How to get involved and what is citizen science?
Citizen science is when members of the public like you and your community are involved in conducting scientific research. Most often members of the public (or citizen scientists) work with researchers on a research project.
There are different ways for the public to become involved in citizen science, ranging from:
- Collecting data (e.g. counting birds in your garden and filling out a survey),
- Helping to identify topics for research,
- Analysing the data
- Feeding back the results to your local community and/or community representatives.
What kind of research involves citizen science?
Citizen science can be used in many different types of research. Traditionally citizen scientists have been involved in collecting information about the natural world (e.g. bug counts, testing soil) however, citizen scientists are increasingly getting involved in lots of different kinds of research. Citizen science approaches are less commonly used in academic public health research1 but has great potential and is gathering interest. The focus of Our Outdoors is about health and outdoor space.
Why get involved?
Why become a citizen scientist for this project?
Citizen science is an opportunity for you to have a real say in the type of research that is undertaken and how the results are used. This can be an empowering and rewarding experience as well as contributing to your local and wider community. You’ll get the opportunity to meet and work with researchers, understand your community better, and develop skills. You will contribute to a national database, which will be used to improve outdoor spaces across the country.
How to get involved?
Who can become a citizen scientist?
Anyone can become a citizen scientist. You can take part as an individual or a group of individuals (e.g. school groups, community groups, organisations, etc). To take part in Our Outdoors you do not need to have any specialist knowledge. The project is about how you and/or your community group experience outdoor shared space.
Whatever way you want to get involved in the project, we have resources to help you to take part. You can get involved as an individual or a group in one or more of these activities:
- Take the survey
- Run an event
- Write a blog or a vlog
- Help with data entry and analysis
- Create resources for a specific community
- Create reports
- Feedback to your community and/or community representatives
- Spread the word!