Marine Citizen Science: towards an engaged and ocean literate society | Flanders Marine Institute

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Marine Citizen Science: towards an engaged and ocean literate society

Added on 2017-10-13
Citizen Science is a new research approach that is rapidly gaining interest, especially in marine and maritime sciences. On a voluntary basis, citizens help scientists by gathering and analyzing data in a scientifically sound way. With regard to the ocean, Citizen Science has a special role to play. The vastness of the ocean and the lack of connection most people feel with the blue part of our planet, make Marine Citizen Science a vital tool to promote ocean literacy and engage citizens in coastal and ocean research.

Photo: VLIZ

In a newly launched position paper and policy brief, the European Marine Board (EMB) analyses the state-of-the-art of Marine Citizen Science and provides new ideas and directions to stimulate further advancement of this research approach from a European perspective.

Jan Seys, head of the communication division of VLIZ, was part of the EMB working group drafting the position paper and shared his experience in the field. He is the mentor of the Citizen Science project SeaWatch-B organized within the framework of the VLIZ philanthropy and he coordinates three projects in which the public at large can engage in scientific research. Saturday the 17th of March 2018, VLIZ, EOS Magazine, Natuurpunt (Belgian nature conservation organization), Be Planet and Elia organize the first action day for citizens to count and identify shells in 10 towns along the Belgian coastline. Soon, the press and news channels of the event partners will provide more information.

Position paper 23 of the EMB ‘Advancing Citizen Science for Coastal and Ocean Research’ and the policy brief ‘Towards an engaged and ocean literate society’ are available at the website of the EMB:


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