Sarah West

Sarah West

Twitter: @SarahWest_SEI

Telephone: +44 1904 324577

Title: Senior Research Associate

Expertise: community engagement, citizen science, education, sustainable development

Centre: York

High-res photo (JPG: 8.3MB)High-res photo of Sarah West

    Sarah is a Senior Research Associate at SEI York. Her research is around citizen science and public participation in scientific research more generally.

    Sarah has been designing, running, evaluating and researching citizen science projects for nearly a decade, initially on the OPAL project which aimed to engage people from all backgrounds in science and nature through environmental surveys. Whilst working on this project Sarah completed her PhD in the Environment Department which looked at the evaluation of environmental education projects, exploring the outcomes which may take place through such projects, including environmental attitude and behavioural change, and how environmental education practitioners measure these benefits.

    Since then, Sarah has been expanding the topics and locations in which citizen science approaches are used, including through work with Parenting Science Gang, a parent-led citizen science project, and developing methods to monitor air pollution in informal settlements in Nairobi.

    She also works on the Living at Derwenthorpe project led by the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, evaluating the success of this new "sustainable community" of houses in York, by using SEI York's community footprint calculator Reap Petite (

    Sarah also enjoys working with the Centre for Lifelong Learning ( and evaluated their "Science is for Parents Too" course, funded by the Wellcome Trust. This course ran from 2012-2015 and taught parents the science their children learn at primary school, with the aim of increasing their confidence in talking about science and their abilities to help their children with science homework. This report summarises the findings from the 2013 course, gives details of the methodologies used, the results and the lessons learned from the project. 

    Download Report: Evaluation of Science is for Parents Too (PDF, 574kb) 

    The evaluation from the 2015 course can be found here: Science is for Parents Too 2015 (PDF, 1,163kb)

    Sarah was awarded her PhD in the evaluation of environmental education at the Environment Department at the University of York in March 2014. Before that she completed an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Leeds, but started off as a Geographer, gaining a BA Hons from the University of Oxford (St Peter's College) in 2005.


    Complete list of publications »