EMBIMOS team from GUARDEN project emerges as leading Citizen Science Group at ECSA Conference

From April 3rd to 5th, the 5th European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) Conference unfolded in Vienna, attracting a diverse array of researchers, activists, policymakers, artists, and institutional stakeholders in the field of citizen science.The citizen science research group EnvironMental and sustainaBility participatory InforMatiOn Systems (EMBIMOS), affiliated with the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC), was actively participating at the conference with two oral presentations, a workshop, and four posters. EMBIMOS currently involved in the GUARDEN european project was searching to establish participatory and citizen science technologies research as a key component of the ECSA conference agenda.

The research group contributes on areas such as applying theoretical frameworks to participatory observatories, conducting school-based case studies in citizen science, and exploring data governance. In particular, Karen Soacha was part of an insightful workshop on “Leveraging Data Science for Change: Navigating Perspectives in a World of Rapid Transformation.” Diving deeply into the fundamentals of ethics and governance in citizen science and participatory technologies.


During other sessions, the EMBIMOS team presented the success story of UrbamarBio, highlighting the collaborative efforts across academia, industry, government, citizens, and the environment, which have resulted in over 38,000 marine biodiversity observations along the Barcelona coast at the MINKA citizen science observatory. They also emphasized citizen science projects in schools and the educational role that tools like MINKA play in fostering oceanic and water culture. Additionally, some of the members shared updates on various EU co-funded projects during poster sessions, such as ProBleu, GUARDEN, MINKE, Aneris, and ECS.

Reflecting on the conference’s significance, Jaume Piera, the lead researcher of the EMBIMOS group at ICM, remarked, “ECSA is fostering a growing community of citizen science practitioners at both the European and international levels, enabling the continuous expansion of the field, including its technologies”. The 2024 edition boasted a registration of over 400 attendees. The next ECSA Conference is slated for 2026 in Oulu, Finland, continuing its biennial tradition.

About ECSA:

With the theme “Change,” the 2024 conference tackled the contemporary reality of rapid and multifaceted changes, exploring how different perspectives on change can lead to diverse conclusions. Sessions examined how change can be transformative, the importance of citizen science in monitoring these changes across disciplines, and how citizen science acts as a catalyst for societal and research advancements.

ECSA, an organization of members dedicated to democratizing knowledge production, supports the growth of citizen science in Europe and advocates for its recognition, promotion, and funding. For more information, visit: ECSA 2024 Conference Website