Volunteers in Malacology
Anna Holmes (National Museum Wales, Cardiff UK)
Ben Rowson (National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, UK)
Malacological research has always depended on the contributions of unpaid volunteers. Whether such people are called amateurs, enthusiasts, citizen scientists, collectors, data-miners or indeed aspiring professionals, the work of volunteers past and present remains integral to malacology today.
Assistance from local communities is often vital to monitoring or recording projects that require many eyes on the ground. Online technologies using image-sharing have revolutionised identification and data collection, and broadened participation. Volunteering at institutes like museums remains a mutually rewarding activity. In some settings, publicly-funded research funding is increasingly tied to community outreach and engagement. Knowing one’s audience and how to engage them is as important as an understanding of the limits of volunteer work. Learning from those who have experienced and learned from this practice is invaluable.
This symposium welcome presentations on any aspect of malacological research involving the contributions of volunteers.