"Fun with data analysis!", that is the central aim of our Citizen Science project "With F.U.N. into the wilderness!
The term F.U.N. stands for: research (in german 'Forschung'), environmental education (german 'Umweltbildung') and practical nature conservation (german 'Naturschutz'). Using bats as example, we want to closely link these three components to make a contribution to research and conservation of the biological diversity.
"F" for research:
The research part of this project represents a special feature, because in contrast to many other Citizen Science projects, in which citizens are usually involved in the collection of data, this project is about the participants' involvement in data analysis. On the one hand, we want to contribute to improving the understanding of scientific work. On the other hand, we really need help in our projects to analyse the data.
In the course of the project, we had already offered different types of data in order to test which data are suitable for citizen researchers or which data are most "fun". We found out that the determination of bat species based on photos, which are automatically generated with the help of a photo trap, is most fun for citizen researchers and most useful for our projects. We have therefore focused on this data since January 2020 and developed an analysis tool (see photo trap project).
"U" for environmental education
In addition to broad citizen participation in data analysis, a second focal point is close cooperation with a wide range of educational institutions, from kindergartens to schools and universities. Our offer is aimed at all those interested in bats, science and nature conservation: regardless of age and previous knowledge. Take a look directly at our section for schools.
"N" for nature conservation
The place where "our" bats live, where we collect research data and where we test and implement nature conservation measures in practice is the Nossentiner/Schwinzer Heide Nature Park in the heart of the Mecklenburg Lake District.
There, in the small village of Wooster Teerofen, you will find our Citizen Science Station, the "Gerhardt-Cornelssen-Haus". It is named after a former head forester who established the first nature conservation station here. This is also where civic bat research in this area began 30 years ago. Please have a look at our page about the Citizen-Science-Station.
We are financially supported by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU).