The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.
Over recent decades, community-based environmental monitoring (often called “citizen science”) has exploded in popularity, aided both by smartphones and rapid gains in computing power that make the analysis of large data sets far easier. Publishing in BioScience, handling editors Rick Bonney, of Cornell University, Finn Danielsen, of the Nordic Foundation for Development and Ecology (NORDECO), and numerous colleagues share an open-access special section that highlights numerous community-based monitoring programs currently underway.
In an article on locally based monitoring, Danielsen and colleagues describe the potential for monitoring by community members—who may have little scientific training—to deliver “credible data at local scale independent of external experts and can be used to inform local and national decision making within a short timeframe.”
Community-based monitoring efforts also have the potential to empower Indigenous rightsholders and stakeholders through their broader inclusion in the scientific process, writes Bonney in a Viewpoint article introducing the section. Moreover, he says, “Indigenous and local peoples’ in situ knowledge practices have the potential to make significant contributions to meeting contemporary sustainability challenges both locally and around the globe.”
In this episode of BioScience Talks, Bonney and Danielsen join us to discuss the special section as well as the broader future for community-based monitoring.