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Citizen Scientists Negotiating Politics and Policy: Strategies and Outcomes for Volunteer Water Quality Programs

This study uses interview and participant observation data from five volunteer water quality programs in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region to assess strategies utilized in achieving monitoring goals.

Goals articulated by participants in these programs are fairly straightforward, i.e. “I want to protect the water.”

In practice, however, protecting the water may not be as straightforward as it sounds. 

Volunteer monitoring programs are enmeshed in a network of political jurisdictions and regulatory agencies that may be more or less receptive to working with them and whose efforts may facilitate or constrain the impact of the program’s work.