Integrated communication and education campaign highlighting the impact of climate change in the context of citizen science expeditions to the Arctic

Geneva | Started on 01/01/2018

A multimedia package including citizen science activities, television documentaries, editorial content (online & published), web and social media engagement, photo exhibitions and public events primarily highlighting the Polarquest2018 citizen science sailing expedition to the 82nd parallel. The adventurous nature of these expeditions – which showcase the beauty of pristine nature – provides a effective storytelling hook to communicate the significant damage caused by climate change and to highlight the importance of sustainability for the future of the planet.

A unique feature of Polarquest activities is the involvement of international high-school students (16-20) in all stages of our expeditions. They build instruments, take part in sampling campaigns and analyse data under the supervision of research scientists from international and national institutions, including INFN and CNR-ISMAR (Italy), and CERN, ETHZ and the Swiss Polar Institute (Switzerland). Polarquest2018 was the first of this kind to reach and sample micro-plastic and cosmic rays beyond 82°N, and provided baseline data for citizen science data collection. These expeditions – from preparations to results – have provided the content for award-winning TV documentaries (Nanuq (IT, Mediaset) and Polarquest (FR, Ushuaia TV)), full-house public events, TV and print media coverage, and, most recently, a successful book (Ottantesimo Parallelo, Salani).

Polarquest not only brings science to the public, we bring the unique perceptions of citizen scientists to traditional research bodies. This cross pollination lays a foundation for long-term involvement of non-scientists in climate action and fosters mutual understanding between the two worlds.

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Editor’s Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.