What is ‘citizen science’?
The OpenScientist website offers this definition of citizen science: ‘The systematic collection and analysis of data; development of technology; testing of natural phenomena; and the dissemination of these activities by researchers on a primarily avocational basis.’
Role of citizen science in the Atlas
For the Atlas, citizen science is a very important source of data about biodiversity. Data and insights gained through the efforts of citizen scientists can be as valuable as that obtained by scientists working in academia, natural history collections, government agencies and business.
Harnessing the efforts of the thousands of people participating in citizen science will enhance the range and depth of data available in the Atlas.
Getting involved in citizen science
There are a number of ways in which you can get involved in citizen science, including:
- contributing to the Atlas the sightings of plants or animals you have seen in your area
- contributing your sightings to one of the citizen science projects using our software (each site has a short summary and an area of focus so you can look for one that suits you!)
- installing your own copy of our FieldData software
- become an active developer in the open source project for FieldData.