Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Amelia Moore


The use of marine citizen science in the management of marine protected areas has grown increasingly popular over the past two decades for a variety of reasons. These include increased monitoring and enforcement capacity, increased engagement with the public, and chances for increased social acceptance hopefully leading to more effective conservation overall. California has taken this a step further and included marine citizen science as part of the Marine Life Protection Act (1999) in an effort to increase public access to marine protected areas as well as access to education and information about marine protected areas and conservation in the state. This thesis examines the relationship between marine citizen science, the Marine Life Protection Act, and the environmental and social history of the central coast region of California while attempting to determine if the use of marine citizen science is increasing the equitability and accessibility to the marine protected areas of the central coast region as well as the marine citizen science programs themselves.



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