Citizen science and global biodiversity
Citizen science and global biodiversity

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Citizen science and global biodiversity

Week 7: Joining an online citizen science community


This week of the course focuses on how you can learn more about the wildlife and habitats around you; build your species identification skills while joining an online citizen science community; and participating through It outlines five ways to participe and learning about biodiversity through using iSpot: explore, identify, contribute, personalise and recognition.  This week of the course takes you step-by-step through the process of joining an online citizen science community and using iSpot: browsing, registering, adding an observation, including a species name to an identification, using the iSpot Species Browser and iSpot keys, understanding taxonomic hierarchy, as well as personalising and customising your iSpot experience.

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In the UK, many of us are passionate about our natural heritage. But although we enjoy being in our gardens, walking in local parks and green spaces, how much do we really know about the flora and fauna? Being able to recognise and name different species is very important. It is fundamental to biological education, science, and conservation.
Understanding that people like to share this type of knowledge and want to learn more, the Open University created, a citizen science social networking platform for biodiversity. iSpot supports and engages both beginners and experts through their interest and curiosity about the natural world.
As you are by now aware, iSpot is aimed at helping anyone to identify anything found in nature. It is designed to enable people to upload their observations of wildlife, help each other to identify species, and share and discuss their findings.
In this week, you will be taken through the process of using a citizen science platform that supports species identification.
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By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • understand the process of how to use iSpot to make observations, post comments, develop projects and customise it with filters
  • recognise the value of rewards for species identification via iSpot’s Reputation system
  • use a citizen science platform that recognises and values learning, e.g. iSpot quizzes
  • understand what it means to be part of an active citizen science community.

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