The aim of the project is to promote a more sustainable future for the Greek island of Samothraki.

island, sustainability, future

The project overview

Area of Science: Natural Sciences
Location: Samothraki, Greece
Used Devices: without PC/Mobile, with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: Local knowledge and contacts, cameras, GPS, internet access, measuring devices, language skills
Activities of citizen scientists: sharing ideas, observing, photographing, mapping, analysing
Suitable for: Youngsters and adults
Project duration: 15.06.2016 - 14.06.2020
Time to join in: 15.06.2016 - 14.06.2018
Expenditure of time: camera traps: training 30min, supervision and analysis 5-6h/month (1 year long); tree measurements: training 15min, measure trunks & record data: 2h/day; interviews with farmers: training 1h, interviews 2h; counting goats: training 15min, task 2-3

Project objective

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.

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.

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


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Marina Fischer-Kowalski

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