ICRS 2016

The ICRS is the primary international meeting focused on coral reef science and management. The event brings together an anticipated 2,500 coral reef scientists, policy makers and managers from 70 different nations in a forum to present and discuss the application of scientific knowledge to achieving coral reef sustainability.
The theme of the 13th ICRS is “Bridging Science to Policy”, focusing on improving stakeholder partnerships, trust, and communications; identifying strategic investment in reef conservation; and evaluating protection and rehabilitation outcomes. Citizen science features in the topics for discussion.
Citizen Science” is a broadly-defined approach to engaging people from various backgrounds in scientific activities. Participation may include monitoring, data collection, analysis, outreach or training, but at the core of these efforts is a focus on educating participants and promoting an understanding of critical issues. Coral reef managers and researchers, often faced with limited resources and the need to enhance public awareness and support for their efforts, may implement citizen science programs to address these concerns. Such programs have the potential to vastly increase monitoring capacity, data collection, and analysis, while simultaneously providing participants with a greater understanding of the need for the activity and an impetus to advocate the issue before their peers and community. But the emergence of citizen science in coral reef research and management generates questions such as:
  • How effective and efficient are citizen science programs?
  • Do they provide measurable value?
  • Can we identify best practices?
  • How will citizen science evolve – what role should it play? what’s next?
  • Could standardized approaches help address bigger, global questions?

Poster Session:

Oral Presentation Session:
Wednesday 22 June, 11:30 - 12:45 (Room 305 A/B)

In connection with Session 88: "Citizen Science in Support for Coral Reef Protection and Sustainability", we invite meeting attendees to a special town hall forum to share their experiences as an organizer, scientist, and/or participant in citizen science activities and to learn from each other. Along with our formal paper and poster sessions, this open dialog will use a series of interactive discussion groups and sharing sessions to engage citizen science stakeholders in dialogue on critical topics to elevate citizen science to the next level. Key outcomes will be gathered in a discussion paper as a post-conference resource. 

  • What coral reef science, management or conservation needs can benefit from citizen science?
  • What are the biggest challenges for citizen science and how should we address them?
  • How can citizen science projects be effectively mobilised in response to important short term marine based issues (e.g., the 2016 global bleaching event)?
  • Should a global community of practice for coral reef citizen science be established? How?
  • How are citizen science contributions measured and how can their impacts be enhanced?

Share your case study

  • We are seeking case studies that help showcase how organisations and projects have addressed some of these questions. Share your case study for potential inclusion in the Townhall session or for the online library. 
  • SUBMIT your case study by June 10 to be considered for inclusion in the Townhall session.

For more information about this event, contact Karsten Shein, NOAA, Karsten.Shein@noaa.gov.