The GLOBE International Citizen Science Schools’ Programme – Irish schools invited to sign up and participate and – The EPA launches new citizen science web pages

The EPA and An Taisce has launched the second year of the GLOBE citizen science programme in Ireland. Students in schools that sign up for the 2018-2019 campaign will have the opportunity to learn about the weather and climate and do hands-on science in their locality. The EPA also launched its new citizen science web pages: www.epacitizenscience.ie .

Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA said:

“We are delighted to continue to support the exciting work of the GLOBE programme in Ireland. A key strategic priority for the EPA is to develop public participation programmes to increase awareness of environmental issues and support the engagement of the public in environmental protection. We are working to achieve this by partnering with An Taisce and others to develop and advance citizen science initiatives, particularly in the areas of air quality, water quality and sustainable behaviour.

“Citizen science provides the opportunity for members of the public, for whom we report environmental data, to help gather environmental data that is relevant to their locality. To help encourage participation in citizen science initiatives, we have today made live the new web resource, www.epacitizenscience.ie .”

Michael John O’Mahony, Director of An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit said:

“We’re very excited to be partnering with the EPA in delivering the GLOBE programme to Irish schools. We look forward to a great year working with teachers and students investigating Ireland’s weather and measuring and reporting on air quality around schools and communities”.

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Programme is an international science and education programme that connects students, teachers and scientists to better understand the Earth’s environment through citizen science. Since 1995, more than 32,000 schools in 121 countries have participated in GLOBE. Over 150 million measurements have been contributed to the GLOBE science database creating research-quality datasets that are available to all.

An Taisce is now accepting applications of interest from schools that may be interested in participating in the GLOBE programme for the academic year ahead. Data collected by the Irish schools will be uploaded to the GLOBE science database where it will then be available to researchers throughout the world.

People who would like to get involved with this initiative or learn about other citizen science initiatives in Ireland can also visit the EPA’s new citizen science web pages: www.epacitizenscience.ie .

Speaking about the new citizen science web resource, Stephanie Long, Senior Scientist, EPA, said:

‘The colourful new pages on the EPA website are a go-to resource for people interested in citizen science. Here you can access information about initiatives under three headings: EPA Citizen Science Initiatives, General Citizen Science Information and other National Citizen Science Initiatives. You can find out about several EPA-supported citizen science projects focusing on air and water quality. There is also information about many other citizen science projects, from bat and bumblebee monitoring to surveying Ireland’s coastlines.”

Citizen Science:
Citizen Science is research carried out by members of the public who volunteer to collect scientific data. This research often focuses on monitoring biodiversity, invasive species and climate. Carrying out citizen science offers many benefits for both citizens and scientists. Citizens working together can collect much more scientific data than scientists working alone. Participating in citizen science can increase public engagement with and understanding of important environmental issues. Citizen science can encourage people of all ages to get out into nature and can contribute to an increased sense of community.

GLOBE programme:
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) programme is an international science and education programme that provides school students with the opportunity to participate in data collection and to contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the earth system and global environment. GLOBE was re-launched in Ireland in 2017 and this two-year pilot programme is managed by An Taisce in partnership with the EPA.

2018-2019 GLOBE programme:
Schools that sign up for the 2018-2019 campaign will have the opportunity to learn about the weather and climate and do hands-on science by collecting and analysing data about the weather in their locality. During the second part of the year, there will be an opportunity to learn about air quality and carry out research about the air quality near the school. This data will be uploaded to the GLOBE science database where it will then be available to researchers throughout the world. Thirteen Irish schools participated in the 2018 Spring Air Quality Campaign and contributed over 350 measurements to the GLOBE database.

Further details of GLOBE in Ireland are available from https://www.globe.gov/ or by emailing An Taisce at globe@eeu.antaisce.org.

GLOBE Learning Expedition, July 2018, Killarney, Co. Kerry: The GLOBE Learning Expeditions are organised every four to five years to provide students from around the world the opportunity to present their research projects to their peers, to GLOBE scientists, and the greater GLOBE community. Teachers are provided with an opportunity to share innovative ideas and challenges, to attend professional development sessions and to build connections for research collaboration between schools. The 2018 GLOBE Learning Expedition was held from July 1st to 6th in Killarney, Co Kerry and 400 participants attended from 40 countries. The overall theme of the event was “Mountain, Woods, and Water: Developing a Sense of Place”. Five Irish schools attended the Learning Expedition and presented their research to participants. Watch this short video to find out more.

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