Retention and Efficacy of Citizen Scientist Volunteers of the Texas Quail Index

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This paper discusses volunteer retention and efficacy for the Texas Quail Index.

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7 p.

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Reyna, Kelly S. & Rollins, Dale July 25, 2017.

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This paper is part of the collection entitled: UNT Scholarly Works and was provided by UNT College of Arts and Sciences to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 39 times . More information about this paper can be viewed below.

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This paper discusses volunteer retention and efficacy for the Texas Quail Index.

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7 p.

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Abstract: The Texas Quail Index (TQI) was a 5-year, science-based project that utilized citizen scientists to collect data in the field, including 5 indices of bobwhite abundance in the spring, and 3 indices of bobwhite abundance in the fall. Over the course of the study, 84% of all volunteers dropped out of the program and <8% of all data sets were complete. Accordingly, we surveyed the volunteers by mail to determine the rate and cause of participation decline and to identify characteristics of a reliable volunteer. Results indicated that annual volunteer participation rate declined more rapidly as time and labor requirements increased. Similarly, 74.3% of survey respondents who dropped out of the study reported leaving because the project required too much time and work. Motives may have contributed to the volunteer attrition as 72% of volunteers joined the program to learn more about quail management; however 71% of those that left the program reported not gaining knowledge in that area. We recommend that project designs, for citizen-science projects, should incorporate the motives of volunteers and recruit those whose motives best align with project goals. We also recommend that citizen-science coordinators keep volunteer tasks short and within the interest of the volunteer, to increase retention. Finally, we recommend stipends for volunteers on large-scale, laborious projects.

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  • Joint Quail Conference of the 23rd Annual National Bobtail Technical Committee Meeting and Eighth National Quail Symposium, July 25-28, 2017. Knoxville, Tennessee

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  • Publication Title: National Quail Symposium Proceedings 8
  • Volume: 8
  • Pages: 254-260

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  • July 25, 2017

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  • Dec. 14, 2017, 11:26 a.m.

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Reyna, Kelly S. & Rollins, Dale. Retention and Efficacy of Citizen Scientist Volunteers of the Texas Quail Index, paper, July 25, 2017; Knoxville, Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1049724/: accessed July 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.