IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

"Making marine life recording work": a one-day conference on volunteer recording, Thursday 29th July, Exeter, UK
(2004). "Making marine life recording work": a one-day conference on volunteer recording, Thursday 29th July, Exeter, UK. The Marine Life Information Network for Britain and Ireland (MarLIN): Exeter. 41 pp.

Available in
    VLIZ: Proceedings M33 [64475]
Document type: Conference

Keywords
    Conferences; Marine

Event Top 
  • "Making Marine Life Recording work": a one-day conference on volunteer recording, more

Abstract
    The conference provided a platform for a wide range of topics and discussions. Perhaps the overallmessage to emerge was that in order to make volunteer marine recording work, the marinerecording community must run systems (both organisational and IT) in which a sustainable cohortof motivated, well prepared volunteers provide verified and validated data, suitable for use insupport of conservation and decision making.The discussions arising at the conference suggest that for the above to happen, the marine recordingcommunity must take on board the following factors:1. Getting volunteers involved: Volunteers must be treated well and allowed to develop their own interests within thescheme; They must feel that the activity is useful in a personal as well as a wider sense; Recording schemes must be professional and well organised, with clear structures and outputs. 2. Training volunteers: Sound scheme design and volunteer management will have a beneficial effect on dataquality; Volunteers must be trained so they understand what is expected of them, and imbued withenthusiasm for the marine environment in an appropriate way for their age and for thetype of recording scheme; A formal qualification or certification scheme may be necessary in some cases. 3. Data collection and entry (including verification and validation); Ensuring high quality data involves validation and verification post survey, and validation after data entry; Data quality is closely linked with scheme design and volunteer management; High quality and user-friendly supporting materials can minimise mis-identification ofspecies, and minimise errors in data entry; Those running recording schemes should understand the experience and capabilities of their volunteers, and make the most of particular skills; Experience built up in schemes should be conserved through mentoring of new volunteers by established ones; Duplication of records is an issue if there is more than one point of entry for a record. 4. Feedback: Volunteers must feel ownership of a scheme through providing and receiving feedback. 5. Data sharing: Funding is needed to resolve the issue of incompatibility amongst the many databases; used by recorders; Communication between existing and new recording schemes should be promoted; The lack of communication between local and national level data holders must be addressed as a matter of urgency; Data Access Agreements should be established. 6. Use for conservation: Volunteer data contributes to baseline data by providing wide geographical and temporal coverage, tapping into local knowledge and picking up rare occurrences of species; Involving volunteers in recording schemes increases public understanding of marine issues and this can translate into powerful campaigning; Local representation carries weight at public enquiries; Health benefits and enhanced citizenship are understood by politicians as strong positive factors.Marine recording should not be considered in isolation from the rest of the biological recordingworld. A recent conference held by the NBN highlighted - amongst others - the following pointsthat relate to validation and verification of biological records: Generic guidance is required on what needs checking and how to avoid common errors; Electronic data checking routines and validation tools should be made available, forexample Gateway Importer; Metadata can also be used for data validation.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top