Sessions at Citizen Cyberscience Summit 2014 on Friday 21st February Look Beneath the Surface

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  • Arrival and Registration

    At 9:30am to 10:00am, Friday 21st February

    In G04, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Open Space

    the Open Space is available throughout the day for refreshments, networking, and collaborating.

    The Hack Day Challenges will be displayed on posters around the room, and all are welcome to start conversations around these today already.

    The Hack Day 'proper' takes place on Saturday in the same space.

    For more about the Hack Day, see http://cybersciencesummit.org/programme/the-hack-day/

    At 10:00am to 6:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In G04, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Welcome Address

    by Muki Haklay

    At 10:00am to 10:10am, Friday 21st February

    In LT1, UCL - Cruciform Building

    Coverage slide deck

  • Keynote - Citizen Science: A Vision for the Future

    by Rick Bonney

    Around the globe, citizen science projects are increasing in number and quality and yielding measurable gains in scientific knowledge, environmental conservation, public engagement in science, and community empowerment. However, realizing the full potential of the citizen science movement will require increased communication and coordination among projects and practitioners. This presentation will offer some thoughts for development of the citizen science field.

    At 10:10am to 10:40am, Friday 21st February

    In LT1, UCL - Cruciform Building

  • Panel - what is it like to be a citizen scientist - interactive interviews

    by Laure Kloetzer and Cindy Regalado

    At 10:40am to 11:00am, Friday 21st February

    In LT1, UCL - Cruciform Building

  • Tea & Coffee Break

    At 11:00am to 11:20am, Friday 21st February

    In G04, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Conker Tree Science: The value of hypothesis-led citizen science

    by Michael Pocock

    "Our conker trees are under attack, and you can help discover more." So began Conker Tree Science a project to engage people with experimental, hypothesis-led science about an alien insect that is damaging horse-chestnut trees in Britain. Over 8000 submitted data over four years and the first results have just been published. Much citizen science in ecology is long-term and difficult for individual researchers to begin. However, this focussed, hypothesis-led citizen science showed how individual researchers can engage with people about science through undertaking genuine scientific research together.
    Conker Tree Science was run with Darren Evans (University of Hull) and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

    At 11:20am to 11:40am, Friday 21st February

    In 102, UCL Chadwick Building

  • EveryAware Symposium: Intoduction to EveryAware

    by Muki Haklay

    This session is an introduction to the EveryAware Symposium that will give an overview of the project and the series of talks in the symposium session that carries on into the afternoon.

    EveryAware is an EU Citizen Science project intending to integrate environmental monitoring, awareness enhancement and behavioral change by creating a new technological platform combining sensing technologies, networking applications and data-processing tools. The idea is to use mobile technologies to collect, analyse changes in behaviour and visualise local environmental information.

    At 11:20am to 11:30am, Friday 21st February

    In Gustave Tucks Lecture Theatre, UCL Main Building

  • Involving schools in tracking flu symptoms: Flusurvey and National Science & Engineering Week

    by Katherine Mathieson, Christina Fuentes and Alma Adler

    *This talk is part of the LEARNING IN FORMAL AND INFORMAL ENVIRONMENTS track*

    Flusurvey has joined forces with the British Science Association’s National Science & Engineering Week campaign to get more people submitting symptom data to help researchers understand flu. It’s been a big challenge to get school groups involved: find out what’s worked and the barriers that we think still need to be overcome.

    At 11:20am to 11:40am, Friday 21st February

    In G08, UCL Chadwick Building

    Coverage slide deck

  • Workshop - Connecting Communities of Citizen Scientists

    by Francois Grey and scicheer

    This workshop addresses some of the challenges experienced by citizen scientists participating in multiple projects across different platforms. Project designers and developers will present various models for managing identity and rewards. There will be an open discussion of what works, and what doesn't. Participants will brainstorm about practical solutions for connecting communities, some of which may lead to concrete demos during the conference hack day. Amongst those contributing to the discussion are:
    Yasser Ansari (Project Noah - Independent)
    Shannon Dosemagen (Public Lab - Independent)
    Nicholas Johnson (Trash Lab - CUSP, NYU)
    Lucas Blair (Mozilla Badge expert - Independent)
    Dongbo Bo (CAS@home - Chinese Academy of Sciences)
    Daniel Lombrana Gonzales (Crowdcrafting)
    Scott Loarie (iNaturalist - Stanford U)
    Hosted by Darlene Cavalier (SciStarter) and Francois Grey (CCC and CUSP, NYU)

