Human Attitudes Towards Wildlife

What’s Your Favorite Animal? 

As mammals move in to human-modified landscapes, and as humans lose touch with the natural world by spending more time indoors, human-wildlife conflict can ensue. I am interested in understanding if participation in the eMammal citizen science program, and specifically viewing camera trap photos of mammals collected within the local communities of middle school students, can change attitudes towards wildlife. I am studying the attitudes and preferences of students towards local mammal species compared to exotic species to see if eMammal improves attitudes. 

Outcomes of Citizen Science

Volunteers of citizen science programs are self-selected to participate in such programs. Across nature-based programs, participants are usually older, caucasian, more educated, and already interested in science and/or nature. I am studying the outcomes and benefits of a truly unique demographic – school children. By implementing citizen science in classrooms we overcome many of these self-selecting biases and are able to understand the impact participating in citizen science research has on learning, interest in nature and science, attitudes, despite demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds.