Law and Policy Working Group

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Welcome to the Law and Policy Working Group

Citizen science is used for a wide array of outcomes (see Data Use Spectrum below). These outcomes have historically focused on awareness raising and educating communities as well as scientific research as a means to determine the baseline health of people and their environment. Today, citizen science outcomes are increasingly expanding beyond education and research into influencing management and regulatory decisions and initiating new regulatory standards and legal enforcement through citizen suits. This working group was formed to focus efforts on understanding and disseminating information relating to the law and policy outcomes of citizen science. As such, the working group has identified two primary themes to guide the activities of the group:

  1. Laws and Policies that Shape Citizen Science and
  2. Using Citizen Science to Influence Law and Policy.
Spectrum of Citizen Science Data Use
Source: A vision for Citizen Science at EPA, NACEPT, December 2016

The Group’s Intent

The group is intended to be inclusive and diverse, connected and engaged locally, nationally, and globally, and to address the needs of the citizen science community. Key objectives of the group include but are not limited to:

  1. Evaluate federal and state laws/ regulations relevant to citizen science
  2. Identify settings and models to link citizen data to government agency decisions and actions
  3. Provide a forum for projects focused on informing policies or public action
  4. Highlight emerging legal/regulatory concerns of the citizen science community

If you’d like more information about this working group, please contact us at or sign up on our member page. We’d also welcome your thoughts and ideas on how this working group might benefit the citizen science community, please provide your feedback in the following form (also available HERE).