Citizen Science

Crowd-sourcing for visual marine image annotations

Citizen scientists will annotate underwater photography seabed images from subtidal, shelf-sea and deep-sea areas and focus on the visual classification of the seabed habitat, detect and classify the larger fauna present. The campaign and mass imagery crowd sourced data generation will include specific parameters such as macroplastics, sponge and cold-water coral cover and major seafloor organism types. Available images will be taken from partner’s repositories or be generated through optical sensing throughout the project.

Creation of Diving Associations Network

Diving associations will be provided with NAUTILOS novel low-cost sensors, measuring and recording different environmental parameters (e.g. temperature, salinity, chlorophyll). Citizen scientists will be able to download such data at regular intervals and upload them to the dedicated online platform serving also as a visual database of collected data (creation of thematic maps).

NIR Scanner micro and macro-plastic campaigns

NIVA will organize citizen science plastic-related campaigns on cruise ships, museums, science centers, etc. through “chapters” on touch screen consoles for ocean literacy, and collection, identification, and education directly with cruise ship passengers who collect micro/macro-plastics on the cruise ships using WP4 samplers and by hand when visiting shore. Plastics counting and identification for the latter activity will be carried out with microscopes, micro NIR cameras and smartphone NIR scanner.

Citizen Science Plastics-Related Campaigns

HCMR will organise citizen science campaigns involving schools, citizens and NGOs during which macro- and microplastic litter will be collected from touristic coastal areas around Crete. The macro-plastic litter will be counted and categorised according to their type, origin and life span in the environment. In addition, citizen scientists will collect water and sediment samples from the same coastal areas to isolate microplastics and identify their type, using simple methods such as sieving, filtering and density separation. The citizen science data produced during these campaigns will be published in the citizen science interface (T8.4) and graphical maps indicating locations and respective quantities/ frequencies of plastic litter data will be produced. The campaigns will be presented in local schools and other public events (e.g. Researcher’s Night, European Maritime Day etc.). A demonstration of microplastic sensors and samplers
developed during tasks 4.3, 4.4 and 5.1.3 will be also performed during these campaigns.

Italian Marine Protected Areas Campaign

The CNR will organise citizen science and environmental education programmes in 5 Italian marine protected areas (MPAs) surrounding the Pelagos Sanctuary, involving local NGOs, volunteers and high school students, in order to broaden their scientific knowledge on the problem of marine litter and make them aware of current environmental problems and teach them how to solve them. The MPAs, both coastal and insular areas, are located on the north-west coast of Italy, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ligurian Sea. Collection and cataloguing protocol used during these citizenscience campaigns will be carried out using the SeaCleaner protocol, based on the standard OSPAR protocol and MFSD guidelines, and adapted to the peculiarities of the study area located in the Mediterranean area.