Environmental Issues and Citizen Science

Read the attached peer reviewed journal article and type a research paper relating what you have learned in Unit 4 on environmental issues, advocacy, environmental justice/ethics, and citizen science to the information provided in the research article in APA 6th edition format. Information on parts of the research article which do not address environmental issues or population should not be discussed. You should not have any direct quotes as paraphrasing is preferred in APA format. Citations are needed in the body of the paper. You do need a cover page. You do not need an abstract. You do need a reference page with a minimum of three academic scholarly peer reviewed journal articles. See attached rubric. Papers will be submitted to turnitin to check for plagiarism. Instructor will assign grades for individual assignment submissions within two weeks of due date. Students can access the completed rubrics by clicking on their name in the top right corner next to their profile picture and selecting progress. Below is the information provided about research papers on the syllabus: You can anticipate being assigned an environmental topic related to the unit. An example of a credible academic journal article on a selected environmental topic related to each unit within the course will be provided in the assignment folder. You should then find three or more academic scholarly peer reviewed journal articles and write a three page paper synthesizing the article content to the textbook, supplemental readings, and videos from the current unit and from your own background knowledge. If you cite any sources, APA 6th edition format is to be followed, and a reference page attached. The cover page and the reference page is in addition to the 3 page requirement. You should have a cover page. You do not need an abstract. Format margins, font style, and spacing according to APA 6th edition format.




Environmental Issues and Citizen Science

Environmental Issues and Citizen Science

Over a decade ago, the environment exuded lush green vegetation and complete ecological systems that created a conducive habitat favorable for all species and organisms throughout their lifecycle. Today, the natural ecosystem is under rapid exploitation due to human-induced and naturally occurring activities such as the destruction of natural resources for human settlements, farming, and construction. Encroachment of animals and plants’ natural habitat leads to the displacement of species leading to the decline of the existing species and organisms that are crucial to the ecological system. Increased legal, regulatory frameworks and research should curb environmental issues, advocate for threatened species as well as facilitate environmental justice and citizen science.

Now more than ever, species are at risk of extinction due to the rapid destruction of their natural habitats for human settlement, farming construction.  Human encroachment interferes with the life cycle of animals and plants (Alistair, Dana, & Bent, 2003). As invade natural habitats, they exploit pesticides, herbicides in the environment that are essential in the metamorphosis and development of plants and animals. In the recent past, the hummingbird has become an endangered species as its habitat is at risk of destruction. Hummingbird is a pollinator that plays a vital role in the genetic diversity of indigenous plant populations. It has a long beak that facilitates full penetration and sucking of the pollen grains. The number has been steadily declining since 1966. As a result, citizen scientists are sensitizing people at a scope and scale beyond the capacity of a research workshop to collect, organize and data extensively. Citizen researchers are using digital technology, such as social media, to reach a wider network of people to incorporate multiple fields to conduct comprehensive research (Stepenuck & Green, 2015). Through research citizens, scientists will unearth whether human encroachment and changes in vegetation cover displace or scare hummingbirds, especially rufous hummingbirds that are on the verge of extinction.

Rufous hummingbirds are widely spread and common in North Africa. These are the fastest birds in the bird kingdom. They traverse across continents during breeding and wintering period. The hummingbird is a crucial part of the ecological system as they pollinate all year round while most of the birds pollinate seasonally. Capitalizing on the beauty of the hummingbird is pertinent so that we can advocate for mechanisms to address, mitigate or curb emanating problems facing the hummingbird. Moving forward, research conducted by citizen researchers in conjunction with volunteer students should provide viable solutions to reduce the drastic decline of hummingbirds.

Collaborative efforts between students and researchers in the citizen research should address some of the endearing questions, such as which the forest covers attract numerous hummingbirds, their visitation rate based on the surrounding environment, and their local flower preferences (Stepenuck & Green, 2015). The findings of this research will address the recent decline and facilitate the implementation of environmental regulations that abide by the nature and lifecycle of hummingbirds. This research also sheds light on the importance of pollination in the food chain, the potential effects of the decline in the population of pollinators, methods employed in the study of hummingbirds, value and essence of citizen science.

Through empirical research, scientists were able to observe the population distribution of hummingbirds in different landscapes cover. In the experimentation phases, students used a hummingbird feeder to monitor nectar consumption to identify the abundance of hummingbirds in an area (Stepenuck & Green, 2015). The experiments also captured environmental preference based on nectar consumption. Based on the research findings, it is evident that hummingbirds are numerous forested areas than developed or construction sites.

Students who participate in this research gain foundational knowledge on the relationship between genetics, evolution, and ecological standards.  Understanding these concepts is fundamental in the integration and implementation of environmental justice to facilitate and advocate for policies that meet the ecological, genetic modification and evolutional nature of the pollinators (Van & Martin, 2012) Based on this research, it was evident that hummingbirds have distinct genetic variations with diverse adaptations that allow them to fill different ecological niches. Students also learned about the structural features of the flower such as flowers has many structures, each with a distinct role in growth and reproduction. This research also highlighted that genetic trait are dependent on the fundamental makeup and are dominant in the offspring through reproductions. Most importantly, rufous hummingbirds play a vital role in the ecosystem, and its biodiversity plays a central role in all species, including human beings. This research sought to devise clear frameworks and regulations to curb the declining Rufuos hummingbird population.

Students and citizens should take time and connect with nature through citizen research regardless of their experience and resources. Organizing, collecting and analyzing specimens contribute patent data to conduct an extensive project that has the potential to shape or influence environmental conservation policies, frameworks, and mechanisms. In conclusion, it is our collective responsibility to minimize the encroachment of natural habitats to reduce the disruption of the ecosystem and harness biodiversity stability for sustainable growth and development in the future.


Alistair, B., Dana, K., & Bent, H.-S. (2003). Are VETERINARY. Peer-reviewed: are veterinary medicines causing environmental risks? 286A-294A.

Daniel, V., Bennett, D., Thompson, C., Anderson, B., & Suk, W. (1999). Creating Multidisciplinary Research Opportunities. Environmental Science& Technology, 221A-244A.

Stepenuck & Green, L. (2015). Individual- and community-level impacts of volunteer environmental. Ecology and Society, 20(3).

Van, S., & Martin, F. (2012). Martin. Environmental Science & Technology, 3-9.








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