COBWEB Project Status


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Presented by Chris Higgins, COBWEB project manager, at the Dyfi Biosphere Partnership Annual meeting, 15 May 2013, Machynlleth, Wales.

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  • Month 6 of 48 This is a research project and debate within consortium about whether we will produce production strength outputs or not Concept of citizen science very relevant here
  • Two units within Welsh Gov involved: Scientific Evidence and Assessment Branch (Aberystwyth) dealing with policy Geography & Technology, Knowledge Services (Cardiff) dealing with data
  • Most progress to date in 2.
  • User requirements work led primarily by ENVSYS and Ecodyfi
  • Ingredients include: Enthusiastic individuals Dyfi Biosphere Partnership The infrastructure provided by the MAB Wales Institute Sustainable Education/CAT A cooperative Government in a country small enough for the key individuals to know each other Local university Citizen science defn (UKEOF) “volunteer collection of biodiversity and environmental data which contributes to expanding our knowledge of the natural environment, including biological monitoring and the collection or interpretation of environmental observations” .
  • Contributory projects – designed by professional scientists; members of the public primarily contribute data. Collaborative projects - designed by professional scientists; members of the public contribute data and inform the way in which the questions are addressed, analyze data and disseminate findings. Co-created projects - designed by professional scientists and members of the public working together and for which some of the volunteer participants are involved in most or all steps of the scientific process.
  • COBWEB Project Status

    1. 1. COBWEB Project StatusDyfi Biosphere Reserve Annual Meeting,15thMay, 2013Chris HigginsProject
    2. 2. Citizen Observatory Web• 4 year research project• Crowdsourced environmental data to aiddecision making• Introduce quality measures and reduceuncertainty• Combine crowdsourced data with existingsources of data
    3. 3. Crowdsourcing & citizen science• Data collection conducted by amateurs• The involvement of volunteers in science
    4. 4. Project Partners
    5. 5. What are we going to build?• A number of demonstrator mobile phoneapplications– Exactly what, deliberately left open andsubject to discussion with stakeholders• 3 subject areas:1. Earth observation2. Biological monitoring3. Flooding
    6. 6. Design approach• Top down– Work underway from the technical team• Bottom up– Collecting user requirements• How citizen science can benefit the area• What citizen science can deliver– Local engagement by;
    7. 7. Benefits of COBWEB to the Dyfi Biosphere Reserve• Brings resources into the area• Raises the profile of the Dyfi area• COBWEB - establish area as acentre of expertise in:– Crowdsourcing andCitizen science– Use of such data forbetter environmentalgovernance
    8. 8. What would we like from you?• Help us understand volunteer motivations• Talk to us, help us get a measure of the levelof awareness of the possibilities, the kinds ofprojects we might enable, etc.