The proliferation of mobile devices and low cost sensors enable citizens to provide timely data and other observations. Citizens are now active participants in the creation of new scientific knowledge, an evolution which is known as Citizen Science.
During the last decade, citizen science and projects which are based on content generated from volunteers and non-experts have dramatically increased. There is potential for the Citizens’ observations, data and information to complement authoritative, traditional in-situ and remotely sensing data sources in a number of areas such as climate change, land cover or land-use change, disaster risk monitoring, sustainable development. To make this possible there is a need for more research on in-situ data provided by citizens, how they can be used for calibration and validation activities, and on the conflation or combined use of satellite and citizen observations to fill existing gaps.
But the potential of citizen science goes beyond data collection; it also allows empowering citizens to actively participate in environmental decision making, raise awareness about environmental issues, identify local issues and needs, and help build more resilient societies. When combined with social media and new ICT technologies, citizen science has a strong potential to support a polycentric approach to environmental resources and risk management and planning, promoting institutional diversity, redundancy and modularity.
This session presents contributions in the promotion of standards and best practices in managing crowd-sourced environmental data; exploration of linkages of citizen data to the research infrastructures of GEOSS and Copernicus; investigation of methods and tools to integrate citizens’ observations with authoritative data; knowledge sharing about case studies and demonstration pilots; and new ways to communicate this information and to use it in the context of policy support and local planning.