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Citizen of Science: Capture the Coast campaign photograph
Citizen of Science: Capture the Coast campaign photograph

Becoming a Citizen of Science

23rd February, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I went to Portsmouth for a days training to enable me to be a Citizen of Science. This acolade is part of the Capturing our Coast programme initiated by Newcastle University. Other partners have joined including Portsmouth University, and the training was at the Institute of Marine Science on Ferry Road, not far from Southsea. There was a very good turn out and the day was both fun and informative, although the weather was terrible! Capturing our Coast has been instigated to assist with monitoring Climate change which is directly linked to the ocean. We were a mixed group of people, and anybody can do it you do not have to be a scientist, although some scientists were taking part.

The training included spending time on a local beach in the afternoon (very cold due to extreme weather conditions) learning how to do a survey. We were given a quadrant which is a square wire frame divided into smaller squares and a special measuring implement. By laying the square down at intervals along the beach within a distance measured out in advance, the content within each square of the quadrant can be seen and recorded. This could be seaweed of varied variety, or limpits or other such products of biodiversity that are found on beaches. In recording this data and sending it to its designated research centre one is supporting the large swathes of data needed for marine biologists/scientists to analyse in relation to climate change. Anybody out there interested should log in to Capture our Coast or Cocoast and see the areas where training takes place. I really enjoyed the day and will choose a beach on the south coast to do my survey when the weather gets warmer!!. This experience has also informed my own work as well as supporting a very good cause.

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