Earthwatch Europe is an environmental NGO that uses citizen science to engage people around the fundamental problems facing society today and facilitate a world where we live sustainably. Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific research. Citizen scientists can contribute to any stage of the scientific process, though most collect data. Earthwatch Europe has 2 large scale citizen science projects operating in the UK:
- Tiny Forest (www.tinyforest.earthwatch.org.uk) – Tiny Forests are small (200m2) Miyawaki forests planted across the urban gradient. The aim of the project is to assess the potential of Miyawaki forests as an urban nature-based solution – there are lots of claims about Miyawaki forests but few are supported by data, and establish a network of living laboratories for researchers to use to study key questions in urban green infrastructure design and function. As of April 2023, 214 Tiny Forests have been planted across the UK, and the network is continuing to grow. Citizen scientists monitor 4 topic areas: biodiversity support, carbon storage, thermal comfort and flood mitigation. Tiny Forest is also interested in the social benefits (i.e. nature connectedness and well-being) and effectiveness of different engagement methods.
- FreshWater Watch (https://www.freshwaterwatch.org/) - empowers groups all around the world to measure the health of their rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, wetlands and reservoirs. The resulting data provides the robust evidence needed to support efforts to improve water quality. Since it began in 2012 over 36,145 data sets have been submitted globally, recording nutrient levels, turbidity and visual observations of the local environment.
If you would like to use these projects for your research or hear about other opportunities at Earthwatch looking at the science of citizen science, please contact Sasha Woods – email@example.com
Earthwatch wishes to support the DTP through co-supervision of projects, and provision of training.