Citizen Science program

Regarding using eDNA approach to generate an index for monitoring the Lancang-Mekong River ecosystem, “Citizen Science” programs with participation from the local public can be an integral part of raising public awareness in sustainable management of water resources and distributing knowledge of science to the region. These activities will also deepen the communication between academics and communities of the Lancang-Mekong basin. Not only it ensures that the citizens understand the current research that is important to society, it also gets many more people to be involved in the project.

The program will be two folds:

Distributing knowledge and information to the public

  • Promoting the importance of the ecosystem of the Lancang-Mekong River
  • Introducing the concept of utilizing microorganisms as an untapped, yet to be discovered, indicator of water quality
  • Publicizing the effectiveness of utilizing the eDNA to generate biometrics for river monitoring

Training local students and volunteers scientifically to use innovative tools for water monitoring with biometrics

  • Collecting the water samples for scientific purposes, e.g. scheduling of the water collecting time, obtaining the samples, and shipping the samples
  • Extracting and purifying microbial DNA
  • PCR and DNA sequencing to discern the microorganisms presented in the samples
  • Analyzing and processing the data with bioinformatics
  • Generating biometrics for river monitoring

Aim

Over 150 “citizen scientists” will be trained by the program. Participants will be student- and teacher-oriented, especially those in schools, colleges, and universities around the stations.

Upcoming activities

If you are interested in the citizen science program, you can check upcoming activities here.