    At 11:20am to 1:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In G07, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Workshop - Grow Your Own Sapelli Tree

    by Gill Conquest, Michalis Vitos, Julia Altenbuchner and Matthias Stevens

    Learn how to use Sapelli, UCL ExCiteS' new mobile data collection platform: http://sapelli.org

    At 11:20am to 1:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In 217, UCL Chadwick Building

  • EveryAware Symposium: Awareness and Learning in Participatory Noise Sensing

    by Vito D.P. Servedio

    Citizens have been involved in noise measuring activities through the
    WideNoise smartphone application. This application has been designed to
    record both objective (noise samples) and subjective (opinions,
    feelings) data. Based on the information submitted by users, an analysis
    of emerging awareness and learning will be reported. The data show that
    users learn how to recognize different noise levels they are exposed to.
    Additionally, the subjective data collected indicate an increased user
    involvement in time and a categorization effect between pleasant and
    less pleasant environments.

    At 11:30am to 12:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In Gustave Tucks Lecture Theatre, UCL Main Building

  • An honest assessment of citizen science: the hard parts that few talk about

    by Michael Pocock

    Citizen science on the rise. It is an exciting subject, but the excitement and hype bring risks. It is all too easy to over-sell the successes and hide the failures and challenges. I'll bring some quick provocations about citizen science from my experience of an hypothesis-led citizen science project (Conker Tree Science) and more generally. Then there will be time to share your responses. Is citizen science truly the answer to many of our problems, or do its challenges mean that it is rather over-hyped?

    At 11:40am to 12:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In 102, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Outreach and Education in Zooniverse

    by Kelly A. Borden and Julie Feldt

    *This talk is part of the LEARNING IN FORMAL AND INFORMAL ENVIRONMENTS track*

    The Zooniverse is a growing suite of online citizen science projects. While primarily focused on meaningful scientific outcomes, these projects offer an invaluable tool for scientific outreach and education. We will overview products and lessons learned from developing resources to bring Zooniverse projects into the classroom and into the museum visitor experience at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois.

    At 11:40am to 12:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In G08, UCL Chadwick Building

  • EveryAware Symposium: Participatory Air Quality Sensing

    by Jan Theunis and Jan Peters

    Monitoring air pollution using low-cost portable devices has gained increased research attention in recent years. Air pollution is of common concern, and the vision that we, citizens, can collect our own air quality data using these devices is very appealing. From an individual perspective it would allow to assess our exposure profiles to pollutants and to get informed about the air quality in our own living environment. From a community perspective, the aggregation of air quality measurements could result in air quality maps at a high spatial resolution.

    In the EveryAware project, a sensor box for participatory sensing was developed using low-cost gas sensors. The sensor box is embedded in an infrastructure that allows for real-time visualization of measurements at the individual scale to the visualization of aggregated data at the community scale. The EveryAware infrastructure was used in participatory case studies in four cities across Europe. In this talk, the results from these case studies will be highlighted with special attention to data collection methods, sensor calibration and the analysis of air quality data from participatory sensing.

    At 12:00pm to 12:30pm, Friday 21st February

    In Gustave Tucks Lecture Theatre, UCL Main Building

  • How the Natural History Museum is engaging citizens with science and education

    by Jovita Yesilyurt

    The demand to access our information and collections is ever on the increase. Our V Factor volunteer initiative is proving a great success in expanding access whilst simultaneously giving the public and society the chance for active participation and engagement with our science and collections.

    This work is a collaboration between Dr Jovita Yesilyurt and colleagues Ali Thomas and Edgley Cesar

    At 12:00pm to 12:20pm, Friday 21st February

    In G08, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Workshop - ESRI mobile apps for supporting citizen science

    by Jason Sawle

    An outdoor mobile mapping exercise, collecting noise data! Before you attend please download the free Esri Collector app for your iPhone or Android device. http://www.esri.com/software/arc...
    This technology will be described during Mike Gould's talk on Thursday at 4:30pm.

