Small but mighty: Learning outcomes and impacts of microplastic focused citizen science
Abstract: Microplastics are a present and future threat to the sustainability of coastal socio-economic systems. Current solutions and management could be improved by developing citizen science programs to foster community engagement and knowledge generation. However, research is limited on the actual learning outcomes and impacts of citizen science. To help close this gap, this research builds upon existing studies and found strong evidence that participation in citizen science leads to an increase of specific subject content and science knowledge and contributes to individual outlooks leading to continued support for environmental action. However, there were mixed results on how participation impacts environmental behaviors or policy engagement. These learnings show that citizen science has the potential to contribute to effective management of microplastics but should be done through co-creation since desired outcomes are unique to each community.
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