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Exploring Engagement Characteristics and Behaviours of Environmental Volunteers

Seymour, V. ORCID: 0000-0001-8264-3875 and Haklay, M. H. (2017). Exploring Engagement Characteristics and Behaviours of Environmental Volunteers. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 2(1), 5.. doi: 10.5334/cstp.66

Abstract

Environmental volunteering and environmental citizen science projects both have a pivotal role in civic participation. However, one of the common challenges is recruiting and retaining an adequate level of participant engagement to ensure the sustainability of these projects. Thus, understanding patterns of participation is fundamental to both types of projects. This study uses and builds on existing quantitative approaches used to characterise the nature of volunteer engagement in online citizen science projects, to see whether similar participatory patterns exist in offline environmental volunteering projects. The study uses activity records of environmental volunteers from a UK environmental charity “The Conservation Volunteers,” and focuses on three characteristics linked to engagement: longevity, frequency, and distance travelled. Findings show differences in engagement patterns and contributor activity between the three UK regions of Greater London, Greater Manchester, and Yorkshire. Cluster analysis revealed three main types of volunteer engagement profiles which are similar in scale across all regions, namely participants can be grouped into “One-Session,” “Short-Term,” and “Long-Term” volunteer. Of these, the “One-Session” volunteer accounted for the largest group of volunteers.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: environmental volunteering , volunteer engagement , typologies , participatory patterns
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/21099
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