    At 12:00pm to 1:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In 102, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Farmers as Citizen Scientists: Nature Conservation in Biodiversity Hotspots in Austria (TBC)

    by Johann Zaller and Florian Heigl

    *This talk is part of the LEARNING IN FORMAL AND INFORMAL ENVIRONMENTS track*

    Farmers influence habitats of flora and fauna by their way and intensity of land cultivation. Consequently, they are the key persons to be addressed for maintaining biodiversity in the cultural landscape.
    This project is based on a citizen science education project which involves more than 650 farmers who monitor selected plant and animal species on low fertile grasslands. In this project farmers, firstly get to know the animals and plants inhabiting their grasslands and secondly track changes in abundance of species from one year to the other, thirdly species abundance data are then related to management measures, soil conditions or climatic trends. The monitoring sites are randomly distributed across Austria covering lowland and mountainous regions. Criteria for the selected plants and animals are inter alia (i) suitability as an indicator species of low-productivity grassland, (ii) easy identification in the field and (iii) potential as flagship-species for nature conservation. Once per year the participants submit their observations including cultivation activities at the study site via mail, fax or an online form. In contrast to many other citizen science projects, here every participant monitors the same sampling site with the same indicator species during several years. Research questions addressed in the analyses include: (I) Which management measure affects most species? (II) What is the impact of different soil types? (III) To what extent do climatic trends interfere with grassland management?
    Given the interdisciplinary character of this project outcomes are to be anticipated for both agriculture and nature conservation. Farmers learn directly which way of cultivation influences the species at their grasslands. We think by this approach a more sustainable nature conservation can be achieved. Furthermore, this project shows a way to integrate new research findings into agricultural practice, without patronizing the farmers.

    Link to the education project:


    At 12:20pm to 12:40pm, Friday 21st February

    In G08, UCL Chadwick Building

  • EveryAware Symposium: Combining Human Perception and Air Quality Data on a Web Platform

    by Martin Becker

    In this talk, we will introduce the web platform used in the
    EveryAware project. Sensor platforms like Xively or ThingSpeak
    concentrate on traditional sensor data neglecting the human
    context which is essential in interpreting the gathered data.
    Thus, the EveryAware platform aims to incorporate human factors
    into the measurement process including subjective information
    like comments, impressions and perceptions. We will provide an
    overview of the architecture of the EveryAware platform
    describing concept and implementation details as well as
    introducing present applications.

    At 12:30pm to 1:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In Gustave Tucks Lecture Theatre, UCL Main Building

  • Discussion and Q&A

    *This talk is part of the LEARNING IN FORMAL AND INFORMAL ENVIRONMENTS track*

    At 12:40pm to 1:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In G08, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Lunch

    At 1:00pm to 2:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In G04, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Beyond Open Data: Using Citizen Science Data for Academic Research and Public Engagement

    by Tom August

    *This talk is part of the ECOLOGY, CONSERVATION AND BIODIVERSITY track*

    This talk focuses on two projects which aim to improve the use of data held by the National Biodiversity Network, the repository of biological observations made by citizen scientists in the UK. The first improves accessibility for academics while the second allows the public to ask questions of the data using Twitter.

    At 2:00pm to 2:15pm, Friday 21st February

    In G08, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Community Maps - Past, Present, and Future Developments

    by Patrick Rickles and Oliver Roick

    Community Maps, developed by Mapping for Change and UCL, is a mapping platform that allows many to map what interests them and be a part of the decision making process. From mapping dog fouling incidences in Poland to identifying grass roots climate action initiatives in the United Kingdom, Community Maps is helping people make a difference in their local areas. After 7 years of running on the same code base, it was decided that the platform needed to be rebuilt from the ground up, utilising current technologies, to ensure its robustness and continued longevity. This talk, given by two of Community Maps’ developers, will discuss the past, present and hopeful future development efforts of the platform and want to hear from potential end users, project partners, and developers (of all skill ranges) as to what you would want to see the new platform do.

