Engaging diverse citizen scientists for environmental health: Recommendations from participants and promotoras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Environmental health citizen science (CS) offers a strategy for historically disenfranchised community members to inform research questions, collect and analyze data, and draw conclusions about contaminants in their local environments to inform local action. In this study, direct feedback from demographically diverse participants and promotoras (community health workers) in a co-created environmental health CS project informs understanding of CS participant motivation, support, and barriers to participation. Study findings reflect a lack of association between participant self-efficacy and race, income, or education level, respectively; however specific types of motivation, participation support, and barriers to participation were found to be more relevant among participants of certain demographic groups or communities compared to others. These findings inform the following recommendations for engaging diverse CS participants: 1) Consider existing relationships and community-identified problems as participant motivation, 2) Design participant methods to include personal support structures and relationship-building, and, 3) Design for participant time and technology access as significant limitations to participation. These findings serve to inform best practices in environmental health CS, as well CS project design for diverse participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalCitizen Science: Theory and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Citizen science
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Demographics
  • Diversity
  • Environmental health
  • Inclusive design
  • Promotora
  • Water contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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