Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Abstract

Citizen science is an invaluable tool for engaging the general public in scientific and conservation efforts. Citizen science activities can educate, entertain, and inspire. There have been many successful citizen science projects hosted within zoological facilities and successful citizen science projects focused on marine mammal behavioral data collection, but to date there are no efforts that effectively combine the two. In this project, I synthesized existing information regarding citizen science projects focused on marine mammals, citizen science projects within zoological facilities, key components of successful citizen science projects, how to account for error in citizen science projects, and useful and relevant marine mammal data within a zoological facility. I also conceptualized a citizen science project, Cetacean Observation, for bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) behavioral data collection within a zoological facility, Jungle Island. The goals of the project were to address problems associated with marine mammal behavioral data collection within the framework of a citizen science project, and to create an engaging, educational, and inspirational user experience that simultaneously provided valuable data to the Jungle Island staff members with the goal of improved animal care.

Comments

Department: MAF

MPS Track: MCO

Location: Jungle Island, Miami, FL

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