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New EPA Citizen Science Quality Assurance Handbook Provides Best Practices for Citizen Science Projects

Citizen science is one way that Americans engage in environmental science. The public participates voluntarily in the scientific process, addressing real-world problems in ways that may include formulating research questions, conducting scientific experiments, collecting and analyzing data, interpreting results, making new discoveries, developing technologies and applications, and solving complex problems. One major challenge is data quality – to make sure the data being collected meets the project needs. Sound science and decision-making start with high-quality data.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the use of citizen science to strengthen and inform environmental decision making. To further the Agency’s vision and strategy for citizen science, EPA has created a new Quality Assurance handbook, to be used with accompanying templates and examples for citizen science. These documents provide best practices for citizen science organizations on how to document quality assurance for citizen science projects. The handbook, templates, and examples are designed for organizations and people who want to collect quality data that can be used for different purposes.

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