The Champion of Open Science Award granted to the Spring of Migratory Birds

Muuttolintujen kevät (Spring of Migratory Birds) banner
14 November 2023

The Champion of Open Science Award 2023 has been granted to the Spring of Migratory Birds initiative. The mobile application Muuttolintujen kevät (Spring of Migratory Birds) has been identified as an excellent example of promoting citizen science through engaging citizens to participate in collecting data.

The Muuttolintujen kevät mobile application, which is designed for audio-based bird monitoring, was launched this spring by the University of Jyväskylä, CSC – IT Center for Science and the Finnish broadcasting company Yle. CSC is responsible for maintaining and processing the data obtained through the mobile application and ensuring data availability for research.

Large attention and participation by citizens interested in birds has led to more accurate data on migration than has previously been collected. As of the beginning of November, approximately 3.7 million recordings had already been submitted. The collected data allows to investigate when the different bird species are arriving to Finland, where different bird species reside and in combination with other information, such as climatic and habitat conditions, analyze and identify which factors affect bird populations.

Every year the National Open Science and Research Coordination rewards open science practices. The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture, is responsible for the coordination of the awards.  Among the different awards, the Champion of Open Science Award is given to an organization or group which advances the fulfilment of open science practices in Finland, and which provides through their work an example and support for others.

The Champion of Open Science Award was handed over to the collaboration team during the Open Science and Research Winter Conference 2023 on Wednesday, 8 November. Jemal Tahir (CSC), who contributed to the development of the application programming interface (API), Academy Professor at the University of Jyväskylä Otso Ovaskainen and Information Specialist Ossi Nokelainen (JYU) attended the ceremony. In the Horizon Europe funded BioDT project, Ovaskainen is responsible for the development of the digital twin focused on bird distribution modelling together with several other European project partners.

The data gathered via the Muuttolintujen kevät mobile application will also be used as input data for a purpose-designed digital twin for bird distribution modelling developed as a part of the  BioDT project. One of the aims of BioDT is to develop new ways to combine biodiversity digital twins and high-performance computing with citizen science, using the LUMI supercomputer. The data collected through the mobile application facilitates understanding of the connection between environmental change, bird populations and ecosystem functioning.

The mobile application can be found under the name “Muuttolintujen kevät” from Apple and Android stores.

The article has been republished from the CSC website.