The Showcase was opened on 20 June by Eleni Velgaki, Director within the Region of Attica; Angelos Amditis, Scent Project Coordinator; and Izabela Freytag, EASME Project Advisor at the European Commission, who commended the project for making science and data accessible for all and for harnessing citizen science to make a positive different for the future.
Smart Technologies for Citizen-Driven Flood Monitoring and Management
“The data collected by citizens must be easy to find and accessible to support its future use”, said Valantis Tsiaskos, Scent Project Manager. The panel, also including Stefano Tamascelli, XTeam Solutions; Joseph Shtok, IBM Research; Ioana Popescu, IHE-Delft; and Valantis Tsiakos, ICCS, discussed how the Scent Toolbox technologies engage citizens in collecting information about the environment, and use machine-learning to transform this data into flood models and standardised resources.
Interactive Demonstration: The Scent Toolbox
Daniele Miorandi, U-Hopper, shared how the Scent Toolbox helps to gather citizen-generated data and translates it into resources to help policymakers make better decisions. Throughout the Interactive Demonstration, people could test out tools such as Scent Measure. Citizens use portable sensors together with Scent Measure to record and measure changes in soil conditions. Other Scent Toolbox components on display included Scent Campaign Manager, Scent Map Segmentation and Delineation, and Learn with Scent.
Roundtable: Challenges and Enables of Citizen Science in Flood Monitoring and Management
Panellists discussed challenges and enablers of citizen science in flood monitoring and management. THe panel included researchers and policymakers from Greece and Romania, each bringing a new perspective to why people engage in citizen science and how to sustain that engagement. They were all in agreement that people need to see they are having an impact and can help by contributing to something greater. Izabel Freytag, from the European Commission, affirmed “There are many solutions and good examples. We can learn from other citizen science initiatives and educate people, starting with existing communities.”
Citizen Science Success Stories and Lessons Learned from Upscaling Such Initiatives
This discussion led into a session focused on success stories and lessons learned from other citizen science initiatives. Partners from LandSense, WeObserve Ecosystem, GROW Observatory, SMURBS, and HRTA from Scent each shared about how their projects have engaged citizens to become citizen scientists. Panelists were clear that data sharing is key to future developments in the field.
Field Trip to the Kifisos River Basin
On 21 June, participants were brought on a field trip to the Kifisos river basin, where participants were able to test the new Scent apps in a live Scent citizen science campaign. Participants were guided along the river bank where they used Scent Explore to gather data, such as land-use/land-cover images, water velocity measurements and river parameter measurements. Using the Scent Measure app and a portable sensor, the participants took measurements of soil moisture and air temperature at points of environmental interest. The information they gathered helps to create flood models for the river basin.