CITIZEN SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ORAL HISTORY IN CLIMATE EDUCATION: INTEGRATING THE USE OF A CITIZEN OBSERVATORY FOR BIODIVERSITY MONITORING IN A CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION PROJECT
1 National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (GREECE)
2 Institute of Marine Sciences-Spanish Research Council (ICM-CSIC) (SPAIN)
3 Earthwatch Europe (UNITED KINGDOM)
4 AMAP, CIRAD, CNRS, INRAE,IRD University of Montpellier (FRANCE)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Current complex issues of climate change require the deployment of different ways of engaging everyday citizens in actions to understand and participate in the management of its facets and impacts. Research in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation has shown that a shared appreciation of the problem between scientists, social actors and the public, and the co-production of knowledge, especially where scientific understanding of the environment is limited, is essential. Empowering citizens not only with relevant climate information but also with the supporting perspectives and the skills to generate it and involving them in respective decisions could contribute to the development of social knowledge networks for climate action.
Using citizen science as a methodological tool for understanding complex and large-scale phenomena such as climate change can help to obtain a large amount of scientific data, which will allow researchers also to assess various sustainability indicators and perhaps even to proceed to the formulation of certain policies. However, what is also necessary is to create linkages between local policy stakeholders and the communities they serve through education, bringing young people closer to ways of combining scientific with traditional and local knowledge the collection and exchange of observations. Citizen observatories can enable this role and feed and support related education and learning experiences. Cos4Cloud (Co-designed citizen observatories for the EOS-Cloud), a European Horizon 2020 project, builds on this direction by developing technological services to improve the practices of citizen observatories and connect them to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), thus creating a unique space for collaboration and co-development driven by open science, networking, innovation, sustainable practice, and quality in research procedures and data.
On the other hand, traditional and local knowledge about evidence of climate change can be accessed through Environmental Oral History, the coupling between Environmental History and Oral History. The information can be gathered through interviews with selected people that illuminate the ways in which collective and individual memory and environmental experience shape our human interactions with place. And conversely, how memory, identity, and experience are shaped by the places and environments in which human life and activity are situated.
The case study reported here was based on the idea of integrating a citizen observatory participating in Cos4Cloud, Pl@ntNet, as an educational tool in a school-based climate education project. 15 Greek high school students, 3 teachers and 1 local social and environmental actor organized and shared a two-day educational field trip to the National Park of Mount Parnitha, to collect information about the impacts of a fire that had burned almost half of the core of the National Park 15 years ago (in 2007). Hiking along the mountain trails, they used the Pl@ntNet app to record and identify the existing flora and supplemented the information collected with testimonials from volunteers from a citizen group on forest protection in the National Park, discussions with their teachers, an interview from an invited expert, and environmental awareness pedagogical activities to better understand the many facets of climate change through an interdisciplinary exploration of their local environment.
Keywords: Environmental and sustainability education, climate change education, citizen science, citizen observatories, environmental oral history, Pl@ntNet, Cos4Cloud.