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PPSR Inventory Study Information Sheet

Studying Citizen Science Programs in Northern California

This is a research study conducted by Dr. Heidi Ballard and her graduate students from the School of Education and funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. We would like to ask you to participate in this important study, so we want you to know you have the right to know about the procedures, risks, and benefits of the research study.

Participating in research is your choice and voluntary. If you decide to take part, you can change your mind later and leave the study. No matter what decision you make, there will be no penalty to you.

If you decide to take part in this study, you can decide to stop at any time. The researcher may withdraw you from participating in this research if circumstances arise which warrant doing so, even if you would like to continue.

Please take your time to make your decision.


Our study goals are to build an inventory of PPSR, or citizen science, projects in Northern California that contribute to Environmental Education, to identify essential elements, assets, and impacts of these programs, and to build research tools (like surveys) that will help further understanding of PPSR participants’ experiences. We also aim to provide opportunities for PPSR practitioners to collaborate with each other and provide feedback to the Researcher, building a network of programs and set of best practices with which to expand the reach of PPSR for environmental education. About 200 people will take part in this study overall.

You are being asked to take part in this study because you participate in some aspect of a PPSR project in Northern California.

If you decide to participate in this study, you will be asked to (1) answer questions from a short survey, (2) participate in a short phone interview, and/or (3) to participate in a meeting of PPSR practitioners in which you will share information about the PPSR project you are involved with, and allow members of our research team to observe and audio-record the meeting.


There is minimal risk to participating in this study.


You may not benefit from taking part in this research, though you may benefit from reflecting on your experiences in PPSR. The information we get from this study may help us to improve nature and environmental education programs for adults, as well as improve the opportunities for people to participate in environmental science that can contribute to better conservation and stewardship practices in California.


There is no cost to you beyond the time and effort required to complete the procedure(s) described above.


We will do our best to make sure that your personal information will be kept confidential. However, we cannot guarantee total privacy. To minimize the risks of a breach of confidentiality, we will:

(1) create a spreadsheet using a code or pseudonym for every person who participates in the study;

(2) maintain the code sheet roster in a password protected electronic file;

(3) digital audio files from interviews are used only for analysis by the investigators and will not be heard by anyone other than the investigators. Digital audio files will be transferred from the recorder onto the computer and will be stored in a password-protected, electronic file for transcription and analysis. The digital audio files will be destroyed upon the completion of the research project.

Designated University officials, including the Institutional Review Board, have the authority to review research records.

If information from the study is published or presented at scientific meetings, your name and other personal information will not be used.


You will not be paid for taking part in this study.


If you have questions, please ask us. You can talk to the researcher about any questions or concerns you have about this study at:

Heidi Ballard, at phone number 530-759-1202, or by email: hballard@ucdavis.edu.

Colin Dixon: cghdixon@ucdavis.edu.

For questions about your rights while taking part in this study call the Institutional Review Board at (916) 703-9167 or write to IRB Administration, CTSC Building, Suite 1400, Room 1429, 2921 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95817. Information to help you understand research is on-line at: www.research.ucdavis.edu/IRBAdmin.