GROW Observatory: Portfolio Output

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract / Description of output

GROW observatory is the title of a multi-component output that centres around a design framework and operational information system for climate action at scale.

The research investigated how open and collaborative modes of harnessing data can support citizen-based Earth observation and climate action at a continental scale. GROW was funded €5.1M by Horizon 2020, to explore the potential of Citizens' Observatories (COs) – community-based environmental monitoring and information systems. As Principal Investigator, Hemment coordinated the design and management of the project, and led a consortium of 18 partners, including University of Dundee, Met Office, United Nations FAO, and a network of thousands of citizen scientists.

The outcome of the research was the first continental-scale CO to monitor a key parameter for science continuously over an extended period and at an unmatched spatial density, improving Earth observation capabilities at the European level. Using the GROW framework, participants were able to gather data on soil conditions, use this data to instigate positive environmental change, and validate the accuracy of the new generation of high-resolution satellites, Sentinel-1. 24 GROW communities in 13 countries created an unprecedented network of 6502 in-situ soil sensors and a dataset of 516M soil data entries. GROW has helped thousands of people to become resilient regenerative food growers. Farmers in the Canary Islands reduced their use of water for irrigation by 30%. GROW communities and data services have been sustained after funding ended.

GROW was named by the European Commission as one of five projects that represent the state of the art in Earth observation in Europe in 2019. It was awarded the Land and Soil Management Award 2019 and acclaimed ‘the best example for future significant sustainability projects aiming at soil health’ by the jury. The research has been further disseminated through 9 papers, 13 posters, 20 conference presentations.
Original languageEnglish
TypePortfolio Output
Media of outputData Platform, Online Community, Information Services, Journal Papers
PublisherProgramme of research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Citizen Science
  • Soil
  • Land
  • Earth observation
  • Citizens' Observatories
  • Sensing


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