Using Social Media as a Data Source for Environmental Science

Meeting on social media and environmental monitoring

The speakers presentations are available - see below for links

We held a free online webinar and workshop on “Using Social Media as a Data Source for Environmental Science” on the afternoon of Wednesday 9th December 2020, 13:00 – 16:00.

About the Event

Environmental scientists are increasingly looking to social media as a data source. Examples include collecting flood data from Twitter, conducting ecological assessments using Flickr, monitoring angler environmental attitudes and behaviour using Facebook and supporting environmental Disaster Risk Reduction.  A series of short talks highlighted work currently being undertaken. Breakout group discussions focused on issues such as ethical considerations of the use of social media as a data source and the availability of technical enabling tools.

This event was organised by the UKEOF Citizen Science Working Group (CSWG) and was open to any interested person in the UK or elsewhere in the world.

Goal of the Event

The goal of the webinar was to open up a discussion around the use of social media as a data source and to facilitate networking, ideas generation and the stimulation of new projects and collaborations.

Speakers and talks

  • Dr Tom August (UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)
    'Naturalists in the Digital Undergrowth' - Social media users are uploading vast amounts of information every day. Whether this is text, images, or video, some of this information tells us about biodiversity. | View presentation
  • Emma Bee (British Geological Survey)
    Exploring the use of social media to support Disaster Risk Reduction: A focus on landslides. | View presentation
  • Dr Jon Chamberlain (School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex)
    Using Social Media Groups for Citizen Science. | View presentation
  • Nathan Fox (University of Southampton)
    “photosearcher” package in R: An accessible and reproducible method for harvesting large datasets from Flickr. | View presentation
  • Dr Graham Monkman (Freelance)
    A wide ranging presentation covering: ethical considerations in the use of social media in environmental and ecological research; an overview of a project for the Marine Management Organisation mapping the spatial distribution of sea angling activity across England; software tools enabling social media analysis. | View presentation
  • Prof Warren Potts (Rhodes University, South Africa)
    Monitoring angler environmental attitudes and behaviour using a Facebook angling group - An example of angler self-reform? | View presentation
  • Dr Valerio Sbragaglia (Marine Science Institute, Barcelona)
    Conservation culturomics and iEcology in a recreational fishing context: Use of digital data mined from YouTube and how they can be used to better understand the human dimension of recreational fishers. | View presentation
  • Dr Eleanor Starkey (School of Engineering, Newcastle University) Using Social Media to Collect Flood Data. | View presentation