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In 217, UCL Chadwick Building

  • EveryAware Symposium: Recruiting Bipedal Sensing Platforms or Participatory Community Sensing?

    by Christian Nold and Louise Francis

    This talk will examine the recruitment for environmental sensing and present an issue based model that works with communities of interest. In that way it offers an alternative model to the automated recruitment ideas presented in much of the crowdsourcing literature.

    Don’t start from the technology
    Develop empathy with participants and a context
    Actively frame what is being sensed
    Design projects around issues
    Be flexible about the process and the research goals
    Publish your recruitment processes and outcomes

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Friday 21st February

    In Gustave Tucks Lecture Theatre, UCL Main Building

  • Workshop - Explorer of the World Playshop

    by Cindy Regalado

    Combining play and inquiry, this playshop focuses on the ‘citizen’ of ‘citizen science’. In this one hour we will get a taste of a full-length Explorer of the World playshop and dedicate time to finetune the most important instrument of exploration: ourselves. Through mindfulness and improv theater we will get to know our state of mind and find our setting for deep observation. This will allow us to take a closer 'look' at how we make 'sense' of our observations. To wrap up I do a very short presentation to place this experience in the context of the full series of playshops and highlight its significance for Publicly Initiated Scientific Research.

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In G07, UCL Chadwick Building

  • Artportalen – citizen science contributions to nature conservation and research

    by Anna Maria Wremp

    *This talk is part of the ECOLOGY, CONSERVATION AND BIODIVERSITY track*

    The Swedish Species Observation System (Artportalen) is an Internet-based, freely accessible reporting system and data repository for species observations. The system handles reports of geo-referenced species observations of almost all major organism groups (animals, birds, fungi) from all environments, including terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. The content has expanded exponentially since the launch of the portal in year 2000 and currently holds more than 39 million recorded observations, increasing by the minute. In average, 10.000-15.000 new observations are submitted each day! The largest amount of data comes from citizen scientists, but the system is also widely used by scientists, governmental agencies and county administrations for long-term storage and sharing of biodiversity data.

    Among the citizen scientist contributions, the bird watching community plays an important role but much data is also submitted by amateur biologists interested in plants, fungi or insects. More than 10 000 private users contribute with data from bird watching, botanic field excursions and nature observations. With the exception of a few sensitive species, all data is freely accessible to view and download.

    This presentation gives a short overview of the Species Observation System with a focus on how the data is used in policy and environmental planning, environmental impact assessments, etc. For instance, when planning the construction of a new road or giving permission for forestry management, records of threatened species in the locality can determine whether or not permission is granted, and citizen science data is often crucial in this process.

    The data is also available for research analyses through Swedish LifeWatch, a research infrastructure for biodiversity data. In addition, all data is forwarded to the global GBIF database.

    At 2:15pm to 2:30pm, Friday 21st February

    In G08, UCL Chadwick Building

  • EveryAware Symposium: External effects in multiple choice opinion dynamics

    by Alina Sirbu

    In this talk, a model of opinion formation, an important element of social dynamics, will be presented.
    The main features are modelling of multiple possible opinion choices, inclusion of disagreement
    and possibility of modulating information, both from one and multiple sources. The effect of the initial cohesion of the population, the interplay between cohesion and information extremism, and the effect of using multiple sources of information that can influence the system will be discussed. Using results from numerical simulations, we will show that final consensus, especially with external information, depends highly on the above-mentioned factors. Specifically, when no information is present, consensus or segregation is determined by the initial cohesion of the population. When only one source of information is present, consensus can be obtained, in general, only when this is extremely mild, i.e. there is not a single opinion strongly promoted, or in the special case of a large initial cohesion and low information exposure. On the contrary, when multiple information sources are allowed, consensus can emerge with an information source even when this is not extremely mild, i.e. it carries a strong message, for a large range of initial conditions.

