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Publication Detail
From education to action: How technology enables public participation in the context of environmental conservation
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Gliozzo G, Vitos M, Stevens M
  • Presented date:
  • Presented at:
    Conference on Public Participation in Scientific Research (PPSR2012)
  • Location:
    Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Extreme Citizen Science, Public Engagement, Augmented Reality, Games With A Purpose (GWAP), Participatory Mobile Sensing
  • Notes:
    Conference website: http://www.citizenscience.org/community/conference2012
UCL’s ExCiteS group develops theories, tools and methodologies to enable communities anywhere to engage in Citizen Science. One goal is to apply ICT to stimulate and support public participation in environmental conservation. The work discussed here approaches this goal from two perspectives. First, we intend to educate the general public about endangered species in a playful and engaging manner and thereby raise environmental awareness. The other challenge is to provide non-literate indigenous people with a tool that empowers them to take action to protect their local environment and way of life. We used participatory mobile sensing and Augmented Reality (AR) to implement these. We present two smartphone application prototypes, which employ ICT as a medium between the environment and human appreciation and action. Our “Augmented Zoology” app leverages AR and game-elements to bring dead bones to life and thereby creates an interactive learning experience in an otherwise static museum exhibit. The experience also triggers social interaction and discussions. Our “Anti-Poaching” app co-designed and currently being tested by Pygmy hunter-gatherers in the Cameroon rainforest. Through a decision tree of pictorial icons, representing various illegal activities, users can record and geolocate incidents. Therefore, technology plays a twofold role in supporting public participation and action.
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