Citizens4EO

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Geography

Abstract

The overall goal of this project is to start to move the UK's Earth Observation (EO) community, i.e., those who use satellite data (and similar) about our Earth (called EO data), towards a position of much greater use of citizen science data within their projects. This means that organisations such as the Environment Agency, could ask citizens to assist them more in the work that they do. By sharing experiences and best practices we hope to be able to make more of all the satellite data that is routinely being collected about our Earth to make decisions on how best to use the resources available to us. We have seen the power of citizen science within other projects (e.g., spotting birds) and we'd like to see the EO community much more aware of this. The main output of this project is the production of a citizen science for EO (Citizens4EO) roadmap. This Citizen4EO initiative aims to provide a collective foundation of interest, identify opportunities and challenges in the citizen science arena of relevance to EO. It will produce a compelling report, showcasing case studies that should inform future developments and initiatives in EO projects using citizen science data. A broad community input will be sought that will build on previous, albeit limited, activity in this area. The role of EO data in solving societal problems from environmental through to humanitarian cannot be understated - it is the intention of this project to start to realise the full potential of EO projects in using data from citizen scientists

Technical Summary

The overall goal of this project is to start to move the UK EO community towards a position of optimal uptake in the use of citizen science data within projects that are EO data-focused. By bringing together experts and stakeholders from the EO community who are using remotely sensed data in a range of projects and perspectives with experts from the citizen science community, the ultimate output of this project is the production of a citizen science for EO (Citizens4EO) roadmap. This citizen science for EO initiative aims to provide a collective foundation of interest, identify opportunities and challenges in the citizen science arena of relevance to EO. It will produce a compelling report, showcasing case studies that should inform future developments and initiatives in EO projects using citizen science data. A broad community input will be sought that will build on previous, albeit limited, activity in this area. The role of EO data in solving societal problems from environmental through to humanitarian cannot be understated - it is the intention of this project to start to realise the full potential of EO projects in using data from citizen scientists

Planned Impact

The project's activity and outputs will transfer knowledge to those practitioners who use Earth Observation data. Bodies such as the Environment Agency, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Satellite Applications Catapult have already pledged their participation in the project illustrating the desire to know more about the power of citizen science data to enhance the value of EO data. By way of a workshop and final report, this project aims to reach all in the UK that use EO data but require alternative ways of generating ground data to support their work. The establishment of a Citizens4EO Working Group will ensure that there is a core body within the UK with an aim of knowledge production and transfer in this arena. Other bodies supporting this project (i.e., The Natural History Museum, NCEO, RSPSoc) are vehicles for further work and impact. We see this project as a strong spring board for engaging citizens in the work of EO science and ultimately this should benefit progress towards the UN Global Goals.

Publications

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Description This award seeked to understand how the UK EO community views the challenges, opportunities, and pitfalls in using citizen science data in their projects; to produce demonstrator case studies and start building a community of intent within the UK of EO practitioners and researchers; and by reporting on this, facilitate growth in citizen science 4 EO (CS4EO). Across data streams we found much agreement between Earth Observation practitioners and researchers towards the benefits of using citizen science data in their projects:
1. Motivated and engaged citizens;
2. Citizen science approaches can produce high quality results;
3. Novel technologies and approaches can increase appeal;
4. Citizen science can be used to educate and inform 'the public';
5. Availability of good infrastructure.
Additionally, we uncovered common barriers to increased uptake among the wider Earth Observation community:
1. Mechanics of citizen science can be clunky;
2. Unreliability of a potentially misinformed or undertrained citizen base;
3. Progress towards optimising citizen science use in EO has been slow.
By identifying priority action areas to support a further use of citizen science by the EO community:
1. Addressing the awareness deficit among Earth Observation community of already available and quality of citizen science infrastructure, methodology and approaches;
2. Improving the availability and adaptability (flexibility) of current and future citizen science infrastructure.
Exploitation Route To utilise citizens within projects that use satellite imagery.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Education,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description Citizen Science To Achieve Coproduction at Scale (C-STACS)
Amount £304,378 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/V011707/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2021 
End 10/2023