Summer is here and the tourist season is in full swing. But mass tourism has put our planet and its limited resources at risk. Travelling sustainably means being aware of the impact of tourism on the environment and adopting good practices to reduce the negative effects. Sustainable travel can also be a way to help scientific research through Citizen Science.
One way to travel sustainably is by preferring buses or trains, but you can also help by being a “nomad” Citizen Scientist. Using the SciStarter Project Finder, you can find local communities and projects that need Citizen Scientists and/or use apps that are readily available to address problems on a global scale.
Check out the following Citizen Science applications and have fun while travelling this summer!
Globe at Night
Globe at Night is an international campaign that raises awareness about the impact of light pollution and how that affects wildlife, health and energy consumption. Citizen Scientists are asked to send measurements of their night sky brightness observations.
Ebird is available both as a website and as an app and its goal is to gather information in the form of checklists of birds, archive it, and freely share it to power new data-driven approaches to science, conservation and education. The app can also be used offline anywhere in the world.
GLOBE Observer is an app, part of the international program The GLOBE Program, that connects citizen scientists and scientists that share observations about the environment and the changing climate. It currently accepts observations and data about Clouds, Mosquito Habitats, Land Cover and Trees and plans to expand to more types of data in the future.
iNaturalist is a website that comes with an app that hosts a lot of different projects about biodiversity. It is designed for Citizen Scientists to contribute their observations and share their data. It helps you connect with nature and creates a network between millions of researchers and citizen scientists.
Plastics on coasts is an environmental problem that is growing exponentially. Marine LitterWatch (MLW) is an application by the European Environment Agency that collects data on marine litter on beaches to support official monitoring.
Your observations whilst you travel can help local researchers and scientists collect data that are useful to them. So whilst you are on vacation this summer, consider using these apps as a motivator to explore different things on your travels – and become a citizen scientist at the same time!
Blog authored by Theodora Karaiskou. Image created by Alexandra Goudis.