island, sustainability, future
The project overview
CiSciSusaki aims at analysing the socioecological system of the island of Samothraki, identifying leverage points for a societal transformation towards a sustainable future and developing a framework for local initiatives supporting this goal.
With scientific expertise and in support of the municipality and local initiatives, the scientists intend to contribute to the protection of the unique natural and cultural heritage of Samothraki and support the initiative to declare the whole island as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The citizen science project opens the possibility to include local actors into the research process, win their support for a sustainable Samothraki and use their knowledge to gain methodologically sound insights into the ecological, social and economic conditions and opportunities of the island.
How to participate?
The research process is supported by local citizen scientists with local knowledge and local language skills in multiple ways.
- One group of mountaineers has been trained to install camera traps on different locations in the mountainous part of the Natura 2000 area and check the pictures on a frequent basis. The purpose of this sub-project is to sensitise the local population on the importance of nature conservation and to test the hypothesis that goats roam freely on these areas on a frequent basis degrading the vegetation.
- Another group has been trained to take measurements of tree trunks in order to generate important data on current forest regeneration, but also gain knowledge about the impact and legacies of historical events on the forest ecosystems.
- Local citizens also participate in other processes such as the systematic interviewing of farmers with the help of a decision support app, as well as the demarcation of land ownership borders through the usage of an online map. In collaboration with local schools a composting site will be installed. Moreover, the language skills of local citizens will be used for the translation and dissemination of relevant texts and documents for the website.
What happens to the contributions of citizen scientists?
All contributions are collected and published on the website. During the annual summer schools organised on the island, citizen scientists have the opportunity to discuss their results with students and scientists.
Participating and supporting institutions
- University of Klagenfurt, Institute of Social Ecology (project leader)
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (project partner)
- Integrated ITDC (project partner)
- Sustainable Samothraki Association (project partner)
- Terraprima (project partner)
- Municipality of Samothrace (project partner)
- Hellenic Centre of Marine Research(project partner)
- Zathay Social Cooperative (project partner)
- Austrian Science Fund (project funding)