Objective: The aim of this project would be to develop an infrastructure and a trans-boundary platform supporting Citizen Science in Europe in the environmental area.
Challenge and opportunities:
I environmental monitoring, it is becoming increasingly clear that data from citizen scientists represent an invaluable complement to the data that can be collected through often expensive government-run monitoring programs. Citizen science has many additional benefits, including increased awareness of and engagement in local environmental issues. Among the most active citizen scientists, we find many school children and elderly. Elderly people engaging in citizen science are likely to enjoy a number of health and life quality improvements, in addition to the fact that they contribute in a valuable way to the environmental resilience of the community they live in.
A big challenge in harnessing the full power and potential of citizen science is to make the scientific body of knowledge accessible to them so that they can become experts in their own right on the topics of their choice. Another challenge is to funnel the interest of citizen scientists to the areas where citizen scientists are needed the most from a societal perspective.
In the Interregional BalticDiversity project, we have built a common technical platform in the Central Baltic area that could serve as a very powerful starting point for the development of a common citizen science platform in the environmental and biodiversity area.
The construction of a citizen science platform in Europe will also make large amounts of data and other resources available to small enterprises specializing in the development of apps and internet solutions for citizen scientists. One aim of the proposed project will be to engage actively with the developer community to stimulate the growth and competitiveness of such enterprises in Europe.
- A common technical platform for citizen scientists of all ages in Europe working with biodiversity and environmental data.
- Improved quality and quantity of environmental data from citizen scientists in Europe.
- Increased environmental awareness and appreciation of the trans-boundary nature of environmental issues among the general public in Europe.
- Considerably improved efficiency in participating organizations through trans-boundary collaboration
- Development of web tools for citizen scientists, in close collaboration with citizen science organizations
- Development of crowd-sourcing tools for improving quality of environmental data
- Workshops for small IT enterprises interested in developing citizen science solutions based on linked open data
- Outreach targeting school children and elderly citizen scientists