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Citizen Science -- a celebration of partnership between academia and local people
Date:2/6/2008

As part of its 50th anniversary events, the University of Leicester is joining with the Earthwatch Institute, currently celebrating 21 years of continuous support for research in the Lakes of Kenyas Rift Valley, with a one-day conference.

Citizen Science Past, Present & Future, to be held at Vaughan College, the Universitys Institute of Lifelong Learning, will showcase longstanding research from the Universitys Departments of Biology and Lifelong Learning, as well as from the Rutland Water Nature Reserve, the British Trust for Ornithology, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and the Earthwatch Institute, all linked with the University.

Its emphasis will be on how ordinary citizens have helped scientific research over the years of the Universitys existence. In making this connection, the conference goes back to the very beginnings of Adult Education in Leicester, when Canon Vaughan made academic knowledge including knowledge of the natural world available to ordinary working class men and women of Leicester in the 19th Century. The university is proud to continue these traditions throughout the world.

Leicester biologist Dr David Harper organiser and one of the contributors to the conference - has been carrying out research at Kenyas Naivasha for 25 years, supported for much of that time by the Earthwatch Institute.

Over the years, the project has grown and extended. Now Dr Harper leads an international and inter-disciplinary study of how the issues in water use, ecology and conservation of the lakes in the Kenyan Rift Valley which are unique on the planet - can be integrated with the sustainable livelihoods of indigenous communities around them. It involves research teams each year, led by scientists from Leicester and seven other partner universities Nairobi, Queen Mary, London; Trinity College, Dublin; Bournemouth; Washington State USA; Insubria, Italy and Lodz, Poland.

David Harpers own pa
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Contact: David Harper
dmh@le.ac.uk
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

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