Questions and Answers

Through the Citizen Science Association Law & Policy Working Group, the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School has volunteered to make its students available to answer questions about relevant laws and policies raised by citizen science projects. The questions below were submitted through the working group’s question submission form.  We will periodically post answers to submitted questions on this page.

The answers below are provided for educational purposes only. Clinic students are not practicing attorneys. By answering questions, Clinic students are not providing legal advice, acting as your attorney, or serving as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Their answers to submitted questions do not create an attorney-client relationship or a commitment to answer additional questions. Communications between individuals using the question submission form and the Clinic’s students are not protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine. Readers should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.

1. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and Citizen Science (Nov. 2019).

2. Legal Issues with Automatic Trail Cameras (Nov. 2019).

3. Legal Issues with Photography by Kites and Balloons (Nov. 2019).

4. Tort Claims against Citizen Scientists (Feb. 2020).

5. Quality Assurance Project Plans (Feb. 2020).

6. Defamation Claims against Citizen Scientists (Feb. 2020).

7. Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (Dec. 2020).


Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.