The lack of environmental monitoring data has restricted the efficiency of proper environmental management in the developing world. Although monitoring technologies have been touted for their potential to advance environmental understanding and management, there are very few examples of practical applications where this has been accomplished in the developing world. Due to the positive influx of urbanization and tourism in Siddharthanagar, South Nepal, the Nepal Study Center (NSC) from the University of New Mexico (UNM) teamed up with the poly-tech college Pratiman-Neema Health Institute (PNMHI) to address future environmental changes through a citizen science approach, known as the Danda River Monitoring Program (DEMP). The objective of this professional project is to develop and deploy a prototype protocol for monitoring air, weather, and water in a location in Nepal where environmental data is not available. This professional project identifies and executes a practical framework strategy to initiate a wireless environmental sensor network to gain access to a long-term data collection plan through a citizen science approach. Citizen science is the participation of any citizen who interacts in a data collection and monitoring process. The scientific data gathered from the monitoring sensors, combined with curricular toolkits, will be used in a digital lab setting to educate students and community members to enhance their learning and environmental awareness. Assisting in the initial implementation process was impactful, for the wireless sensors are currently collecting data, a citizen science survey was successfully administered to understand future improvements, and a robust collaborative relationship between NSC and PNMHI was established. Furthermore, an enhancement of the capabilities of the community to learn and make firm data-driven decisions focused on human and environmental health was implemented. The value that this project brings to the community is fourfold: water resource management, health management, a platform for enhanced science studies, and an established program to attract eco-tourism that will, in turn, preserve the ecosystem and natural heritage of the community. Ultimately, the study found that the efforts performed to demonstrate a positive impact on the community in Nepal. This program has strong support from various stakeholders and the potential to improve the environment and health of the people in Nepal.
environmental monitoring data, environmental management, developing world, urbanization, tourism, Siddharthanagar, South Nepal, Nepal Study Center, NSC, Pratiman-Neema Health Institute, PNMHI, Danda River Monitoring Program, DEMP, citizen
Fox, Corinne. "A real-time data monitoring prototype protocol to advance environmental management through a citizen science approach– A case study in Nepal." (2018). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/wr_sp/163