First series of funded citizen science projects - 2018
Along with the launch of the knowledge centre for citizen science in Flanders, the Flemish government wrote out a project call for citizen science initiatives. In May 2018, these 7 projects were approved for funding.
This air quality project for schools builds on the success of the first AIRbezen project. In this project, Flemish primary schools will care for strawberry plants. The leaves will pick up particulate matter, allowing for the study of air quality in and around the school.
SPIN-CITY aims to study spiders as indicators of climate change. It's assumed that spider colours evolve towards a lighter spectrum as average temperatures rise. In addition, the structure and size of spider webs are an indicator of fluctuations in the local insect population.
3. Insecten: vriend of vijand?
Insects: friends or enemies? recruits citizens to gather data on biodiversity. More specifically: they will map the sensitivity to aphid populations of different trees, according to their species, location and local insect populations.
4. VLINDER (Vlaanderen IN DE weeR!)
The VLINDER project studies the effect of environmental factors on local weather. Flemish schools will build, maintain and analyse data from dozens of different weather stations.
The Vespa-Watch project maps the spread of the Asian (Yellow-legged) hornet in Flanders via citizen observations and an advanced monitoring system that will also keep track of the health of local bee populations.
6. Knappe K(n)oppen
Students, teachers and their family members study how changes in daylight and temperatures affect the growth of buds on local trees in the Knappe K(n)oppen project.
7. Oog voor Diabetes
An eye for Diabetes asks citizens to study retinal scans for signs of disease. The annotated images are fed to a machine learning algorithm to teach it to automatically detect diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease associated with diabetes.