Postdoc opportunity: How digital platforms influence birdwatching as a citizen science activity

Ref SLU ua 2020.2.5.1-3653

The Department of Ecology combines research in basic ecology with applied research in nature conservation, wildlife management, forestry and crop protection. Much of its research is interdisciplinary and increasingly concerns citizen science, an approach and research focus SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) expands and invests in. The current post capitalises on this development and explores how technological and organisational innovations have shaped citizen science as a communal activity in the context of biological recording and environmental change.

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Project description:

Bird watching is a highly popular citizen science activity with a long history. Citizen science activities of this kind are increasingly channelled through digital platforms, which prove effective in mobilising and enabling citizen science communities across the world. As a result, communities of birdwatchers can be larger and more widespread. One of the intentions of such platforms is to provide others with access to an expert community and that this would enable deeper and more meaningful interactions with the natural world, i.e. for citizen scientists to become environmental citizens as they gain scientific expertise. But does it? This research will explore how technological and organisational innovations, such as eBird and iNaturalist, shape citizen science as a communal activity: What does it mean to be a platform? How do they shape the science and the citizen? How does ‘the social’ feature? The work will provide the successful candidate with an ideal opportunity to develop inter- and transdisciplinary research capacity in the context of environmental citizen science – a rapidly expanding field of research and application.

This PostDoc opportunity is part of a EU H2020-funded international project, named EnviroCitizen https://www.envirocitizen.eu/, with partners from Norway, Estonia, Cyprus, Romania, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. The EnviroCitizen project is based in the environmental humanities and aims to find ways for the citizen science of the future to take the citizen part as serious as the science part. For this, it focusses on birdwatching and the potential this may bring for cultivating green engagement.

Place of work: SLU Uppsala, Sweden
Type of Employment: Fixed term employment of 24 months.
Percentage of Employment: 100%
Starting Date: By agreement, though ideally at the very start of 2021.
Application deadline: We welcome your application no later than 2020-11-01

Read more here.