Design and development of an open-source framework for citizen-centric environmental monitoring and data analysis | Scientific Reports

Abstract:  Cities around the world are struggling with environmental pollution. The conventional monitoring approaches are not effective for undertaking large-scale environmental monitoring due to logistical and cost-related issues. The availability of low-cost and low-power Internet of Things (IoT) devices has proved to be an effective alternative to monitoring the environment. Such systems have opened up environment monitoring opportunities to citizens while simultaneously confronting them with challenges related to sensor accuracy and the accumulation of large data sets. Analyzing and interpreting sensor data itself is a formidable task that requires extensive computational resources and expertise. To address this challenge, a social, open-source, and citizen-centric IoT (Soc-IoT) framework is presented, which combines a real-time environmental sensing device with an intuitive data analysis and visualization application. Soc-IoT has two main components: (1) CoSense Unit—a resource-efficient, portable and modular device designed and evaluated for indoor and outdoor environmental monitoring, and (2) exploreR—an intuitive cross-platform data analysis and visualization application that offers a comprehensive set of tools for systematic analysis of sensor data without the need for coding. Developed as a proof-of-concept framework to monitor the environment at scale, Soc-IoT aims to promote environmental resilience and open innovation by lowering technological barriers.

 

A new open-access platform to bring greater oversight of deforestation risks – SPOTT.org | SPOTT.org

“ZSL [Zoological Society of London], as a sub-grantee alongside Global Canopy, will be launching a revolutionary platform in 2022 bringing together the best data available on corporate exposure to, and reporting on, deforestation and other related environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

The project aims to provide market-leading data to help financial institutions identify risks and find opportunities for sustainable investments to meet the growing demand for responsible financial products in light of the biodiversity and climate crises.

The database will be underpinned by the data collected through ZSL’s SPOTT assessments, Global Canopy’s Forest 500 assessments and the Stockholm Environment Institute, Global Canopy and Neural Alpha’s Trase Supply Chains and Trase Finance data, and will be aligned with the Accountability Framework Initiative and its guidance.

Supported by a five-year grant from the Norwegian government, the resulting data and metrics will provide a more comprehensive view of company performance on deforestation, conversion and associated human rights risks. The dataset will also provide broader coverage of the most exposed forest risk supply chains (in particular: palm oil, soy, timber, pulp, rubber and cattle products) and geographies where corporate performance data on these topics is currently missing. By mapping and integrating data from aligned initiatives and external datasets, more complete and in-depth coverage of corporate performance data will be available….”

PRESS RELEASE: Open Letter to EPA Asks Agency Not to Sunset its Online Archive – Environmental Data and Governance Initiative

“Today, environmental and archivist groups including the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Free Government Information published an open letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency not to sunset its online archive, which the agency has indicated it will do in July 2022. The letter and the complete list of initial signatories can be found here. A companion letter from professional historians’ organizations, including the Environmental Historians Action Collaborative and American Society of Environmental Historians, can be found here. 

The EPA’s online archive contains a public record of the agency’s positions and activities over the last 20-plus years. These resources convey information about critical environmental issues, and past and present agency activities, policies, and priorities and have facilitated public engagement and oversight of the agency. Maintaining—and improving—the archive supports the agency’s outspoken commitments to public trust, scientific integrity, and environmental justice. Retiring the archive undermines these commitments.

There are documents discoverable through the EPA’s archive that are not available anywhere else, including records of chemicals authorizations, policy decisions, and monitoring data from natural disasters. Only through the EPA archive is it possible to trace public-facing EPA climate change information over the course of the escalating crisis. The EPA’s archive served as a tool to counter some of the effects of the Trump administration’s censorship—especially of climate-related information. When the Trump administration deleted the majority of EPA’s climate change web resources, many of them became available (if challenging to access) through the archive. 

In our digital age, agencies must make their documents accessible to the public. We need the EPA’s archive to be improved, not retired. Instead of doing away with the EPA archive, the Biden administration could promote it as a model for other parts of the Executive Branch….”

