Citizen Science is an umbrella term capturing a wide range of approaches, from long-term monitoring by dedicated volunteers to one-off educational experiments. It has many benefits for both scientific research and the participants.
Ground Truth 2.0 Week was a great opportunity to showcase the work of the six Ground Truth 2.0 citizen observatories (citizen science projects), including VattenFokus, a Swedish citizen science project which uses Earthwatch’s FreshWater Watch.
A key part of the Ground Truth 2.0 project has been its approach to co-design, involving local stakeholders in the design of the project. VattenFokus placed people at its centre, evaluating both the social and technical elements of creating a successful citizen science project. From the identification of the challenge, to the design, testing and use of the tools, the individuals lead the way. It required active engagement of community members to use the FreshWater Watch system to take water quality measurements.
Having seen the value of involving people throughout the design of the project, Earthwatch has now adopted the Ground Truth 2.0 co-design method in the MICS project and is encouraging local people to lead their own citizen science projects in its five case study sites across Europe.
On the final day of Ground Truth 2.0 week, a formal review meeting with the project officer from the European Commission as well as an external reviewer concluded that the project was making positive progress and the citizen observatory scored very highly. This was great news for the project.
Ground Truth 2.0 Week was a success and we’re very proud to be a part of this project!