In this episode, I talk with Laurie Parma of The Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. We talk about her involvement in development if the NatureBuzz app – a citizen science / crowdsourcing endeavor.
A new app will crowdsource data to help scientists understand the relationship between biodiversity and wellbeing. The app, developed at the University of Cambridge, maps happiness onto a detailed map that includes all the UK’s nature reserves and green spaces.
NatureBuzz, which is available to download free on iOS and Android platforms, asks participants three times per day to answer questions about how they feel, whether they are outside or indoors, who they are with, and what they are doing. At the same time, it records their location using GPS data. NatureBuzz also provides information about UK nature reserves and ‘protected areas’ and will provide users with feedback on how their happiness has fluctuated, where it was highest, with whom and during which activities. (Sarb’s note – Laurie confirms that they’d like to collect international data too).
“Apps provide a great way of collecting data from thousands – possibly tens of thousands – of users, a scale that is just not possible in lab experiments,” explains research associate Laurie Parma from the Department of Psychology, who coordinates the study. “We’ll use this data to answer some fascinating and potentially very important questions about our relationship with nature.”
I hope you find our conversation interesting and thought-provoking. I’d love some feedback from you about the show.