Connecting citizen science stakeholders at a global scale: the CitSciVirtual 2021

Cos4Cloud organized a workshop to co-design Cos4Bio during the CitSciVirtual 2021 event.
Credit: CitSciVirtual website.

The CitSciVirtual, which lasted one month, was also an opportunity for Cos4Cloud members to present three posters about their work on citizen science. 

The event, organized by the Citizen Science Association, included diverse activities, workshops, oral presentations, etc.; all of them intending to exchange ideas on citizen science with diverse people who work in different fields, from educators to community leaders, scientists, students, technologists, data managers, etc.

“For me, the most helpful thing about CitSciVirtual was to observe the growing consolidation of the citizen science community, the diversity of topics in which participants worked on at a global level that integrate citizen science, and the field of environmental monitoring in other social issues”.

Karen Soacha, a researcher at the ICM-CSIC and part of the Cos4Cloud coordination team.

Co-designing Cos4Bio

The co-design session focused on one of the services that Cos4Cloud is developing, Cos4Bio, which is a service that integrates biodiversity observations from multiple citizen observatories in one place. The goal of the activity was to know if attendees found this service easy to use and how they would improve it. How? By doing a short exercise to test Cos4Bio prototype and share the feedback on a Miro board.

If you weren’t able to attend, you could still do the activity at this link! 

Sharing citizen science knowledge 

Three members of the Cos4Cloud team also participated in the CitSciVirtual by presenting posters to talk about essential topics related with citizen science such as  governance, participants’ engagement, environmental monitoring and lessons learned.


“The challenge now is to keep this community connected and to be able to access the content that they shared at the conference, which, unfortunately, did not have an open access policy.”, says Karen Soacha, who presented the poster  ‘Governance roadmap for a citizen science network: A proposal for guiding the process.’ 

iSpot: citizen science and learning 

Janice Ansine, who is the senior project manager of several citizen science projects at The Open University and leader of the Networking, Training and Capacity Building at Cos4Cloud, also participated by presenting the poster ‘Exploring citizen science learning journeys through an online community of nature lovers.’

Janice Ansine, The Open University.

The poster described the scale and range of online citizen science projects and initiatives focused on biodiversity has evolved, particularly over the past ten years. Alongside interest and increasing public participation is growing recognition of its role contributing to learning. How can these types of user experiences be explored from the context of learning i.e. citizen science learner journeys?

Marine species monitoring 

Additionally, Carlos Rodero, a researcher at ICM-CSIC, also participated in the CitSciVirtual presenting the poster ‘Monitoring water transparency through the KduSTICK, a low-cost and do-it-yourself instrument connected by the Internet of Things.’

“It was very enriching to learn about other citizen science projects in the field of environmental monitoring. I learned from the work of other groups and we all agreed that taking care of and maintaining the citizen science community is essential.”

Carlos Rodero, ICM-CSIC.

Learn more about the Citizen Science Association here:

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