what is citizen science?
Citizen Science is the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.
I want to travel to Antarctica and become a citizen scientist. Where do I start?
The citizen science programs we are facilitating are managed by on-board teams of expedition staff and guests on board are welcome to participate. Your options are to find an operator who runs a citizen science program, book an expedition and then get ready to become a data collector! Another option if you feel you may qualify for a position as expedition staff is to reach out to the tour operator to see if there might be a team position available to you.
I'm a scientist and may have a suitable project. How can I insure the data you collect is reliable?
We facilitate scientist-led citizen science. This means we will work tirelessly to communicate to our data collectors the protocols you have already determined for your research. We'll work side by side in developing the necessary training and instructional guidelines so that you have the utmost confidence in the data. We'd also be happy to put you in touch with other scientists we regularly work with to talk through any concerns you may have.
Are you open to ideas for new projects?
Absolutely! We are enthusiastic to learn of projects which may be a great fit for the polar tourism industry. We are actively looking for citizen science projects for the Arctic (Svalbard, East Greenland and Franz Josef Land regions). We'd love to hear from you.
Is there a fee for your services?
No. We are passionate about the intersections of science and tourism and will be eager to work with any interested tour operators or potential scientific partners. For highly complex citizen science programs and depending on the scale and campaign-length of the projects, there may be a cost involved but this will be discussed in time.
Where did this idea come from?
The 5 founding members of the Polar Collective are expedition guides in the polar tourism industry. Historically, science on board tourism vessels consisted of scientists being given berth space to conduct their own research, or data collection was managed by the expedition team with little to no involvement from guests.
We believe we can do more, and that with our extended access to remote regions, our industry is perfectly situated to contribute large, relevant data sets for polar research. Additionally, through our education programs and the travel experience we make possible, we are tasked with creating "ambassadors," which are committed, enthusiastic and action-oriented travelers who will return home to champion for the protection of the polar regions. We are confident that participating in citizen science programs will only increase this enthusiasm and connection to the area in which they have traveled.