Citizen science is research which is wholly or partially carried out by amateurs or non-professional scientists. WUR has acknowledged the importance of citizen science projects, collaborating and gathering data from these people devoted to science.
Data collected by citizens is used in 95% of Dutch EU reports on
biodiversity and has an impact on policy-making.
The WUR biologist Arnold van Vliet has launched the GrowApp application that allows people to create a seasonal animation of
their backyard and other natural places they choose by taking
pictures on the same site throughout the year. Thanks to
this gathered data, scientists can study the effects of climate
change, while citizens get a gorgeous set of images.
Monitoring with home-based stations
Another way citizens can participate in scientific projects is by
monitoring air quality parameters with home-based stations
designed to measure pollution or meteorological conditions. This
data is then reported to scientific organisations for further analysis.
Engaging citizens in data gathering contributes to a more educated
society, aware of their natural environment, and committed to its
protection. The contribution of citizens to scientific projects allows
the performance of certain scientific projects that otherwise would
not be possible because of financial constraints, or lack of staff.