Citizen Bird: thinking, inside the box!
March 13, 2014
H2O Venture Partners has launched a new environmental education initiative, code name: Citizen Bird.
Citizen Bird will use affordable, but cutting edge, computation and instrumentation inside nesting boxes to give school children, citizen scientists and research ecologists unprecedented insight into the activities of native British birds, live from mobile devices.
We are proud to announce that our lead partner is the Rothschild Foundation, which has made a generous contribution to our pilot activities. The first ten trial boxes have been installed in the beautiful grounds of Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury, where they will be accessible this spring to school parties and general visitors. Additional boxes have been installed in the grounds of the Education Departments at Oxford and Oxford Brookes Universities, for evaluation by primary and secondary science educators.
By taking a variety of measurements including - but not limited to - video, our vision is to engage budding citizen scientists to adopt the Citizen Bird research platform nationally, collecting brand new scientific data to answer real-world questions on important issues such as climate change, conservation and evolution. By making environmental education scientifically meaningful and unapologetically technology-driven, Citizen Bird’s ambition is to excite adults and children in the study of nature, the scientific process and simple data handling.
Commenting on the initiative, Sarah Weir, Chief Executive of Waddesdon Manor, said:
“We are delighted to be working with H2O on ‘Citizen Bird’. The Rothschild Foundation has been a long-term supporter of environmental initiatives in the UK and abroad, including in and around Waddesdon Manor. The involvement of our aviary team, led by Ian Edmans, and of our outdoor education programme, led by Lydia Etherington, makes this initiative particularly relevant to our work. We hope that the chance to gain a privileged insight into the lives of breeding birds in the wild will encourage schools and general visitors to come and explore the grounds at Waddesdon this spring.”
H2O is extremely grateful for the support and advice of Professor Chris Perrins (Zoology Department, Oxford University), Jane McNicholl & Dr Claire Gilroy (Education Department, Oxford University), and Helen Wilson (School of Education, Oxford Brookes University) on ornithology, secondary and primary science education respectively.
About H2O Venture Partners. H2O (www.h2ovp.com) develops social enterprises to deliver public benefit, profitably. H2O applies its skills in early-stage business development to originate new ideas, develop the business plan, secure partnerships, recruit the management team and execute a finance plan.
About Waddesdon Manor. Waddesdon Manor (www.waddesdon.org.uk) is a National Trust property administered by the Rothschild Foundation, and one of the most visited of the National Trust’s attractions. The Manor is a centre for excellence in the field of arts, collecting, heritage and conservation, the environment and horticulture. It operates a schools programme that includes environmental education, and a registered zoo conducting captive breeding of endangered birds.