GUWAHATI, March 31 - The Department of Environmental Biology and Wildlife Sciences organised a workshop on �SeasonWatch, a citizen science programme at the conference hall of Cotton University yesterday.
It was attended by students from Cotton University, Gauhati University and Handique Girls� College.
SeasonWatch is an India-wide citizen science programme that studies the changing seasons by monitoring the seasonal cycles of flowering, fruiting and leaf-flush of common trees. With SeasonWatch, participants from across India are contributing data towards understanding changes in tree phenology to understand better how the climate and environment are changing.
SeasonWatch was started by the scientists of National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru and currently being implemented by NCBS and Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), Mysuru.
Welcoming the gathering, Dr Narayan Sharma, HoD, Environmental Biology and Wildlife Sciences, emphasised the need to popularise the citizen science projects such as SeasonWatch to gather, analyse and interpret data, which would be difficult to get without the active participation and involvement of people.
Swati Sindhu, Project Associate, NCF and one of the resource persons of the workshop, said as the environment changes around people, citizen science projects are an opportunity for people in a community to ask questions about these changes and contribute data towards a better understanding. She said trees are easy to observe and change with seasons.
Dr Geetha Ramaswami, Project Coordinator, NCF, stated that tree species can behave very differently from one place to another, and as India is a vast country, encompassing diverse eco-climatic zones, �we need to know how trees behave across these different habitats�.
She announced SeasonWatch is working towards building a Campus Phenology Network across India, as college or university campuses situated across the country often have good green cover and energetic young minds.
In the second part of the programme, the participants learnt how to enter data of plant phenophases such as leaves, flowers and fruits of trees within the campus using an App SeasonWatch that can be operated through the smart phone.