- Climate science through lectures by experts;
- Computational tools through virtual labs; and
- A challenge inviting participants to compete for prizes by designing and implementing solutions for climate resilience.
An particularly exciting part of this initiative is the possibility to win cash prizes for innovative research ideas. You can find more information about labs and lectures here at https://nex.nasa.gov/opennex
and to participate in the challenge, you can go directly at https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933584.
Pay attention! Especially grad students and young researchers! The first part of the challenge is the ideation challenge which will close on the 31st of July, 2014 and will follow up with another solvers challenge based on the ideas as selected form the ideation challenge. This will run through October so ample time to participate and win prizes.
The new Berkeley Food Institute has released its crop of funded projects from its first seed grant program. Our project Making the Road by Mapping: Informing Food System Transformation through Participatory Mapmaking was selected for seed funding. This project, led by Kathryn DeMaster includes graduate students Adam Calo (ESPM) and Sarah Van Wart (Information), Darin Jensen (Geography), Tapan Parikh (Information), Kaley Grimland-Mendoza (Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association), Amber Sciligo (Post-doc, ESPM), Christy Getz (ESPM), and Jennifer Sowerwine (Jepson Herbaria). We look forward to digging in.
Our participatory mapping research project has four primary purposes: First, we explore participatory mapping as a way to collaboratively generate new food system knowledge with scholars, practitioners, and producers. Second, through a process we term “communitysourcing,” we aim to illuminate overlooked caches of community-based knowledge and engage community members, agricultural producers and scholars in collaborative efforts to map a particular food system supply chain (small-scale organic strawberry production in the Salinas Valley). Third, we aim to integrate the interdisciplinary community-based participatory research with specific understandings of the way that certain agricultural policies either facilitate or restrict sustainable small-scale organic strawberry production in the Salinas Valley (with a particular focus on water quality and food safety policy/regulations). Fourth, we will present our findings in novel, innovative, and visually captivating ways that will: (a) Inform specific policies/regulations and; (b) Provide small-scale producers with easily accessible caches of community generated knowledge to inform their practices.
In a recent article published in the Guardian, Michelle Kilfoyle and Hayley Birch discuss the widespread use of citizen science initiatives. They recently produced a report (pdf) for the Science for Environment Policy news service, in which the authors review a number of citizen science case studies, and explore the potential benefits of citizen science for both science and society, especially given the advent of new mobile technologies that enable remote participation. They also ask interesting questions about who really benefits the most from these developments: the amateurs or the professionals?
- How could new and developing technologies help citizen science projects feed into environmental policy processes?
- Is environmental data produced by citizen scientists as accurate as environmental data produced by professional scientists?
- How can citizen science benefit environmental monitoring and policymaking?
This creative project from GeoWiki seeks to get croudsourced feedback on crop types from participants around the world. They say:
By 2050 we will need to feed more than 2 billion additional people on the Earth. By playing Cropland Capture, you will help us to improve basic information about where cropland is located on the Earth's surface. Using this information, we will be better equipped at tackling problems of future food security and the effects of climate change on future food supply. Get involved and contribute to a good cause! Help us to identify cropland area!
Oh yeah, and there are prizes!
Each week (starting Nov. 15th) the top three players with the highest score at the end of each week will be added to our weekly winners list. After 25 weeks, three people will be drawn randomly from this list to become our overall winners. Prizes will include an Amazon Kindle, a brand new smartphone and a tablet./span>