Call for abstracts for ILTER’s 2022 Open Science Meeting | UK Environmental Change Network

“The International Long-Term Ecological Research Network, ILTER, is planning its third Open Science Meeting, that will take place later this year. The event will take place from September 12-16 in Kunming, China, and will be hosted by the Chinese Environmental Research Network, CERN. The meeting will be offered in a hybrid mode (both in-person and remote participation possible).

There is a call for abstracts for oral or poster presentations, or for a workshop. For details of the event and the call for abstracts, please visit the ILTER website….”

LAUNCH: Laudato Si’ Integral Ecology Collection | laudato-si

“In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis emphasised the importance of a united, global response to the current ecological crisis. Dialogue and learning on integral ecology, however, is often hindered by limited access to the academic publications on the subject, which are not affordable for many individuals and institutions in lower-income countries.

 

The Laudato Si’ Integral Ecology Collection was developed to address this problem by making open access a selection of key texts on integral ecology. The collection will provide a valuable resource for lay readers, students, and those undertaking more advanced academic study. Publications in the collection could also be read as part of a reading group or an online course.

At the launch, we will hear from academics and practitioners in the Global South on their current access to academic material on integral ecology and how this collection will support their work. We will also hear about the origins of collection and plans for its future development. There will be an opportunity for Q&A with panellists.”

Knowledge Unlatched and Laudato Si’ Research Institute Make a Collection of at least 11 Books on Integral Ecology Open Access – Knowledge Unlatched

“Knowledge Unlatched (KU) and the Laudato Si’ Research Institute at Campion Hall, Oxford (LSRI) have joined forces to make 11 titles from the field of Integral Ecology Open Access (OA). This collection of e-books, the Laudato Si’ Integral Ecology Collection, is made possible thanks to the “KU Reverse” model from Knowledge Unlatched and to the generous co-funding from the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University (Environmental Justice Program), with support from the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of a united, global response to the current ecological crisis. Dialogue and learning on integral ecology, however, is often hindered by limited access to the academic publications on the subject, which are not affordable for many individuals and institutions in lower-income countries. The Laudato Si’ Integral Ecology Collection was developed to address this problem by making OA a selection of key texts on integral ecology. The collection will provide a valuable resource for lay readers, students, and those undertaking more advanced academic study. Publications in the collection could also be read as part of a reading group or an online course.

The titles will be made available OA to users all over the world after the official launch of the Collection on March 3, 2022 and hosted in a special module on the Open Research Library….”

PLOS Sustainability and Transformation publishes first papers

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) today announced that PLOS Sustainability and Transformation published its initial cohort of papers. The journal’s mission is to empower key decision makers to take immediate action for the sustainability of our environment, our economy, and the societies around the world who depend on it. The journal has so far received more than 70 submissions from researchers around the world.

Implementing an Open & FAIR data sharing policy—A case study in the earth and environmental sciences – Cannon – 2022 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This paper outlines the impact of the introduction of an Open & FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) data sharing policy on six earth and environmental science journals published by Taylor & Francis, beginning in November 2019. Notably, 18 months after implementing this new policy, we observed minimal impacts on submission, acceptance rates, or peer-review times for the participating journals. This paper describes the changes that were required to internal systems and processes in order to implement the new policy, and compares our findings with recent literature reports on the impact of journals introducing data-sharing policies.

Open Climate Now! | Branch magazine issue #2, June 2021

“Two global movements—open and climate—both reckoning with privilege and power in their own organizing, should seize the moment to work more intersectionally and learn from each other. The open movement with its values, community and action has the potential to greatly contribute to climate research and activism, and climate scientists and organizers should join the fight for the (digital) commons.  …

A scan of the open movement—which comprises networks, projects, and organizations that advocate for the creation, curation, and sharing of the knowledge commons through the use of open licenses—shows very limited collaboration between both communities. These movements share similar values and their activists envision similar horizons of human and planetary well-being, yet actions are being organized and conducted separately. We must now reflect: how will future generations of open activists use the digital commons to grapple with climate change, one of the greatest challenges of humanity?…”

Authors: Shannon Dosemagen, Evelin Heidel, Luis Felipe R. Murillo, Emilio Velis, Alex Stinson and Michelle Thorne

Branch magazine funded in part by EIT Climate KIC

Open Environmental Data Project

“We partner and collaborate with institutes, nonprofits, individuals and universities to help articulate best practices for new data commons models in the environmental context….

