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Delphis and citizen science

What is citizen science and how can it contribute to the study of marine mammals?

Citizen science is a developing field in science and science education in which citizens and scientists collaborate in the various stages of scientific research: for example in asking questions, collecting data, analyzing the data or publishing it (Silvertown, 2009). The citizen volunteers take part in various and diverse researches and thus contribute to new discoveries and the advancement of human knowledge.


One of the main fields that benefits from the fruits of civil science is the field of ecology - monitoring biological diversity, identifying species of animals and plants, monitoring populations and their areas of distribution, as well as the field of the environment - monitoring air pollution, water pollution, detecting hazards and more. These fields require an extensive information base that is usually difficult for scientists to obtain in the absence of the required resources - and they turn to the public for help. The information obtained from citizen science helps in managing natural resources, setting policies and solving problems. 

Also in other fields such as astronomy, biology, social sciences, medicine and public health - citizen science contributes to scientific development and leads to new discoveries (Conard & Hilchey, 2011; McKinley et al., 2017; Kullenberg & Kasperowski, 2016).

The degree of involvement of the citizens who volunteer in the project varies from project to project. Most of the citizen science projects in Israel and in the world were created by scientists who are mostly interested in collecting information and analyzing it with the help of the public. In such a case, the scientists initiate the project and invite the general public or those with a certain expertise (such as meteorology enthusiasts, astronomy enthusiasts, butterfly/bird enthusiasts, etc.) to participate and help.


One of the goals of the Delphis association is to create a bridge that will connect the world of academia and the citizens. We believe that sharing and making academic information accessible to citizens, as well as increasing citizens' participation in monitoring, and in the research itself, will lead to raising awareness and the desire to protect the marine environment, and its ambassadors - the dolphins. To this end, we invite our activists to learn about the monitoring methods and marine surveys, to participate in them, thereby helping to collect data.

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