Scientific and risk-reduction benefits of involving citizens in monitoring volcanic activity

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Jonathan Stone, Jenni Barclay, Peter Simmons, Paul D. Cole, Susan C. Loughlin


Citizen science involves volunteers, regardless of scientific background, in conducting scientific investigations. Although the extent of citizen involvement varies, the reported benefits of such activities include: the generation of new knowledge; increased public understanding of and confidence in science, and ‘real-time’ insights into rapidly evolving events such as natural hazards. In volcanic environments, involving citizens at risk in participatory monitoring activities also has the potential to encourage and to inform risk-reducing actions. A global survey of volcano monitoring institutions (VMIs) found that around two-thirds of those that responded had engaged in citizen science initiatives. The majority of initiatives involved direct observation of eruptions or impacts. VMIs that had engaged in citizen science reported that it had improved participants’ scientific knowledge and enhanced the relationship between the VMI and local citizens. A few had involved citizens in further data gathering or in data analysis and reported additional risk reduction benefits.



Earth Sciences, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Volcanology


citizen science, volcanology, Volcano Monitoring, disaster risk reduction


Published: 2017-11-21 02:45


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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