Record and report what you see! Share that data with those that need it; this is called “citizen science”. We are faced with a daunting challenge which requires engaging individuals, households, communities, and changing patterns of production and consumption. We need to work as a team to increase our impact. Taking collective action creates momentum for the movement and taking part in citizen science contributes to understanding of problems and empowers us to become part of the solution.
CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECTS WE LOVE
Clean Swell & The Ocean Conservancy
The Clean Swell app helps you to easily record each item of beach litter you collect wherever you are around the world. The data you collect will instantaneously upload to Ocean Conservancy’s global ocean trash database. This data delivers a global snapshot of ocean trash, providing researchers and policymakers with insights to inform on solutions. You can also check out your clean-up history to see the impact you’ve had on making our ocean a cleaner and healthier ecosystem.
One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist, helps you identify the plants and animals around you. The app and website connect users to a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help identify observations and provide insight into their significance based on local, regional and global contexts. You can submit observations to the iNaturalist community with your ‘best guess’ for identification or with only partial taxonomy tagged, and others in the community can help verify or identify your observation. iNaturalist is a powerful tool - it is simple to navigate, intuitive and can be a great asset in an educational context. Observations uploaded to iNaturalist contribute to a database of research-quality, open source biodiversity data that scientists can draw upon to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.
iNaturalist has functionalities which allow users to create projects that bring together observations by a particular group of users, in a particular area, on a particular timescale, or related to a particular species into one place for comparison and discussion. Connect with Nature has already set up a project for UAE butterflies and dragonflies.Check it out!
A wealth of guidance and advice on using iNaturalist for biodiversity surveys, can be found on the iNaturalist website: www.inaturalist.org.
The Seek app was created by iNaturalist in partnership with WWF. Live image recognition allows users to scan wildlife and identify it in real time, which helps people improve not only their knowledge of nature but their skills in accurately recording visual observations of wildlife. Seek provides a fun and accessible way for users to unlock the secrets of the natural world around them, identify flora, fauna and fungi and discover how the biodiversity of their local ecosystem fits in the bigger picture of nature on our planet.
Zooniverse is a citizen science web portal that is home to some of the largest and most popular citizen science projects, it’s the most popular platform for people powered research. Research projects are varied across multiple fields including: Art, space, nature and climate, biology, humanities and much more. The research is made possible by volunteers with more than one million people around the world taking part and contributing in the platform. One of the amazing things about Zooniverse is that you don’t need any specialized background or expertise to take part, all you need your computer and you can participate at your own convenience. Many of the great outcomes and discoveries from Zooniverse projects have come from discussions between volunteers and researchers.
Some of our favourite projects are: