Friday, September 8, 2017

A quest: Citizen Science in Geosciences?

by Martin Bohle
Martin Bohle

Corresponding Citizen Scientist / IAPG 

Picture credit:
Sven Hedin, sculpture by Carl Milles, photo taken at Millesgarden;

At the EGU General Assembly (Vienna) in April 2017 my contribution "Citizen-science, Geoethics and Human Niche" concluded that geosciences should strengthen their citizen science activities.

I like to prepare an updated view for the EGU General Assembly 2018*. Therefore, I seek information about citizen science projects / activities in geosciences; beyond geography.
In 2017 my argumentation has been:
  • The application case for geoethics 'appropriate behaviours and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system' is about niche building. 
  • 'Niche building' means the design of production systems and consumption patterns that embeds geoscience expertise and relates it to citizens' daily life; They are purposefully interconnecting to the biogeosphere for well-being, care taking, and reproduction, although habitually i) without involving a geoscientist in professional capacity, and ii) knowing about the interconnection. In this manner, the everyday behaviours and practices of people influence Earth system dynamics, their inherent geoscience knowledge is a public good, and their ignorance is a public risk. 
  • Subsequently, I argued: when considering the ethical dimensions of global niche building, then the geosciences should feature 'citizen geoscience'. 
Considering practices, citizen science activities seem to be a very limited undertaking in geosciences, as initial evidence suggests:
  • Kullenberg and Kasperowski(1) estimate that less than 5% of citizen science projects are in geosciences.  
  • Searching google scholar (5/4/2017) for 'citizen geoscience' showed two entries(2). 
  • Searching the programme for the EGU General Assembly gave a short list of contributions(3). 
In 2018 I like to present at the EGU General Assembly, in the session on Geoethics*, an overview about citizen science projects/activities in geosciences.

Please help me to find these projects and activities.

(1): Kullenberg, Christopher; Kasperowski, Dick, 2016. What is Citizen Science – A Scientometric Meta-Analysis, 2016. PLOS one, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147152.

(2): i) Powell, John; Nash, Gemma; Bell, Patrick, 2013. GeoExposures: documenting temporary geological exposures in Great Britain through a citizen-science web site, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 124 (4), 638-647, DOI: 10.1016/j.pgeola.2012.04.004;   ii) Wardlaw, Jessica 2015, 'Mars Rocks – introducing a citizen science project'. EGU-blog,

(3): Citizen Science at EGU 2017: 
  • Session IE2.1/NH9.19/ESSI3.12 Media: Citizen science and observatories for environmental monitoring, planning, and disaster resilience building; 
  • EGU2017-18275: Timing and duration of autumn leaf development in Sweden, a 4-year citizen science study;
  • EGU2017-17841: Challenges of citizen science contributions to modelling hydrodynamics of floods; 
  • EGU2017-13449:  Developing citizen science projects: Cut twigs for ‘chilling’ pupils; 
  • EGU2017-8662: Citizen Science for Traffic Planning: A Practical Example; 
  • EGU2017-17740:The PACA Project: Creating Synergy Between Observing Campaigns, Outreach and Citizen Science; 
  • EGU2017-8102: New possibilities in hydrological monitoring offered by experiences of Citizen Science: CITHYD, a web application for hydrometric measurements in rivers; 
  • EGU2017-3723: Creating a testing field where delta technology and water innovations are tested and demonstrated with the help of citizen science methods; EGU2017-7778: Reducing tick bite risk in Finland – combining citizen science and GIS for predictive modelling of tick occurrence; 
  • EGU2017-5220: Immersive participation: Smartphone-Apps and Virtual Reality - tools for knowledge transfer, citizen science and interactive collaboration; 
  • EGU2017-3310: Climate research, citizen science and art in Bangladesh; 
  • EGU2017-15595: Eco-drifters for a dispersion experiment at the mouth of the River Arno: the citizen-science contribution; 
  • EGU2017-3593: Can remote sensing help citizen-science based phenological studies?

* "Geoethics: ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience knowledge, education, research, practice and communication", organized by the IAPG in the "Educational and Outreach Symposia (EOS)" group of sessions. Convenership: Silvia Peppoloni, Nic Bilham, Martin Bohle, Giuseppe Di Capua, Eduardo Marone; The call for abstracts will be open in October 2017.

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics