Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Emmanouela Panteri, Sarah Faulwetter, Christos Arvanitidis, Thanos Dailianis, George Chatzigeorgiou, Eva Chatzinikolaou, Evangelos Pafilis, Christina Pavloudi, Thomas Uher, Simon D Rycroft, Alexander Kroupa, Vincent Smith, Lyubomir Penev, Edward Baker, Jean-Pierre Feral, David Romain

Building: Elmia Congress Centre, Jönköping
Room: Rum 11
Date: 2014-10-27 11:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Last modified: 2014-10-24


Citizen science (CS) projects are implemented to involve the public in academic research, aiming at installing streamline production and storage of vast volumes of information and data. Mobile applications, i.e. software developed for use on portable devices like tablets or smartphones, show great promises for promoting citizen science activity.

Three citizen science projects (COMBER, CIGESMED & AmvrakikosBirds), have recently been initiated by the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR), in collaboration with many partner institutions from all over Europe, and focus on the Mediterranean and Greek territories. They have been developed in the context of various EU and GSRT funded projects (ViBRANT, EU BON, LifeWatchGreece) and involve crowd sourcing information and data collection and storage by targeted societal groups such as snorkelers, yacht sailors, divers and bird watchers.

The core software developments are based on Scratchpads (http://scratchpads.eu/), an online virtual research environment for biodiversity, which allows scientists and amateurs alike to share their data and create their own research networks.
The pilot project COMBER (http://comber.hcmr.gr/) had initially been designed and implemented for divers and snorkelers interested in marine biodiversity. Although only the common coastal fish species were considered during the initial period of the project, it now allows users to record all marine species, which can be safely identified by direct observation in the water, along with the other variables such as location, weather conditions, depth and temperature. Most recent developments include a connection between the COMBER database and Anymals.org (https://www.anymals.org/), using ABCD standards in cooperation with the CS project “anymals+plants”. Citizens can record observations either through the official websites or by using an android mobile application. The data can then be exchanged bi-directionally and are also sent to GBIF via the anymals.org platform.

CIGESMED (http://www.cigesmed.eu/) has been initiated in the context of the homonym ERA-NET project and it is targeted to divers interested in the unique coralligenous habitat. Divers can collect photos, conspicuous species identifications and environmental variables such as coordinates, depth etc. Although currently implemented in French, Greek and Turkish waters, it has the potential to expand all over the Mediterranean.

AmvrakikosBirds is a new project, targeted to all potential bird watchers operating in the wetlands of the Amvrakikos Gulf. The crowd sourcing data include bird species occurrence, frequency and environmental data and it is functioning in the context of the EU BON project.