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4. Who studies biodiversity?

4. Who studies biodiversity?

Professional biodiversity scientists conduct research, write articles, collaborate, publicise their findings, and much more. But regular citizens are also important collectors of biodiversity data.

In the video we meet the scientists at the Research Centre for Ecological Change.

The clip comes with subtitles in English. Just click play, select the gear icon on the lower right and select subtitles in English.

Find out

Along with professional researchers, regular citizens also play an important role in biodiversity research. How many observations do people other than professional researchers contribute? Are there problems with citizen observations, and how could the observations be improved? Find out by using the laji.fi -service from the Finnish Natural History Museum.

What kinds of observaions are citizens contributing?

How to make citizen science observations better

Using citizen science observations in research is challenging, because the likelihood that a species gets observed is affected by many factors that are hard to evaluate after the fact. These factors could skew results a great deal. Neigbouring cities might show completely different observations just because the hobbyists that happen to live in each one are interested in different species. Most observations are made close to inhabited areas and along roads, even though a lot of species are more likely to live in uninhabited areas.

Considering these challenges, design your own nature survey, where the results would be as useful as possible for research.

When you have put your own survey plan together, check out the citizen science projects below and consider what problems there might be in interpreting their results, despite having been designed by professional researchers.

Tweet a scientist

Read newspapers to find stories, where scientists are interviewed. What kinds of questions are they asked? Try to contact the scientist through email or Twitter.

Ask the scientist