Innovative conservation research empowers
our community to make a difference

Community Science at Pepperwood

Pepperwood is home to a vast array of research projects that community members can take part in to support and take part in science. Our projects require many hours of meticulous setup, implementation, and data management, and this would simply not be possible without the help of our community scientists, including Pepperwood Stewards and California Naturalists. Community science is important for data collection and it is also an incredibly valuable experience for volunteers, who are able to deepen their relationship to the natural world and play an active role in protecting our local ecosystems.

Is it citizen OR community science?

Both terms refer to the same thing: public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. Through this work, people share and contribute to data monitoring and collection programs that benefit the whole community. It's a beautiful thing. So why did we transition to saying community science over the more customary citizen science?

At Pepperwood, we’re committed to our entire community and we welcome anyone who wants to participate in the science that promotes the health of our natural world. As part of our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, we have transitioned from using the term “citizen science” to the more inclusive term “community science.” No matter where a volunteer was born, or how they came to the United States, we value their contribution to our science and conservation programs. Citizenship, or the perception that a volunteer may or may not be a citizen, just isn’t a precondition to advancing science-based conservation throughout our region and beyond. We’re all in this together.

Participation in volunteer data-collection initiatives like iNaturalist, our breeding bird surveys and TeenNat, among others, are meant to be communal experiences, bringing us together as a caring community of people who are inspired by nature and want to protect it. The term community science better reflects these social and relational realities.

check out some of our projects that benefit from community science!