Do you like spring flowers?
Do you not own a smartphone or have difficulties using one?
Do you live in or near London? We’re asking people less familiar with smartphones to test a new mobile application for science and for people around the world. Can you help?
Who are we and what are we doing?
My name is Hannah Gibbs and I work in a research group called Extreme Citizen Science, part of the Department of Geography. In our group we work with communities all over the world to help them address local issues that are important to them – from odour and noise in London to illegal logging in the Congo Basin and cattle invasion in Namibia. These communities decide for themselves what issues they want to tackle, what data they will collect and how to analyse it, and they lead the project. You can read more about our work here.
What are we asking you to do?
If you decide to participate, there are 3 stages:
1. We meet to discuss our research project and provide training with the mobile devices—provided to you to undertake the project—and the application we will test. During this meeting there will also be time for any questions you have. This will be arranged to include and accommodate everyone who is part of the project (around 10 people) and will be Covid-19 safe.
2. You will collect some data (in your own time, over a period of 2 weeks to a month) on spring bulbs or flowers near you, e.g. in your garden, nearby streets or your local park.
3. We will run a session (1 hour) to see what you think about an associated application used to view the data you collect, and what you think would improve it. Following this, we will write a report about the project which will share with all participants. You will receive compensation for your help in the form of payment or vouchers, plus the possibility to get your name on a scientific journal!
What have spring flowers got to do with Indigenous communities around the world?
Recently, our group has launched a mobile application called Sapelli Viewer that will help support communities visualise the data they collect. This research gives us a good opportunity to test whether the application we have developed is user-friendly. People will use it to collect and analyse many sorts of data – this may be local flora and fauna, or it may be human activities that are affecting their environment. We work with people in various parts of the world who have never seen a map or a smartphone before. If you saw this and thought “I don’t know how to do this”, you’re just the person we’re looking for. If, after collecting the spring flowers data, you find you’ve become interested in that subject, we’ll give you a copy of the data you collected and tell you what projects will able to use it.
If you are interested, please call or e-mail Hannah with your name and contact details and she will get in touch with you!