Lakes, Labs and Learning:

How an Environmental DNA Citizen Science Project Makes Sense for High School Students, Researchers and Environmental Managers


  • Uffe Wilken


Environmental DNA, citizen science, environmental monitoring, outreach, high schools, science education, molecular methods


Citizen science (CS) is a fairly new concept where ordinary citizens contribute to scientific research. At the Natural History Museum of Denmark, a successful pilot CS project was followed up by an actual full-scale project. As part of their curricula, high-school students learned and tested newly developed environmental DNA (eDNA) working methods on lake water to document which fish, amphibians, insects, crayfish and mammals were living in the lakes. Initially CS was met with scepticism by researchers but now CS is becoming more visible among researchers as well as environmental managers and STEM educators.

Author Biography

Uffe Wilken


Uffe Wilken, M. Sc., is a Danish geochemist who has worked as a science writer/communicator for the last 17 years for private organizations, government agencies and research centers. Although the present article is about a Danish project, Mr. Wilken’s main focus is on science and nature in the Arctic and Southeast Asia.