Native Bee Watch Community Science – Adult Education Research Internship

Pollinator populations are declining worldwide, partly due to urbanization and habitat loss. Bees, specifically, are crucial for sustainable ecosystems, necessitating the need to strengthen efforts in public awareness and engagement to mitigate continued declines. Native Bee Watch (NBW) is a community science program offered through CSU Extension that trains and supports volunteers to identify and monitor bees. As a multi-disciplinary collaboration, NBW’s overarching goal is to create a ripple effect of engagement and education based on ecological and social science research.
The NBW Adult Education Research Internship will contribute to the ongoing social science research to improve and build the program, thereby extending its reach and impact. The current research has two goals: 1) Evaluate and evolve the current education program for bee monitoring volunteers, and 2) assess the effects of the design changes from (1) on the social and scientific factors of monitoring, including volunteer skills and confidence, scientific process and understanding, and quantity and quality of data. Results from this research will not only improve the volunteer experience but will also improve the accuracy of the data collected by volunteers, leading to higher quality ecological research on bees.
This student will support this research by 1) participating in NBW team meetings, 2) ask a research question based on data being collected, 2) participate in data collection that may include surveys, interviews, social media work, etc. 3) analyze data, 4) share results that may include presentations, informal science writing, and a peer-reviewed journal article.

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