Citizen Science can be a powerful tool for increasing data collection effort, promoting knowledge sharing, and encourages better communication between scientists and the public.
Citizen Science is defined as the practice of public participation in scientific research.
We promote active involvement by the public in a variety of projects that will help fill data-gaps across our urbanizing landscape.
Unfortunately, the Niagara Region is very data-deficient when it comes to baseline information, such as species presence (especially species-at-risk), tree/plant communities or inventory lists, soil structure and chemistry, hydrological functions of wetlands, and presence of invasive species.
By encouraging the active participation of the people living in the region, we can gather baseline data more efficiently and use in our various reports, research projects and environmental impact assessments. All data we collect, whether by our staff or by the public, will be shared with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
To support this initiative, we have developed smartphone app data-collection tools for the public to use.
Bat populations are declining due to loss of overwintering habitat and the spread of the fungal disease called "white-nose" syndrome. We are working with partners to collect information on bat activity across southwestern Ontario... so go ahead and let us know what you see using My Field App during summer evenings, watching the skies!