Over six days at the Rio Claro Natural Reserve in Antioquia, Colombia, staff from GBIF participants in Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Spain will come together for initial in-person instruction about community-based monitoring. Together, they'll explore theory and practice while learning how to:
- Design a participatory monitoring plan
- Develop shared methodologies for collaborations between scientists and communities
- Select practices and technologies that ensure high-quality data and information management
- Monitor and evaluate the impact of such projects
After the course, each staffer will have six months to prepare or revise a participatory monitoring plan that integrates lessons learned from the course and then publish dataset through GBIF.
The attendees are also committed to expanding the course’s impact by organizing at least one local workshop—making this event a 'train the trainers’ one. The course hopes to consolidate a Spanish-speaking community of practitioners and facilitate the continued interaction between its members. The Creative Commons-licensed syllabus and teaching resources, including lecture videos and best-practice selection guide, will help ensure that later citizen science projects based on the curriculum can produce data suitable for publication through the GBIF network.
In the first stage of the Participatory Monitoring course, a six-day workshop was held at the Rio Claro Natural Reserve in Antioquia, Colombia between the 23rd to 28th of October 2017. The workshop combined and exchanged knowledge, learned concepts, methodologies and experiences from seven countries, representing more than 25 organizations and over 50 biodiversity experts and practictioners in attendence. Participants learned about the tools, principles, concepts and methodologies relating to participatory biodiversity monitoring in an interactive and lively group setting. Presenters focused teaching on collaborative approaches to monitoring and how to create effective communication bridges between the community and scientists, the benefits and challenges of sharing citizen science data and knowledge about open-science platforms such as iNaturalist, Natusfera and eBird, among others.
Following the learnings over the course of the project, future efforts will focus on a possible second workshop on scientific monitoring (participatory and non-participatory) and evaluation of processes. ● Finally, the team will seek financial support for one of the prioritized initiatives that has a potentially feasible monitoring plan and also a methodology that supports and encourages community participation.