Pathway to BioTrails: DNA-Assisted Species Identification for Citizen Science: What the Project Learned About How DNA-Assisted Species Identification Might Add Value to Learning
In reflecting on what Pathway to Biotrails (“Biotrails”) learned about informal science learning, it is clear in hindsight that the project evolved into an exploration of how the important new technology of DNA-assisted species identification (“DNA barcoding”) might add value to learning in a variety of models for citizen science participant engagement. This was not the project’s initial design. But it seems to me that this “evolved” design was particularly appropriate for an exploratory, Pathways project focused on increasing our understanding of how a groundbreaking new technology might create new opportunities for citizen science learning. This report describes what we did and what we learned in the course of this exploration. It concludes with reflections and recommendations that might be useful in shaping future research.