9. Participation in citizen science

Workshop session | Chairperson: Katerina Zourou | Tuesday, 08 September 2020 | 10:00-11:30

10:00-11:30  |  9.1 Working with both 'dabblers' and 'super-users': engagement journeys and data quality

Author/s: Kate Lewthwaite, Rebecca Gosling and Janice Ansine

Presenters: Kate Lewthwaite, Rebecca Gosling, Janice Ansine

After a set of brief talks, the session moved on Zoom (no recordings)

For Kate Lewthwaite's presentation "Working with Dabblers and Superusers in the Nature's Calendar project"and superusers in th At the Woodland Trust (a UK environment charity) we have three long-term citizen science projects involving both “dabblers” and “superusers”.

· Our project “Nature’s Calendar” asks volunteers to record seasonal signs like the date when butterflies emerge. These dates feed into monitoring of the impacts of climate change.

· We aim to move people along a deepening engagement journey e.g. we encourage people who have made their first ‘Nature’s Calendar’ record to make more.

· With inexperienced ‘dabblers’, verification of records is especially important to maintain credibility and reliability of our data and consistency across volunteers with a different amount of experience.

For Rebecca Gosling's presentation "the Observatree project: superusers in citizen science" The UK’s Observatree project uses expert citizen scientists to conduct tree health surveys, which identify and record priority pests and diseases throughout the country. The tools and resources developed by the project to create super users and the benefits of these to the volunteers will be outlined. The advantages and challenges of super users will be discussed, along with how barriers to engagement for this project are identified and overcome. Lastly, some case studies will be presented to demonstrate how super users are contributing important

Janice Ansine, Senior Project Manager – Citizen Science at The Open University (OU) will present a snapshot of three successful OU-led citizen science initiatives which facilitate and extend engagement about nature with an emphasis on learning using innovative technology:

- Evolution Megalab – the first pan-European citizen science initiative focussed on recording species evolutionary trends; 

- www.iSpotnature.org (iSpot) encourages the recording observations of wildlife while learning and building species identification skills; and 

- www.Treezilla.org (Treezilla) an ambitious effort to catalogue the UK’s trees while building understanding of their ecosystem service value.

These initiatives have targeted and attracted a wide range of participants from the experience of the ‘dabbler’ to the regular returning ‘super user’ and varied experiences of the multiple range of users in between. Results from the range of user experiences, so far, will be summarised in terms of approaches used and the data generated. Impact is considered within the context of the aims of these initiatives, which support the engagement of participants as online communities, with an overarching focus on supporting participatory learning experiences around biodiversity and biological recording.


10:00-11:30  |  9.2 When participants want to do more: co-creating a community of participants

Author/s: Anne Land-Zandstra, Ilja Beudel and Liselotte Rambonnet

Presenters: Ilja Beudel, Liselotte Rambonnet

Over 400 trained citizen scientists of the Dutch Clean Rivers (Schone Rivieren) project, collect data about plastic waste on river banks during several years. Through surveys and interviews participants’ motivations, relatedness to nature, expectations, and needs are studied and also how these change during the project. Participants can be involved and contribute to the projects in different ways. Identifying local leaders, training, access to knowledge, materials or networks and diverse tasks help to keep the citizen scientists engaged and active for their shared purpose: a plastic-free Dutch river delta by 2030.

Slides: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ojd60dTr_eqSXqpVifllB1vhqNSFQwmP/view?usp=sharing 

10:00-11:30  |  9.3 A gamified participatory approach for community mapping

Author/s: Emilio Velis, Diego Torres and Gino Caballero

Presenter: Emilio Velis

This session will describe PACMAP (Participatory Approach for Community Mapping), a card game that collects perception data of participants in communities and generates a map of hazards. Through a ludic space and language, it poses questions around territoriality, social violence, the use of their time off and perceptions regarding public space. This tool involved the use of gamification for the evaluation of social community problems in four urban communities in San Salvador. It involved first-time, and non-literate participants to help them generate initial assumptions and a null hypothesis as a starting point for a participatory science program.

10:00-11:30  |  9.4 Lowering the activation energy for citizen science projects in chemistry

Author/s: Alice Motion and Claire Murray

Presenter: Alice Motion