Within the United Nations Sustainable Development 2030 agenda, sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sector needs sea water quality monitoring. This is a very demanding and expensive task which results in the sea being largely undersampled. MaDCrow is a research and development project supported by the European Regional Development Fund, that involves citizens as data collectors while aiming to improve public environmental awareness and participation in scientific research. Its goal is to create an innovative technological infrastructure for real-time acquisition, integration and access of data, thus generating knowledge on sea water quality and marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Trieste. Data acquisition is based on an autonomous and removable device, developed within the project, that can be deployed on any small size sailing boat, recreational vessel, or fishing boat. The device holds low-cost sensors to measure pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen and salinity and the hardware and software to acquire, georeference and transmit the environmental data without interfering with the activities of the boats. In this work we analyze the use, capabilities and advantages of low-cost sensors but also their limitations, comparing, with a special focus on pH, their performances with those of the traditional ones. Applying the paradigm in a highly anthropized area such as the Gulf of Trieste, which is characterized also by a very high spatial and temporal variability of environments, we point out that this new approach allows to monitor sea water quality and highlight local anomalies with a resolution and spatial and temporal coverage that was not achievable with previous procedures, but yet at very low costs. Once received, data are then processed and submitted to a mediation flow that contextualizes and disseminates them for public use on a website. The final products have been customized to reach stakeholders such as tourists, fishermen and policy makers. The availability of information understandable to everyone, while fostering environmental awareness, stimulates, at the same time, involvement and participation of citizen scientists in the initiative. In the future, while committing to enlarge the number of participants, we will extend the analysis also toward other types of sensors.

MaDCrow, a Citizen Science Infrastructure to Monitor Water Quality in the Gulf of Trieste (North Adriatic Sea)

Paolo Diviacco
Conceptualization
;
Massimiliano Iurcev;Rodrigo Carbajales;Alessandro Busato;Alessandro Pavan;Mihai Burca;
2021

Abstract

Within the United Nations Sustainable Development 2030 agenda, sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sector needs sea water quality monitoring. This is a very demanding and expensive task which results in the sea being largely undersampled. MaDCrow is a research and development project supported by the European Regional Development Fund, that involves citizens as data collectors while aiming to improve public environmental awareness and participation in scientific research. Its goal is to create an innovative technological infrastructure for real-time acquisition, integration and access of data, thus generating knowledge on sea water quality and marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Trieste. Data acquisition is based on an autonomous and removable device, developed within the project, that can be deployed on any small size sailing boat, recreational vessel, or fishing boat. The device holds low-cost sensors to measure pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen and salinity and the hardware and software to acquire, georeference and transmit the environmental data without interfering with the activities of the boats. In this work we analyze the use, capabilities and advantages of low-cost sensors but also their limitations, comparing, with a special focus on pH, their performances with those of the traditional ones. Applying the paradigm in a highly anthropized area such as the Gulf of Trieste, which is characterized also by a very high spatial and temporal variability of environments, we point out that this new approach allows to monitor sea water quality and highlight local anomalies with a resolution and spatial and temporal coverage that was not achievable with previous procedures, but yet at very low costs. Once received, data are then processed and submitted to a mediation flow that contextualizes and disseminates them for public use on a website. The final products have been customized to reach stakeholders such as tourists, fishermen and policy makers. The availability of information understandable to everyone, while fostering environmental awareness, stimulates, at the same time, involvement and participation of citizen scientists in the initiative. In the future, while committing to enlarge the number of participants, we will extend the analysis also toward other types of sensors.
crowdsourcing
citizen science (CS)
sea water quality
infrastructure
environmental awareness
Gulf of Trieste (North Adriatic Sea)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/14785
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