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Citizen Science & Observations


Conveners: Marion Tan (Massey University, New Zealand), Hywel Williams (University of Exeter, United Kingdom), Henning Rust (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)

Science can be conceived as work done only by scientists. But this view is challenged by the increasing involvement of the lay public in scientific activities. Citizen science and other participatory approaches have allowed scientists and researchers to learn from the public’s knowledge. Citizen science has its beginnings in the physical sciences but has expanded to other areas, including natural hazards research. It is referred to under different names, including participatory research, participatory science, community science, community-based research, community-based/voluntary monitoring, and many others. The motivations, design, and outputs of citizen science projects vary widely. Some projects are highly participatory, where the citizens are involved in the project design, data collection and analysis. In others, citizens provide data to projects designed and coordinated solely by the science agencies. These projects effectively create new scientific outputs and enhance citizen involvement in science. Citizen science projects are valuable tools in contributing grounded data to research. It is especially beneficial for meteorological research.  For example, citizens can fill in data gaps, especially in hard to access or remote locations. Moreover, there may be perishable data that needs to be gathered or analysed rapidly; citizen science can provide alternate solutions in collecting and analysing such data. There are many other opportunities for citizen science in the entire scientific process, including but not limited to collecting, categorising, transcribing, and analysing data.  Moreover, citizen science can also provide pathways for knowledge sharing between the public and scientific institutions. Citizen science projects can improve local communities’ education and knowledge. Citizen science projects in other fields have been known to generate understanding, improve communication and relationships, and move communities to take action.  We welcome abstracts on:
  • Projects using citizen science (or other participatory/community approaches)
  • Participatory education initiatives in improving  knowledge on weather and/or hazards
  • Guidance or methods on how to use citizen science for weather-related research and public education
  • Challenges, gaps, and opportunities for citizen science
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Freie Universität Berlin