This is a project started in Aruba to begin collecting environmental data and sharing methods and tools openly, in order to start establishing a baseline so that changes in the environment can be measured and understood.
The first phase of this project, with support from the UNESCO Participation Programme, focused on two main areas: land and ocean.
On land, we started by using satellite imagery to see how much vegetation there is and how it changes over time. We also built a relatively affordable station for measuring air quality, including particulate matter as well as temperature and humidity.
In the ocean, we explored using satellite imagery to make a rough map of shallow water reefs, and built an aquatic monitoring station to continuously measure ocean acidity and temperature. We also have an underwater drone in development that will one day hopefully be able to swim around by itself and take pictures of the sea floor, helping to map reefs as well as seagrass in Aruba.
These experiences helped to understand better how these types of tools can be used in smaller countries, especially These experiences help us understand how these types of tools can be used in smaller countries, especially small islands, to establish baselines and monitor progress towards certain sustainable development goals. You can read more about that in our report here: https://medium.com/@tony_87301/how-citizen-science-can-help-sids-reach-sdgs-8ef2920b7e00
With everything, we’re sharing as much as possible about the process and our successes and failures, and we hope this will help other people to start researching and collecting data in other places in Aruba and around the world.
The tools and topics we’re currently exploring are as follows: