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Citizen Science to Help Communities Participate in Forest Ecosystem Management (I).
Yi-Ju Yang, Ph.D.
Field Site
Guangfu Township
Publication Link
Yi-Ju Yang, Ph.D. / Publications / Publications Link
Finacial Source
Ministry of Science and Technology 
Yu-Cheng Hsu 
Research Assistants
Yeh, Yi Chen 
More and more citizens in recent years have gotten involved in the issues of socio-ecological systems, bringing about the term “citizen science”. Citizen science means well-trained people participating in scientific projects and becoming citizen scientists, who help collect data for scientists to analyze and make public. Citizen science helps community residents learn about ecosystems and their associated social institutions, gain knowledge, and increase social capital and community capacity, thus resulting in positive economic impacts and enhanced trust among the public, scientists, and land managers, and ultimately improving the capacity of thesocio-ecological community to reorganize and adapt to changes, which means increased resilience. Located in the south part of Danung-Dafu Reforestation Area, Fuxing Ecological Farm was set up in September 2012. It is run collectively by the farmers of Fuxing Community with the hope of observing the interactions between farming and ecosystems as well as the taking heed of the advantages and disadvantages of different land-use policies. In2013, National Donghua University and the farm collaboratively started conducting this citizen-science project, in which professors led farmers to recognize common animals on the farms, helped them to gradually learn about the methods of surveying and recording in order to turn them into citizen scientists on the farm, and further helped facilitate the community in participating inforest ecosystem management. The initial results of the project show that the training courses should be more flexible and the same subjects can be taught repeatedly. After practicing several times, the farmers’ ability at observing and recording can be enhanced. They accepted the species checklists, sometimes misheard the songs of animals, and usually overestimated the numbers of crop-eating birds, which they did notlike. This innovative training and monitoring model, in which scientists and community folks study together, indeed promotes community residents’ ability for surveying and recording the vertebrates in forests and helps them apply their ability at ecotourism interpretation. In this way, the social connectedness and resilience of the community can be enhanced, and the animals’ basic data, as required by the managers of forest ecosystem, can be sustainably provided.   
Guangfu Township 
Da Fu, Fu Xing, Jia li Wan, Tai Ba Lang 
Pangcah(Amis), Han, Haka 
Hualien River 
Seashore Mountain Range 
Main Keywords
Secondary Keywords
Environmental Education
environmental education citizen science