Vermont’s strong community of outdoor enthusiasts, environmentalists, and birdwatchers have been the backbone of successful avian monitoring programs such as eBird, FBMP, MBW, BBS, and the Atlas.
In citizen science-based programs, scientists collaborate with the public in order to collect data at spatial scales not otherwise economically feasible, or to analyze massive data sets.
Engaging local people in science and conservation helps to bridge the gap between researchers and the public and may encourage public support for conservation.
Data quality can be a concern with citizen science projects, particularly if training is remote and observer quality varies widely, but projects often collect so much data that bias remains low.
The future of bird monitoring will rely heavily on continued contributions of data from citizen scientists.