ParKli: Participatory climate research to develop local early warning systems for climate protection

ParKli Team (DE), Reutlingen University, Herman Hollerith Center (DE), open science for open societies – os4os (DE)

In ParKli, the impact and consequences of climate change on natural and living spaces are investigated. The three elements of co-design, co-production, and co-evaluation were used to interact with citizens in the research project. Every skill, age, and ability is welcome and a valuable contribution. Scientists and citizens work on an equal basis on different topics, e.g., water, biodiversity, soil, and urban area.

Interested parties can get involved at different levels and in various roles, from climate detectives who collect data via apps to citizen advisors who get more involved in the project, like identifying problems and needs and supporting the development of the Parkli toolbox.

Wherever possible, ParKli builds on proven open-source methods and integrates methods and data from projects such as iNaturalist, Greenspacehack, and EyeonWater. These projects have a worldwide active community, are open source, and give users access to their collected data. They are fully aligned with the project's objectives – only shared knowledge can make a real change.

In addition to that, IoT-sensors have been developed where APPs could not be used e.g. a boje for monitoring the water quality of lakes and soil monitoring.

Citizen Science and Open Science aim to open up research by providing open access to data, publications, and other research products. ParKli sees itself as a driver of the research focus areas of Open Science and Citizen Science. The Parkli platform and toolbox includes best practice guidelines and methods for citizen science projects, the use of applications/APPs to collect, analyze and communicate data, and open access databases.

The ParKli research project is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Foundation as part of the ‘Innovations for adaptation to climate change’ programme.

We would like to thank all the citizen scientists, (climate detectives and advisory boards) who have supported the ParKli journey as well as the developers and communities of iNaturalist, Greenspacehack and EyeOn Water.

Reutlingen University, Herman Hollerith Center (HHZ) (DE) The HHZ is a teaching and researche center and implements innovative study programs for modern computer science and business and applied research. The HHZ is integrated into the structures of Reutlingen University and the Faculty of Computer Science. Together with partners from science and industry, relevant issues in the field of business informatics are addressed in research and teaching.

open science for open societies - os4os is a non-profit organisation for the promotion of science, research and education (DE). To this end, we initiate projects in the areas of open science, citizen science, open data and open source. os4os focuses on the transfer of research results to civil society and develops corresponding methods and tools. A primary goal is the development and operation of the information portal


The consortium team working together on this project are:

Prof. Dr. Dieter Hertweck (DE) is a Professor for Service Science at the Faculty of Computer Science, Reutlingen University, and the project coordinator of ParKli.

Annette Kunz-Engesser (DE) is responsible for networking and activating citizen scientists. She is also the contact person for educational institutions such as schools and associations and develops new teaching formats.

Jan Fauser (DE) is working on data visualization tools and data cleaning methods for the data collected by the apps and sensors used in ParKli.

Reiner Braun (DE) leads the scientific investigations and supports citizens in developing experiments, data collection, and the use of ParKli’s toolbox.

Philip Regel (DE) is developing Parkli’s core software elements and integrating them into cloud systems; he focuses on DevOps, IoT, and system architecture.

Tobias Kanaske (DE) is developing the ParKli open hardware sensors and integrating the sensor data into ParKli’s data infrastructure.

Brigitte Braun (DE) who studied Man and Identity at the Design Academy Eindhoven, is the Communications and visibility coordinator developing the ParKli platform UI.

Sam S. Namin (DE) who studied animation in Babelsberg, is supporting with visuals like illustrations, animations, and videos.

ParKli, a German initiative, employs co-design to engage citizens in documenting climate change impacts on biodiversity in natural and urban environments. Participating as 'climate detectives' or 'citizen advisors', the project has involved 1,500 citizens and school students in defining local ecological issues, collecting environmental data through mobile apps, and creating new technologies such as sensor buoys and data dashboards that close knowledge gaps in environmental informatics. The project develops innovative visualisation tools and breaks down data silos, creating interfaces between different citizen science projects to ensure that insights from local projects can be used across domains.