Do you want to get involved in making positive environmental change in the world?

This week, GROW Observatory launches a free online course – Citizen Science: From Data to Action. Open to everyone, this short online course introduces innovative ways to help make change happen around environmental issues. Join in to discover soil and food growing data, as well as results generated by citizen scientists who are collaborating with the GROW Observatory.

Is this course for me?

This course is for anyone interested in soil, food growing, agriculture, ecosystems and the environment, technology, earth observation, sensors, environmental governance. You don’t need any prior experience to join in, but you might find it especially useful if you’re a small farmer, community and urban grower, gardener, land manager, allotment grower, fab lab user, environmental NGO, or if you’re interested in food production and citizen science! It’s also great for teachers in science and environment-related subjects.

What will you learn?

Citizen Science: From Data to Action will focus on three distinct areas — data, art and policy. You’ll have the opportunity to get familiar with datasets, integrate art into environmental messaging, and find out how to get involved in policy making processes on environmental topics. You’ll work with fresh data on an experiment GROW Observatory ran in 2018, comparing edible plants growing in polycultures and monocultures. You’ll find out more about this experiment, while also using it to become familiar with datasets and to identify patterns, errors and insights in data.

Citizen Science: From Data to Action will also give you the opportunity to explore the potential of art to communicate complex scientific data and concepts to different audiences. This will be done through learning about the work of GROW’s artist in residence, Kasia Molga (who is also part of our FAULT LINES programme).

By joining the course, you’ll have the opportunity to create art out of your own activities, (including your food growing). This could be a poem, a visual representation of soil sensor data or a painting of soil components – wherever your creativity leads you!

As for policy, Citizen Science: From Data to Action will introduce you to participatory governance and the different channels available for citizens to contribute to positive change at a local, regional, European and global level. Learn how the participation of citizens in policy development can help to deepen democracy, strengthen social capital, facilitate efficiency, equity and social justice.

Who are the tutors?

Course tutors are from University of Dundee, James Hutton Institute, Permaculture Association (Britain), IIASA Vienna and University of Miskolc.

What’s the time commitment?

Citizen Science: From Data to Action starts Monday 5th November and runs for three weeks, with just four hours commitment needed each week.

What is GROW Observatory?

The GROW Observatory is a European-wide project engaging thousands of GROWers, researchers and people passionate about land and soil. GROW’s vision is to create and support a movement of thousands of citizens across Europe that will produce, exchange and use information related to land and soil.