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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2012  /  August 2012  /  Harnessing Enthusiasm: Ecosocialities and Citizens as Early-Warning Systems

Harnessing Enthusiasm: Ecosocialities and Citizens as Early-Warning Systems

ESRC Future Research Leader Award for Hilary Geoghegan

Harnessing Enthusiasm: Ecosocialities and Citizens as Early-Warning Systems

Dr Hilary Geoghegan has been awarded an ESRC Future Research Leader Award to explore the social, scientific and technological practices required to harness citizen enthusiasm in developing sustainable citizen science for monitoring tree health.

Citizen science is an activity that is becoming increasingly important as demand for data on biodiversity outstrips the financial and manpower capacity of professional scientists to supply it. Dr Geoghegan will trace the new ‘Tree Health Surveillance Framework’ for Britain, conducting empirical research with citizen scientists, plant pathologists, technicians and users of citizen data, as well as international comparative research on citizen monitoring projects in Australia, a leader in biosecurity.

As well as investigating the socio-personal implications of enthusiasm, the research will offer a deeper understanding of how citizen science practices are articulated. Topics will include the use of Web 2.0 technologies, the requirements of scientists involved in studying and managing environments for health, and the relative contribution of citizen data to the resulting science.

Working in partnership with Forest Research (Britain’s principal organization for forestry research), the Sylva Foundation (a charitable trust promoting wood culture) and the Science Museum (internationally-renowned institution engaging citizens with science and technology), the award will involve extensive knowledge exchange through work-shadowing, joint publications and workshops. Dr Geoghegan will also collaborate with colleagues in GIS at the University of Washington and McGill University, as well as spend time as a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Centre for Cultural Environment Research at the University of Wollongong.

At UCL, Dr Geoghegan will be mentored by Dr Gail Davies (Department of Geography) with Professor Muki Haklay and the new Extreme Citizen Science research group (ExCiteS), at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering.


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Dr Hilary Geoghegan

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