Citizen-science for the future: advisory case studies from around the globe

Christina Simoniello*, Jennifer Jencks, Federico M. Lauro, Jon Derek Loftis, Jan Marcin Weslawski, Kajetan Deja, David R. Forrest, Sarah Gossett, Thomas C. Jeffries, Rachelle M. Jensen, Shinichi Kobara, Lindsey Nolan, Martin Ostrowski, Dana Pounds, Gabriel Roseman, Olivia Basco, Serge Gosselin, Adam Reed, Peter Wills, David Wyatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


The democratization of ocean observation has the potential to add millions of observations every day. Though not a solution for all ocean monitoring needs, citizen scientists offer compelling examples showcasing their ability to augment and enhance traditional research and monitoring. Information they are providing is increasing the spatial and temporal frequency and duration of sampling, reducing time and labor costs for academic and government monitoring programs, providing hands-on STEM learning related to real-world issues and increasing public awareness and support for the scientific process. Examples provided here demonstrate the wide range of people who are already dramatically reducing gaps in our global observing network while at the same time providing unique opportunities to meaningfully engage in ocean observing and the research and conservation it supports. While there are still challenges to overcome before widespread inclusion in projects requiring scientific rigor, the growing organization of international citizen science associations is helping to reduce barriers. The case studies described support the idea that citizen scientists should be part of an effective global strategy for a sustained, multidisciplinary and integrated observing system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number225
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • citizen science
  • ocean observing systems
  • crowd sourcing
  • bathymetry
  • king tide
  • volunteer-collected data
  • global ocean observing system


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