Adaptive management is broadly recognized as critical for managing natural resources, yet in practice it often fails to achieve intended results for two main reasons: insufficient monitoring and inadequate stakeholder buy-in. Citizen science is gaining momentum as an approach that can inform natural resource management and has some promise for solving the problems faced by adaptive management. Based on adaptive management literature, we developed a set of criteria for successfully addressing monitoring and stakeholder related failures in adaptive management and then used these criteria to evaluate 83 citizen science case studies from peer-reviewed literature. The results suggest that citizen science can be a cost-effective method to collect essential monitoring information and can also produce the high levels of citizen engagement that are vital to the adaptive management learning process. The analysis also provides a set of recommendations for citizen science program design that addresses spatial and temporal scale, data quality, costs, and effective incentives to facilitate participation and integration of findings into adaptive management.

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Keywords adaptive management, citizen science, community-based monitoring, environmental science and management, natural resource management, Public Participation in Scientific Research
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Journal Ecosystems
Aceves-Bueno, E. (Eréndira), Adeleye, A.S. (Adeyemi S.), Bradley, D. (Darcy), Tyler Brandt, W. (W.), Callery, P, Feraud, M. (Marina), … Tague, C. (Christina). (2015). Citizen Science as an Approach for Overcoming Insufficient Monitoring and Inadequate Stakeholder Buy-in in Adaptive Management: Criteria and Evidence. Ecosystems, 18(3), 493–506. doi:10.1007/s10021-015-9842-4