Celebrating our 50th anniversary: Earthwatchers
If you’re not already familiar with the term ‘citizen science’, it essentially refers to projects where members of the public, who don’t necessarily have specialist training, help gather and analyse scientific data. At Earthwatch we champion its use and conduct our own research into the practice, helping us stay at the forefront of the global citizen science movement.
Most of our supporters have engaged in scientific activity with Earthwatch in one capacity or another. And our latest programme, Earthwatchers, is an exciting new development which takes in-the-field citizen science to a new level.
What makes Earthwatchers different is that it’s been designed as an engaging, long-term offering, with surveys that can be repeated at different times or in different locations, and new activities added every few months. Every Earthwatchers project is designed to be accessible yet scientifically robust, with important environmental research questions at its heart.
Daniel Hayhow, one of Earthwatch Europe’s Research Leads, oversees the scientific projects for Earthwatchers. He explains:
“The challenges that are facing the environment are extremely complicated, and we can’t identify the solution until we fully understand the problems. Having people collecting data about different projects in different places will help show us where action is most urgently needed.”
For Daniel, every single citizen scientist who joins up will be making a difference. “When you become an Earthwatcher you become a member of the scientific community,” he says. “By taking action in your area you’re helping us understand how local changes can be scaled up to help solve global challenges.” You can watch his video introduction to Earthwatchers here.
Through Earthwatchers, we’re hoping to build a vibrant and motivated community of 100,000 citizen scientists from around Europe. With an army of volunteers ready to go out and collect data on a mass scale, just imagine what we can achieve for the environment.
If you’d like to sign up and join the movement, please visit the Earthwatchers website. We’d love to have you on board!