Presenters: Andrew Simon
At this meeting we will be discussing community engagement and citizen science in the context of biodiversity research and local climate monitoring on Galiano Island, BC, Canada.
Google Doc info
Notes from Google Doc
iNaturalist 2-way flow great - allows learning as well as contributing
Allows use by larger community
Undergrad research - create a field guide - Parks Canada report
Needed a lot of on the ground community engagement to get started on iNaturalist
Now - sub-projects on iNaturalist that map to community events
A lot of social media (FB) engagement too - majority of contributors come through this
iNaturalist doesn’t “speak for itself” - content getting swallowed up https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/biodiversity-galiano-island
Started website http://biogaliano.org/
Citizen scientists, experts,
Motivates participation - a lot of diversity but gaps in time - want to confirm the records, plus adding new species to the list
Don’t want to reinvent the wheel - not content dense but photos, diagrams
See your observations alongside those of scientists
Manually entering the data in a spreadsheet - no scripts - value to do so manually as a curator, but some automation would help
Making sense of the patterns - grad research - biogeographic trends - add another level of scientific research
Royal BC Museum
Protected areas + private properties, agriculture, forestry, other land-use
Cold adapted bumblebees, foraging and nesting - how it changes over the course of the year, in land-use context (forestry, etc) - create a framework for monitoring that gets at important factors in making land-use decisions
Pollinators - ecological and economic benefits
Funding from CRD - sustainable food and agriculture strategy
Ministry of forests - local climate stations funding
DIY Arduino chip-set system based - software to visualize, using metrics that are useful to many people
iNaturalist - great mechanism of engaging people
How to develop local community-based activities, infrastructure (e.g. physical signs, other)
How to interface with human needs - other incentives
How to sustain long-term monitoring projects
Deploying, marketing these technologies to generate revenue, make them more sustainable
Help in structuring community engagement through technology?
Attach signs to trees with name, QR code linked to iNaturalist
What vehicles - how to mediate through tech, companies, other economic engines
A welcome sign at the ferry on Galiano
Tech community on Galiano interested in micro-climate monitoring - get people in touch with the data as a starting point
Relationship with devs of iNaturalist? California Academy of Sciences - connected with them about making changes to iNaturalist?
Open source - Google Group where you can bring your concerns
Concerned primarily with their objectives - larger scale
Go to them with questions relevant to their purposes
Spider diagram :) - available through D3/data-driven doc library
iNaturalist is open source: https://github.com/inaturalist/inaturalist
The kinds of things you wish you could do if the designs/tech were there?
Hardest thing to explain to people about citizen science and how they could contribute
Confirming species - Pokemon Live! - not everyone has that drive
Didn’t want to make a big long list - more interested in deeper things, deep time, relating to species, how it plays out temporally over the year
Momentum of project relies on cataloguing - superficial
E.g. Algae, collect and press and make artwork - engage a wider audience
Biodiversity pinata workshop
Big art community in gulf islands
It doesn’t have to become data in the end
Frameworks that pair up mutual goals
Existing relationships with people who supported the project
Local paper articles - engaged families, but limited, got burnt out
Community inventories of natural areas - more freeform
Many Bioblitzes - fewer people, no experts
Culminated last May in major Bioblitz
iNat 81 observes, have engaged 100 at this point
Not guided right now -
Checklist with prizes
Other ways of incentivizing
Have written Walk-throughs
iNaturalist not intuitive
Photography - little clickers - on-island photography with kids
To inspire others in the role Andrew has been playing over last few years
Major advantage of iNaturalist - broad
iNaturalist - sheer volume of data
Biodiversity Squamish, Lantzville Life
Standardizing the spreadsheet to be able to compare records
Big databases - GBIF, Canadensys
Standardized data formats - Darwin core databases
Getting dataset published in scientific community
Tools are available, haven’t had time
Global biodiversity information facility
Interactive diagram: https://www.jasondavies.com/coffee-wheel/
- How could there be help in structuring community engagement through technology or technological activities (e.g. QR codes on trees to identify their species)
- One solution would be to create a sign for those who get off the ferry, many already have cameras with them.
- Microclimate monitoring framework (arduino chip sets with sensors, where the nodes are all networked together).
- What relationship do you have with the devs of iNaturalist
- The program came out of a masters research project. It's an innovation of the California acadamey of sciences.
- Do you communicate with them about improvements to their platform.
- It is open source, and they communicate over a google group
- Diagram of spider species
- How do you update the links to in the spider diagram?
- Is there something you'd like to do that's just out of reach (e.g. technologically, engagement, etc. )
- There is a particular D3 visualization (sunburst), and others that would be helpful to represent the data.
- What is the hardest thing for people to engage with citizen science and how they can be connected to scientific research?
- People do engage with confirming species. Similar drive to what people have when using Pokemon Go.
- The momentum of the project is around documenting species, but not everyone is interested in this.
- Another idea was to use algae to make art work
- not everything has to become data in the end, should find frameworks to pair up personal goals.
- Are there other art projects
- There was a piñata project
- How did you first get going?
- Support by pillars with the community who wanted to support his undergraduate research
- Was writing regularly in the actives page, encouraged people to explore and learn
- Community inventories of natural areas
- mini-bioblitzes; fewer people no experts. Culminated last May into a full BioBlitz
- Galiano is a population of approximately 900 people
- How do initially engage people, how do you instruct them on the process.
- The framework before was with lists. People are already come to the island with cameras but they aren't guided. Signs would help with that.
- Through community events.
- Does the community model in iNaturalist work for review?
- There are algorithms to help validate discoveries.
- There is a movement to use visual algorithms to help pair down the classification, for example by genus.
- Any tools to help with your own research and with others performing similar research?
- There are a couple other communities in my region (biodiversity squamish, nanaimo?), work to standardized data so that they can more easily compare records.
- Talking about getting the data set published in the scientific community