Since it started in 2017, the citizen science project ‘F.U.N.’ has shown a broad public how fun research can be. Bats serve as an example for showing children and adults what it means to be a natural scientist. The project, which is funded by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Environmental Foundation - DBU), is based on two pillars: the citizen science station in Wooster Teerofen in theNature Park Nossentiner/Schwinzer Heide [de] and the website www.fledermausfun.de [de], which serves as an information platform that also encourages citizens to get involved. The website provides teaching materials for various age groups that have been developed in collaboration with the University of Rostock’s [de] biology teacher training section. The project also provides its research data to the general public, free of charge.
“We are very proud to have received this honour. The project shows how well conservation, science and citizen science can team up,’ said Project Manager Prof. Dr. Gerald Kerth after receiving the certificate from Greifswald’s Lord Mayor Dr. Stefan Fassbinder. The Lord Mayor stressed: ‘It’s very important that people who play an active part in conservation share their knowledge. And it’s much easier to retain one’s own findings. The citizen science project is an excellent opportunity for all age groups.’
In addition to the official certificate and a plaque, the ‘F.U.N.’ Team shall receive a ‘Diversity Tree’ that is a symbol for nature diversity. In return, the scientists handed over a bat box to the Lord Mayor, because there are also numerous bats in Greifswald that the researchers would like to protect and preserve.
The United Nations have declared the years from 2011 to 2020 as the Decade on Biodiversity to counteract the worldwide decline in natural diversity.
An independent expert jury that includes representatives from various sectors of society decides which projects receive the award. The expert jury convenes twice a year. Applications are submitted online. All of the projects that have been honoured are featured on the website of the UN Decade on Biodiversity in Germany.
Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Gerald Kerth and Marcus Fritze
Zoological Institute and Museum
Loitzer Straße 26, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 4100
Contact at Nature Park Nossentiner/Schwinzer Heide
Ralf Koch (Nature Park Director)
Ziegenhorn 1, 19395 Plau am See, OT Karow
Tel.: +49 38738 7390 0
Contact at the UN Decade on Biodiversity Office
Arno Todt (Project Management)
UN Decade on Biodiversity Office
c/o nova-Institut GmbH
Industriestraße 300, Gebäude 611, 50354 Hürth
Tel.: +49 2233 481 463