Case Studies

Citizen Science case studies with UCD involvement

Citizen Rural: Digital Data for Participatory Democracy in Remote Places

UCD Citizen Rural logo

UCD Team: The project is led by Dr Karen Keaveney, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science. Co-PI is Assoc. Prof. Ainhoa Gonzalez Del Campo, UCD School of Geography. The Post-Doctoral Researcher is Dr Adwoa Serwaa Ofori, based in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

This two-year project investigates how rural populations can harness digital technologies to enhance participative democracy in the planning and policy formulation for local sustainable development. The project brings together established community and co-operative networks in rural areas, current rural development strategies around the Smart Village concept and Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) frameworks, and digital technologies and data to engage citizens in co-design for sustainable rural futures.

Citizen Rural: Digital Data for Participatory Democracy in Remote Places is funded by the Irish Research Council (IRC) under the Collaborative Alliances for Societal Challenges (COALESCE) programme.

Irish Research Council logo

iSCAPE – Improving the Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe

iScape logo

UCD Principal Investigator: Professor Francesco Pilla, School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy

Information on the iSCAPE – Improving the Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe project is available at:


SmartDeer Ireland

Smartdeer Ireland heading

UCD Principal Investigator: Dr Simone Ciuti, School of Biology and Environmental Science

The SMARTDEER project – funded by DAFM and UCD – is a research program led by UCD researchers aimed at producing up-to-date distribution maps of deer species in Ireland. This is being achieved by combining historical deer data collected across the nation with new digital tools (web survey and smartphone application) able to guarantee a steady flow of deer data thanks to the help of all stakeholders and citizens involved in the research program.


PRISM (Preservation by Record of Ireland’s Shell Middens)

PRISM project logo

UCD Team: Dr Rory Connolly and Martin Moucheron

PRISM (Preservation by Record of Ireland’s Shell Middens) is a citizen science participatory mapping scheme initiated by researchers from University College Dublin and University College Cork. Coastal shell middens are rapidly being lost due to both natural — sea-level rise, coastal erosion, increased storm surges, and isostatic shift — and anthropogenic factors — increasing visitor footfall, removal of shells and other archaeological material, certain agricultural practices, and encroaching development. The project aims to raise awareness about these impacts and take tangible steps build a more complete record of these vulnerable sites.



MammalWeb-Ireland logo

UCD staff: Dr Simone Ciuti, School of Biology and Environmental Science

MammalWeb-Ireland’s goal is to connect the different mammal stakeholders across the whole island of Ireland, helping to catalogue Irish mammalian biodiversity, and to understand what species are around us, where they occur, and what aspects of the environment impact on their occurrence and activity. Mammalnet-Ireland is a subproject under the umbrella of MammalNet.


Coastal Communities Adapting Together (CCAT)

CCAT logo

The CCAT pilot project aimed to support coastal communities to understand climate change and how to adapt.

UCD Team: Dr Karen Foley, Dr Brenda McNally, Dr Chiara Cocco, Dr Philip Crowe and Dr Bruno De Andrade

The CCAT pilot project was part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Programme and ran from 2019 to 2021. The project was led by University College Dublin in partnership with Fingal County Council and University College Cork in Ireland and Cardiff University, Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum and the Port of Milford Haven in Wales.

The project set out to build capacity to change in Irish Sea coastal communities through citizen engagement in activities such as participatory mapping, geodesign, geogames, online events as well as created interactive teaching resources. Due to COVID-19, the project focused on the use of digital tools with a mix of online and in-person interactions to help communities adapt together.

The project’s closure event Building climate action locally: tools from the CCAT project was held on 2nd February 2022. This event showcased the tools developed by the project, the recording of the event can be viewed on the CCAT YouTube channel here and the presentations can be viewed here.