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Citizen science – in researching biodiversity

Our world is changing rapidly, and one of the new and challenging things is knowledge co-creation in the form of citizen science. So what is it?

Citizen science is a relatively new way of knowledge co-creation, where professional scientists and enthusiastic citizens collaboratively search for answers. While it certainly presents challenges, it also provides a great opportunity for both parties to engage science and nature together, and ultimately, can result in transformative societal changes.

This video showcases the different levels of participation available, and the advantages of, citizen science when researching biodiversity, by illustrating it with a compelling and intimate visual journey through the seas to the backyard.

The research for this film was initiated and financially supported by ALTER-Net, Europe’s ecosystem research network of excellence, within its AHIA program.

The video was created by Hanna Carlson and Bori Mészáros.

Sources used in the video:

Bela, G., Peltola, T., Young, J. C., Balázs, B., Arpin, I., Pataki, G., Hauck, J., Kelemen, E., Kopperoinen, L., Van Herzele, A., Keune, H., Hecker, S., Suškevičs, M., Roy, H. E., Itkonen, P., Külvik, M., László, M., Basnou, C., Pino, J., and Bonn, A. 2016. Learning and the transformative potential of citizen science. Conservation Biology 30: 990–999.

Conrad, C. C. and Hilchey, K. G. 2011. A review of citizen science and community-based environmental monitoring: issues and opportunities. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 176: 273–291.

Cosquer, A., Raymond, R., and Prevot-Julliard, A-C. 2012. Observations of everyday biodiversity: A new perspective for conservation?. Ecology and Society 17(4): 2.

Devictor, V., Whittaker, R. J., and Beltrame, C. 2010. Beyond scarcity: citizen science programmes as useful tools for conservation biogeography. Diversity and Distributions 16: 354–362.

Evans, C., Abrams, E., Reitsma, R., Roux, K., Salmonsen, L., and Marra, P. P. 2005. The Neighborhood Nestwatch Program: participant outcomes of a citizen-science ecological research project. Conservation Biology 19: 589–594.

Haklay, M. 2013. Citizen Science and Volunteered Geographic Information – overview and typology of participation. In Crowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge: Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in Theory and Practice, ed. D. Z. Sui, S. Elwood, and M. F. Goodchild, 105–122. Berlin: Springer.

O’Sullivan, E., Morrel, A., and O’Connor, M. A. 2003. Expanding the boundaries of transformative learning: essays on theory and praxis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rotman, D., Preece, J., Hammock, J., Procita, K., Hansen, D., Parr, C., Lewis, D., and Jacobs, D. 2012. Dynamic changes in motivation in collaborative citizen-science projects. In Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. 217–226. New York: ACM.