Are you interested in collaborating with Kitizen Science? Wonderful! First, please read this page, as well as the rest of our website, especially the pages on our mission and research questions, how Kitizen Science works and our page on the existing evidence about spay/neuter.
We don't have the funding to take on additional locations, so this page is for potential future information only.
While we want our population monitoring program to be useful to you as an individual group, the knowledge we can build collectively is even more valuable. Whether your spay/neuter efforts are demonstrated to be highly impactful or less impactful than you hoped, understanding the factors behind either scenario will help everyone learn how to do more of what works and less of what doesn't work. There are truly no disappointments here, only learning experiences.
Kitizen Science’s priority is conducting long-term, controlled field experiments of targeted free-roaming cat spay/neuter programs by using rigorous methods for cat population monitoring. Each of these components will help us gather and analyze high quality data so we can draw the most accurate conclusions. Our partner organizations need to be able to comply with our research requirements explained below.
You need to agree to work with us for 6 years. Free-roaming cat populations don't change overnight. If we only collect data for a short period and then your organization leaves our partnership or ceases spay/neuter work in your target area, the monitoring data has no research value and we have lost the time, money, and effort we put into collecting and analyzing it. Please carefully consider whether your organization has the budget to maintain your spay/neuter program for a number of years.
We need to define a target area (like a zip code) where you will be focusing your spay/neuter efforts, and a control area (a similar place you are not targeting). We need to analyze whether the cat population size in your target area is changing due to your efforts, or if it could be attributed to something else impacting your town/region, such as a natural disaster, changes in animal control policies, or an especially harsh winter.
We need your target area to be fairly new territory for focused spay/neuter. We want to follow the progress of a targeted spay/neuter effort over time to see how the free-roaming cat population size changes. If you have already sterilized many of the cats in an area and potentially stabilized or decreased the population, there is less of an effect to detect.
You need to engage in basic data sharing with Kitizen Science. We don't need your private medical or colony records, but we need you to send us summaries of the cats you sterilize and return to your target area (and any that accidentally came from your control area). We will likewise share our data with you.
You are responsible for recruiting reliable local volunteers for a data collection period each spring/summer. Volunteers use our app to follow assigned walking routes for approximately 2-2.5 hours and photograph cats. These volunteers need to be self-starters capable of working without direct supervision, own and feel comfortable using a modern smartphone, and be physically able to walk for 2-2.5 hours. Depending on the size of your target and control areas, and how many days each volunteer can commit to volunteering, this could require 20 people, or it could require multiple times that number. Likewise, the data collection time period needed depends on volunteer availability, and could be a week, or could be several weeks. This is a great opportunity for local volunteers who want to help your organization occasionally, but cannot commit to regular shifts.
If you feel like your organization can work with our requirements for collaboration, please email email@example.com.