Promoting Water Stewardship Through Citizen Science with Water Rangers
Water Rangers uses citizen science to acquire baseline data for water bodies across Canada by giving and selling testkits to volunteers across Canada. This project will explore who is most likely to take part in water testing, what engagement strategies reduce dropout rates, and how testing water increase environmental concern by changing values and people’s connection with nature. Using a mixed method approach involving surveys and interview questions, 275 participants will be recruited. They will receive a free tiny testkit, a subsidized mini testkit or borrow a large testkit. Three different engagement strategies using reminder emails, social proof principles, and gamification principles will be tested. The surveys will help build a profile of participants, understand how testing the water impacted their values and their relationship to their local watershed. Finally, some participants will be interviewed to get a deeper understanding of what motivated them to test water. Overall the project will help Water Rangers understand how to focus their resources when recruiting participants, reduce dropout rates, and how their work can train people to be better water stewards.