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by The James Hutton Institute
Posted on September 05, 2016

A citizen science project for growers, gardeners, farmers and space scientists

“The outcome will be a hub of open knowledge and data created and maintained by growers that will be of value to the citizens themselves as well as specialist communities in science, policy and industry"

The launch of a massive, European-wide project aiming to involve tens of thousands of ‘citizen scientists’ in a drive to empower growers with knowledge on sustainable practices and make a vital contribution to global environmental monitoring has been announced today.

Led by the University of Dundee and supported by partners across Europe including the James Hutton Institute, the GROW Observatory (GROW) intends to solve key challenge for environmental monitoring – the ability to measure soil moisture at high spatial resolution over large geographical areas – whilst sharing knowledge on growing in different regions. The aim will be to increase small-scale food production and preserve the soil quality for future generations, whilst improving forecasting of extreme climate events, such as heatwaves and floods.

GROW has received funding of €5million over the next three years through the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme. The project starts on 1st November 2016, and will engage growers and citizen scientists to help co-create the experiments during the 2017 growing season.

GROW aims to underpin smart and sustainable custodianship of land and soil, with a view to meeting the future demands of food production. It also aims to answer a long¬standing challenge for space science - by helping to validate the detection of soil moisture from satellites. GROW will look at how this data can contribute to services and applications that help forecast and prepare for extreme climate events, such as heatwaves and floods...

Read full story on The James Hutton Institute news page