Earth Challenge 2020 relies on citizen science as a tool for global scientific empowerment, education, and action.
Citizen science accelerates scientific research and environmental management. Members of the public collect and share information in places, scales, and resolutions previously unachievable. This information is relevant to local problems and conditions and can be re-used in research on global issues like climate change. The Earth Challenge 2020 partners will recruit global input on the critical research questions that will shape Earth Challenge 2020 activities. With the support of scientific experts, we will help create a new citizen science data and metadata standard to build the first global, trans-disciplinary citizen science database and coordinated data access portal.
Citizen science educates and engages the public. Citizen science volunteers will learn about their local conditions, and leverage information to inspire collaborative action and influence policy decisions. Participation enriches people and communities by bringing global citizens together and fostering greater scientific and technological literacy. Earth Challenge 2020 will develop toolkits to help educators and students participate, along with data visualization tools that make citizen science information accessible.
Citizen science creates systems for accountability and action. Citizen science projects can engage, educate, and help people hold government and companies accountable to their commitments by supporting and augmenting formal reporting. Earth Challenge 2020 will include regionally relevant “what you can do” resources to help contributors understand the links between data and decisions from a policy perspective, and to make better decisions in their daily lives.