A CITIZEN-SCIENTIST OBSERVATORY FOR THE STEWARDSHIP OF LOCAL FRESHWATER RESOURCES: RESULTS FROM CITIZEN AND STUDENT VOLUNTEERS IN THE ARNO RIVER BASIN, ITALY
Urban freshwater ecosystems support fundamental activities and services to the local communities, in particular related to their use for recreation, irrigation, and water supply. At the same time, these ecosystems often undergo significant impacts from modified land use, hydrology, climate, and sheer intensity of use. Undergoing multiple pressures, these ecosystems behave differently than their counterparts in rural and natural areas. However, there is limited information available on these ecosystems and their dynamics. Citizen science is a powerful interdisciplinary tool connecting the natural sciences with social sciences and policy. When properly constructed, citizen science projects can greatly increase available information and promote behavioural shifts to address the sustainability goals of water resources’ use. In the framework of the European funded project POSEIDOMM, and in partnership with the international FreshWater Watch initiative of the Earthwatch Institute (Oxford, UK), citizen and student volunteers have adopted local freshwater ecosystems in the Arno River Basin, Italy, for monitoring of water quality, ecosystem conditions and anthropogenic litter composition. Results show seasonal dynamics of water quality (suspended sediments) and litter composition. The cooperation effort between researchers, students, teachers and citizens has created an important inter-generational dynamics and has been supported by the local municipality. By linking the participants to 40 similar community-based research projects across the globe, we show how this network of citizen scientists has had benefits to community participation in environmental governance.
Galgani, L., University of Siena, Italy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Loiselle, S. A., EarthWatch Institute, United Kingdom, email@example.com
Figliomeni, B., Liceo Linguistico G. Pascoli, Florence , Italy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rustioni, M., Comune di Tavarnelle Val di Pesa – Environmental Councillorship , Italy, M.Rustioni@comune.tavarnelle-val-di-pesa.fi.it
Location: 313 C
Presentation is given by student: No