Heat and drought records have been succeeding each other for several years in a row. Our summers are getting warmer and drier. You have probably already noticed it in your own garden: dry spots appear in the lawn, during a heat wave and/or the trees lose their leaves prematurely. 'CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin' investigates how we can better deal with the effects of increasingly warmer and drier summers. How do we ensure that our garden remains a cooling place during a heat wave? And how do we better arm our gardens, but also our parks, fields and nature reserves, against drought?
5,000 citizen scientists are conducting the research
To answer these questions, CurieuzeNeuzen wants to map the heat and drought throughout Flanders in great detail. This is a challenging scientific problem and requires many measuring points. That is precisely why CurieuzeNeuzen is calling on 5,000 citizen scientists, who will be involved in the project from 3 April to 2 October 2021.
Innovative data collection
'CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin' is a demonstration project for a whole new type of data collection. Each participant is given a soil sensor in the garden. This so-called “lawn dagger” measures the temperature at three points every 15 minutes, as well as the moisture content of the soil. The innovative aspect is that all soil sensors are connected to Orange's Internet of Things network. For example, the data ends up directly in the CuriezeNeuzen database, and each participant receives a daily update of the measurement data in a personal dashboard.This is an international first: it is the first time that a network of 5,000 IoT sensors is being rolled out. For example, 'CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin' is a demonstration of what the very latest technology is capable of.
'CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin' will provide an internationally unique dataset that will give scientists a much better insight into how drought sensitive our gardens, parks, nature and agricultural areas are. Would you like to know more about CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin? Look at curieuzeneuzen.be
'CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin' is an initiative of the University of Antwerp and De Standaard, in close collaboration with Rabobank.be, Orange, Vito, VMM, Department of Economy, Science and Innovation, Department of Environment, Bio-Planet, iFLUX, DPD and Aquafin.
CurieuzeNeuzen is science for and by citizens
At CurieuzeNeuzen we fully believe in the power of large-scale citizen science, with thousands of citizens contributing to a major research project. After all, the help of many citizens makes it possible to “crack” unsolved scientific problems.With challenging environmental problems, such as air quality or heat & drought, having many measuring points makes a big difference. Because thousands of citizens participate in the measurements, we can map these complex phenomena in great detail. This gives us as scientists access to a new and unique source of data. These large datasets provide new scientific insights into how we can improve air quality, or how we can better arm ourselves against the consequences of climate change in the future.
At the end of December 2022, CurieuzeNeuzen in de tuin closed the garden gate. The team looks back with pride on two extraordinary years in which never before had the impact of heat and drought in such a large region been portrayed in such detail. Curious to see more? Then take a look at the website.
Do you want to support the 'CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin' project? Here's how you can contribute:
Did you know that donations of 40 euros or more are 45 % tax deductible? This is an extra incentive to provide maximum support to our projects.
Step 1 - Donation
There are two ways to donate:
- By bank transfer to bank account number BE42 7310 4624 7854 in the name of 'Universiteit Antwerpen'. Be sure to mention 'fiscaal attest' (tax certificate) and your preferred destination in the communication field.
- By online payment where you can indicate your preferred destination straight away.
Step 2 - Donation form
In order to allocate your donation correctly, we recommend you to also send us the donation form where you indicate your preference for the destination of the amount again.
The completed form can be posted to Universiteitsfonds Antwerpen - Middelheimlaan 1 M.A.223 - 2020 Antwerpen, or you can simply scan or even photograph it, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This way, the University Fund can allocate your donation correctly.