We provide insight that identifies, evaluates and summarizes scientific, legal, economic and cultural incentive and strategy levers for advancing environmental generative actions….”

Director of Policy Initiatives

“OEDP seeks a bold and strategic Director of Policy Initiatives to lead the work of identifying opportunities and possibilities for creating an inclusive environmental data ecosystem. The Director of Policy Initiative’s primary responsibilities will be to develop policy recommendations related to the inclusion of environmental data at all levels of government; interact with and comment on projects and policy as they relate to environmental and climate data and governance; and lead initiatives related to environmental and scientific policy (for instance: SIDE environmental events and Civic Voice). Strong candidates will have a deep understanding of environment and science policy, demonstrated research and analysis skills, and experience working on federal and/or state environmental policy or politics. The ideal person for this position is enthusiastic about sharing ideas, building community (with grassroots efforts, government, and academics), and creating networks….”

Communication and Content Manager

“The Open Environmental Data Project (OEDP) seeks a dynamic communications professional who will energetically develop and implement our communication and brand awareness strategies around the conjoining topics of environment, science, and open data. This position reports to the OEDP Director and is required to see the big picture of our work, while also being responsive to emerging information and topics across the landscape of environmental data. The goal of this position is to increase our visibility and develop communities around our programs through online communication (SEO, website, social media, etc.), public relations and brand strategy. OEDP is a young organization and we are looking for someone who is excited about the opportunity to grow as a member of our team, thinking creatively and strategically about the goals of our work….”

Open science, the replication crisis, and environmental public health: Accountability in Research: Vol 0, No ja

Abstract:  Concerns about a crisis of mass irreplicability across scientific fields (“the replication crisis”) have stimulated a movement for open science, encouraging or even requiring researchers to publish their raw data and analysis code. Recently, a rule at the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) would have imposed a strong open data requirement. The rule prompted significant public discussion about whether open science practices are appropriate for fields of environmental public health. The aims of this paper are to assess (1) whether the replication crisis extends to fields of environmental public health; and (2) in general whether open science requirements can address the replication crisis. There is little empirical evidence for or against mass irreplicability in environmental public health specifically. Without such evidence, strong claims about whether the replication crisis extends to environmental public health — or not — seem premature. By distinguishing three concepts — reproducibility, replicability, and robustness — it is clear that open data initiatives can promote reproducibility and robustness but do little to promote replicability. I conclude by reviewing some of the other benefits of open science, and offer some suggestions for funding streams to mitigate the costs of adoption of open science practices in environmental public health.

 

The need for free and open data in Earth observation activities – SpaceNews

“The evolving quality and quantity of Earth observation data enables an ever-increasingly profound knowledge of the climate crisis, enhancing the efficacy of mitigation strategies as well as the management of risk and natural or human-made disasters. Access to satellite imagery offers a unique and game-changing advantage compared to data collected in situ: the capacity to build data sets with decades worth of observations while providing constant, up-to-date, and reliable information.

The environmental emergency, while having severe global effects, will not affect all states equally. Poorer, less developed countries are expected to face severe challenges directly related to climate change, and will experience the large majority of climate-induced human mobility, be it internally displaced people or climate migrants. Open Data policies promoting free and open access to Earth observation data and information are an important tool to guarantee access to satellite imagery to those states which do not yet possess the capabilities for independent access to space. This is especially true for data related to the causes and effects of climate emergencies, such as the Essential Climate Variables identified by the Global Climate Observing System. Open Data principles not only greatly enhance the mitigation strategies of less-developed countries, but would significantly further their risk and disaster management….”