Digital innovation with miniSASS, a citizen science biomonitoring tool

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    14.11.23

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Digital innovation with miniSASS, a citizen science biomonitoring tool
Pattinson, N. B.; Russell, C.; Taylor, J.; Dickens, Chris W. S.; Koen, R. C. J.; Graham, P. M.
The mini stream assessment scoring system (miniSASS) was developed as a citizen science biomonitoring tool for assessing the water quality and health of stream and river systems. A miniSASS survey involves sampling the aquatic macroinvertebrate community in a stream or river reach and using the known sensitivities and tolerances of the taxa present to infer information about the water quality and health of the stream or river. The quality of the outcomes of a miniSASS survey is dependent on good sampling technique and accurate identification of aquatic macroinvertebrates by low-skilled citizen scientists. As such, there is potential for errors in sampling and identification which may impact the accuracy of results. In response, we aimed to 1) develop a smartphone application (miniSASS mobile app with built-in machine learning (ML) algorithm for the automatic, real-time identification of aquatic macroinvertebrates) to assist in miniSASS surveys, 2) modernise and upgrade the miniSASS website to handle new data submissions (including photographs) and improve the user interface (UI), and 3) develop an online miniSASS training course. This report presents the methodology and preliminary results pertaining to these objectives.

 

Pattinson, N. B.; Russell, C.; Taylor, J.; Dickens, Chris W. S.; Koen, R. C. J.; Graham, P. M. 2023. Digital innovation with miniSASS, a citizen science biomonitoring tool. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). CGIAR Initiative on Digital Innovation. 31p.

 

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