Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

Two sibling papers on citizen science at ILTER just published

21 April 2023

Citizen science (CS) is one the most promising forms of public engagement and it has huge potential to support science-society interactions with mutual benefits.

Environmental and ecological sciences are among the most active in proposing CS initiatives, since they necessarily include social and cultural dimensions to confront the complex local and global environmental challenges. This aspect is particularly evident in the International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network, which offers a valuable landscape to explore CS features across a wide range of different cultural and socio-ecological contexts.

Scientists working at LTER-Italy (from two institutions: CNR and CREA-DC), in cooperation with the University of Maryland, launched a survey among ILTER scientists, aiming at assessing different aspects of CS. Which are the main features of CS initiatives? How are citizens involved and how is their contribution acknowledged? What do scientists think about CS, and what is their willingness and reasons to participate in CS? What are the associated barriers, and the impacts of these efforts on them?

These and other questions were investigated and discussed in two articles that have been recently published in Frontiers in Environmental Science:

  1. Bergami C, Campanaro A, Davis C, L’Astorina A, Pugnetti A and Oggioni A (2023), Environmental citizen science practices in the ILTER community: Remarks from a case study at global scale. Front. Environ. Sci. 11:1130020,
  2. L’Astorina A, Davis C, Pugnetti A, Campanaro A, Oggioni A and Bergami C (2023), Scientists’ attitudes about citizen science at Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites. Front. Environ. Sci. 11:1130022,
Figure: Map of the distribution of respondents by biogeographic regions [© OpenStreetMap contributors ( Map data July 14, 2022].