbances?
  4. What are some potential challenges, solutions, and opportunities associated with employing citizen science approaches to answering these questions?


There was a networking and poster session set up at the end of the first day, which gave people an opportunity to learn about more citizen science initiatives.

see the posters