A drone

How citizens can help monitor rivers: from social media to flying drones

In this interactive demonstration, Professor Fabio Ciravegna and Dr Stuart Wrigley explore technologies that people can use to benefit the environment.

Citizens can play a fundamental role in monitoring the environment. New technologies enable a new era where citizens and authorities cooperate for the common good.

Fabio Ciravegna will present technologies that citizens can use to help monitor rivers:

  • a sensor to monitor water velocity that can be built by citizens themselves
  • a drone to take environment measurements during floods that can be flown by trained citizens
  • social media, which can be used to help people react to floods.

This technology is currently being tested in the UK (Doncaster) and Italy (Venice). The demonstration is interactive and will involve participants. The talk will be of interest to citizens who care about the environment and citizen scientists.

Pink graphic: mobile universityTicket information – this lecture is free

Pick up your ticket or tickets from the bus on the day.

To make sure you get a place, collect your ticket between 9.30am and 10.50am on Sunday. (You can collect tickets for up to three lectures happening that day.) Or you can turn up just before the lecture starts – but spaces are limited.

If the bus fills up, you'll be able to listen to the lecture and watch the presentation in an inflatable dome next to the bus.

When and where

Date and time: Sunday 29 September, 2.30pm–2.50pm

Location: Devonshire Green, city centre

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About Professor Fabio Ciravegna

Fabio Ciravegna is Professor at the Department of Computer Science, the University of Sheffield. His research field concerns knowledge and information management with a particular focus on crowdsourcing.

He is the director of the European Project WeSenseIt on citizen observatories of water. His research funds since 2006 top £6.3million from UK research councils, the EU and industry.

He is the co-founder of two spin-out companies in the areas of knowledge and information management – K-Now Ltd – and telematics – The Floow – both based in Sheffield.


About Dr Stuart Wrigley

Dr Stuart Wrigley is a research scientist at the University of Sheffield. He received his PhD in 2002 and has been involved in a number of large EU-funded research projects.

His current research interests include low-cost remote environmental sensing (water courses and energy consumption), data visualization and citizen engagement in science.