Creative Thinking in Citizen Science Fieldwork – Dérive in Nature

Project dates: 20/12/2018 - Ongoing

This research asks questions around the role of creativity in citizen science fieldwork practices involving animal spotting and tagging, hypothesising that a focus on creative thinking may lead to increased chances of spotting and tagging. This sort of work naturally requires creative problem solving skills such as the possibility of needing to devise new tools or methods for animal spotting and tagging during fieldwork. This project uses a technology-led creative practice approach, creating a geolocative phone application called ‘Diffraction’. For the Diffraction app I employ concepts of derive as put forward by Guy Debord, for engaging with place, absurdism, and creative problem solving tasks, to guide users through the outdoor spaces they may be working in. By carrying the geolocative work via a smartphone during fieldwork, Diffraction encourages the user to engage in gamified tasks that allow them to respond to the plants and animals in their surroundings in potentially new ways. Participant observation is used with members of science and citizen science teams while using the Diffraction app, and while completing tasks that may require creative thinking skills.


Electronic Book Review



July 2019 | University College Cork | About the event

Chief Investigators


Other Team Members

Wildlife Queensland Scenic Rim