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Tweddle & robinson vibrant jan 13 web

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Tweddle & robinson vibrant jan 13 web

  1. 1. Citizen science at the NHMDr John Tweddle & Lucy RobinsonAngela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity
  2. 2. Natural history and citizen science = a perfect matchLong-history of voluntary involvement, esp. UKAnd currently a real convergence of scientific,policy and public interests – raised profile• Scientific level - many critical questions require large observational datasets, growing trust in data• Human level – we’re very good at observing nature, are interested and willing to get involved• Policy level – explicit recognition of the need to involve citizens in monitoring and protection• Technology is opening up new opportunities Exciting and dynamic field!
  3. 3. Citizen science at the NHM, LondonFocus on increasing our shared understanding of the UK’s biodiversity & environment >10 years expt. Techniques Motivations Expectations Research Society Practitioners
  4. 4. Contributory, adults: Bluebells• Are flowering times responding to climate change?• Is native bluebell under threat from non-native taxa?• What is the nature of the threat?• How do we manage the situation? [Dr Fred Rumsey, Dr Mark Spencer]
  5. 5. Contributory, schools: Tree School• Partnership with Cothill Education Trust• Introduction to science & scientists• Immersive experience, molecular research [Dr Della Hopkins, Dr James Tosh, Dr Fred Rumsey]
  6. 6. Co-created: the Riverflies Project • 2 million fishermen in UK • 80,000 fly fishermen – who care about ‘their’ rivers • Learning new skills in a familiar setting • On-going monitoring by this volunteer network • Providing data on river ecology and water quality [Dr Steve Brooks, Bridget Peacock, Dr Gill Stevens]
  7. 7. Co-created: the UK Species Inventory• Partnership with voluntary recording sector – taxonomic expertise, practitioners• Two-way knowledge sharing and UK biodiversity research...citizen science? [Chris Raper, Dr John Tweddle, Charles Hussey]
  8. 8. Crowd-sourcing environmental understanding OPAL www.opalexplorenature.org• UK’s most ambitious programme to date• 2007-2013, £14M UK Lottery funded, 15 partners• What is the state of England’s environment?• 6 contributory surveys, BioBlitzes etc• Reconnecting participants with nature• Multiple entry routes• >500,000 participants, >1 million observations• Many participants are ‘new to science’
  9. 9. Investigating data quality• Experience level, age, group size effects, variation between taxa...• Validation and verification methods• Impacts of different data capture methods Method Correct ID Incorrect ID Web upload 77 % 23 % Direct from App 43 % 57 % [Dr Poppy Lakeman-Fraser, Lucy Robinson]
  10. 10. Understanding citizen science & environmental monitoringNERC-CEH, NHM for UK-EOF partnership- Academic report- Practitioners guide Systematic review Detailed case studies Interviews with end users Motivations of volunteers Available technologies Experience-based guide [Dr Helen Roy, Dr Michael Pocock, Dr John Tweddle, Lucy Robinson and many others – thank you to all that contributed!]
  11. 11. Contributory projects Co-created projects:• Capture imagination of a broad audience • Benefit from establishment of a or appeal to an existing membership community/volunteer-led approach• Have a clear goal & methodology • All parties have a stake/adapt• Require large, dispersed datasets • Require deep, on-going commitment• Regular phenomena or watching brief • Are targeted at a specific, locally• Require large analyses suited to humans relevant problem or question One size does not fit all! There are clear roles for different approaches, participants want to interact in different ways and require different forms of support and reward...data & audience
  12. 12. Challenges / opportunities• Working smartly • Maximising science benefits • Sharing ideas: what does & doesn’t work • Joint targeting of key challenges • Presenting a consistent message • Not reinventing the wheel • Practitioner network(s)• Making the most of new technologies• Avoiding participant fatigue
  13. 13. Thank youj.tweddle@nhm.ac.ukl.robinson@nhm.ac.uk UK-EOF report: Understanding citizenscience & environmental monitoring www.ukeof.org.uk

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