FOR AND BY THE COMMUNITY
ACER believes that engaging, educating and enabling citizens to take informed action in their own communities is essential to our being able to both mitigate and adapt to the damage caused by climate change.
As activists and educators, we understand it is critical to continue working at reducing carbon emissions, greening our cities and developing alternative energy. But we also understand it is essential—and urgent—that we begin a process of equipping citizens with the knowledge they need to help themselves at a local level. Communities across the country are already dealing with the predictable, and often horrendous, impacts of climate change. We know that preventative and preparedness action at the community level improves resiliency.
To that end, we are designing a citizen science training program with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The training is based on Participatory Action Research (PAR) in which the citizen scientists are concurrently acquiring knowledge, participating in hands-on stewardship, and conducting research. The training will take an individual through five levels necessary to become a community leader: observe and detect; measure and report; train a team; teach a group; lead a community.
Through citizen science training, community volunteers will increase their scientific literacy on topics such as ecosystem functions, weather and climate. They will use scientific protocols, identify and monitor trees, make maps with GPS technology, analyze data with Excel, and interpret changes in their environment. Community volunteers will also attend workshops and training sessions, online and in-person. The final levels of the certification, levels 4 and 5, will include training on community organizing and providing leadership on climate change adaptation.
The program is set for a spring 2017 launch and will be available to everyone across Ontario. If you’re interested in beta testing the Citizen Science training program, or being invited when it’s officially launched, please complete the form below.
ACER would like to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting the development of this project.
If you or your students have been involved in a planting, monitoring, or tree ID program with ACER since April 15th, 2016, contact Mike McMillan to enroll your group for level 1 (planting, tree ID) or level 2 (monitoring) certification.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Alice Casselman, Founding President