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Testing the waters in Negril

What it's all about

A citizen scientist is a volunteer who collects or processes data for scientific research. Because limited funding and human resources discourage the implementation of research that involves large geographical areas or time spans, citizen science has gone from a valuable contribution to a necessary component of scientific research. It became, with its low cost and readily available free manpower, ideal for large spatial and temporal scale studies. Of value in the early detection of invasive species and the production of datasets that generate mega-ecology research, citizen science is also a tangible, active learning process that focuses on community. Online citizen science research activities include human computation, data research and biodiversity monitoring. 
Water quality monitoring is part of the planning phase in restoration projects.  Testing the waters in Negril is a citizen science project undertaken in three separate steps, the first consisting of a visual assessment. In a second step, volunteer water quality monitoring will determine areas in need of further sampling, as well as restoration priorities and possibilities. In a final step, participants will gather water samples from specified GPS points, in order to perform more sophisticated water quality tests, such as PCR for microbial source tracking.

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