Citizen Science

Citizen Science is a term that is used more and more these days to describe the voluntary participation of people in gathering data that can then be used for the benefit of society.

Becoming a Citizen Scientist

Citizen Science activities are popular globally but the UK has long been good at harnessing the public interest in doing something to benefit our biodiversity.  People with an interest in the environment and wildlife are encouraged to get involved in a range of recording schemes to record what they see around them and then submit their data resulting in large agglomerations of data that can be useful for science in identifying certain trends.

The motivation for people to take part is often a basic desire to help preserve our natural areas and wildlife for future generations.  In return, participants can feel a greater sense of connectivity with their environment and can also learn more about the range of wildlife that shares the same space.

Participation

Citizen Science recording schemes can be designed to gain the participation of all ages and all levels of experience, from young children to mature naturalists.  Some schemes can take place in easily accessed areas such as public parks, school grounds and even back gardens, e.g. RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, The Great Scottish Squirrel Survey, and the Big Butterfly Count.  The North East Scotland Biological Records Centre is another good example.  It is effectively a large ongoing Citizen Science project where anyone can contribute sightings of any species of wildlife to the database at a time and location that suits the contributor.

Conservation volunteers at Bioblitz day ©Lorne Gill/SNH

Participants can feel a greater sense of connectivity with their environment and can also learn more about the range of wildlife that shares the same space

Report your sightings

NESBReC welcomes receiving sightings from members of the public. The sightings simply need to be from the North East of Scotland and should be of species that the recorder can confidently identify.

Glenn Roberts

Co-Ordinator at NESBReC