    At 2:20pm to 2:40pm, Friday 21st February

    In Gustave Tucks Lecture Theatre, UCL Main Building

  • Nature Locator - Putting Nature on the Map

    by Dave Kilbey

    *This talk is part of the ECOLOGY, CONSERVATION AND BIODIVERSITY track*

    Smartphones and apps have changed the way we interact with the world in many ways. One area that has undergone a radical change is biological recording. The days of submitting tea stained paper based reports of wildlife sightings days, weeks or months after the sighting occurred are disappearing fast. Of the moment recording in the field using smartphone apps represents the new paradigm, one that brings with it a host of valuable features including greater geo-spatial accuracy, the ability to record photographic evidence, customised metadata collection and near instantaneous access to records.

    Well planned and designed apps also offer the potential to crowd-source effort, opening up science to new audiences meaning that even inexperienced recorders can contribute scientifically valuable data whilst learning about the subject as they do so. Nature Locator explores some of its projects, methods and findings in this talk with news of some exciting new projects on the horizon.

    At 2:30pm to 2:45pm, Friday 21st February

    In G08, UCL Chadwick Building

  • EveryAware Symposium: Xtribe: a web platform for gaming and social computation.

    by Pietro Gravino

    At 2:40pm to 3:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In Gustave Tucks Lecture Theatre, UCL Main Building

  • Citizen Science: Where does all the data go?

    by Gail Austen-Price

    *This talk is part of the ECOLOGY, CONSERVATION AND BIODIVERSITY track*

    Evidence and Enforcement

    In a time where robust evidence is mandatory for any biodiversity related argument, the concerted efforts of academic and citizen scientists is needed more than ever. There is a wealth of information available via the web, and the advances and availability of technology over recent years has seen an explosion in opportunities to record data. However, where is this data going, how is it being used, and is it being used effectively?

    Technology - It is not unusual to attend a conference at which a software developer will proudly present a contemporary platform by which anyone can collect species or habitat data. However, when asked how that data will aid conservation, there is rarely a comprehensive answer, which is understandable if your remit is to produce an app or a game.

    Data flow - Putting the argument of the quality of data collected by non-scientists aside, there are also a number of other sources that hold important data.
    An article in the IEEM (Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management) magazine in 2010 estimated that between £100 million and £200 million is spent annually on collecting ecological data, much of which sits on clients shelves. Part of the licensing conditions for European Protected Species is that these species records must be passed to local groups or records centre, but then this is just a piece of paper that waits with the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of paper records waiting for a volunteer to input.

    Many national recording schemes, as well as media driven campaigns, collect a wealth of data from the public, but there is little evidence of these trickling down to a local level. There are well known and well executed schemes, such as iSpot and the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Gateway, that try to overcome these hurdles, but many records held nationally are not always made available to local groups. Also, mechanisms by which data are gathered and stored, plus the occasional misuse of some sites (especially NBN Gateway) raises some trust issues within the recording community.

    It is important to remember that one size does not fit all. While a 10km resolution for national recording schemes is sufficient to detect trends, this information is unsuitable for a planning application. Local groups provide a wealth of information to both the private sector and local government, yet the data rarely flows back to the group. The group I am involved with share their data as they believe that all decisions should be fully informed decisions. However, the conservation benefits are not always clear: ‘socio-economic factors’ are usually the trump card in planning disputes, despite the government’s acknowledgement of the importance of ecosystem services. There is also disappointment when cases brought against those that have destroyed protected species or habitats collapse, as ‘intent’ has not been proven. Even if prosecutions are successful, they rarely result in more than a fine, which most developers now factor in. You cannot remunerate for a balanced ecosystem that has developed over decades, if not longer.

    The pressures faced by the natural world are so numerous and severe that the cooperation of people from all walks of life and disciplines cannot come soon enough. However, despite there being an army of citizen scientists doing ‘their bit’ for nature, they cannot do it alone.

    While it would be naïve to assume that all people working in the aforementioned areas share the same goal, a review of how tools aid conservation may help strengthen, rather than dilute, the influence conservationists have. It’s is not that we are not doing enough – the amateur naturalist can be traced back for centuries – it is just that the rapid changes in the world around us need us to be smarter about it.

    At 2:45pm to 3:00pm, Friday 21st February

    In G08, UCL Chadwick Building

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