April 8, 2019 /
Jona Elwell

What is Citizen Science and Why it’s Critical to Our Work

Citizen science is the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world. At Casey Trees our citizen science volunteers traverse the city collecting and documenting tree data that will be used to advance the field of urban forestry. Taking tangible actions to help local scientific organizations (like us!) is an easy and satisfying way to contribute.

Citizen scientists are critical parts of collecting all kinds of data and information about our city’s trees – mainly through our Inventories where we measure and survey trees in a particular park or place. The purpose of these inventories is to gather accurate information that can be used to manage our community forest and prioritize tree maintenance needs. We can’t protect our current trees and plan for new ones if we don’t know the health and make up of our current urban forest.


We use the data our staff and citizen scientists collect during inventories, iTree Ecosystem Analysis and other studies to not only map all the trees and canopy in our city, but to help influence how our advocates fight for change.

Helping us inventory trees is a great way to spend time outside while contributing to our wealth of tree knowledge. We have plenty of inventories all spring and summer – even one on Arbor Day! Participating directly is a great way to give back to your community and contribute to the importance and integrity of science and scientific data.