Mel Woods

Mel Woods

Mel is Professor in Creative Intelligence at University of Dundee. Her research focuses on designing to support people with future technologies, societal and environmental challenges and change-making

Location Scotland, UK


  • Mel Woods made a comment

    Congratulations on completing the course, it's great to see you've reached this final point.

    We hope that this course has helped to connect you to new projects and people and that you feel inspired to start your own project. If you have a better idea of what that might be let me know in the chat below.

    Do keep in touch and let us know how it goes!

  • Thanks for your feedback Norman, we'll definitely look into this for you. Sorry you had this experience.

  • @NormanWoollons Have you come across the Met Office WOW platform? On manuals, I agree, instructions often use jargon, or highly technical terms with no reference material, so it is a barrier to anyone wishing to engage. There is alot of work going on in the open source / instructables community to co-create requirements and manuals, it's alot of work but many...

  • Many thanks for sharing the work you've been doing as a result of the course! It's great to see. We'd love to quote you if you can give permission and I'd love to tweet about your blog if that's OK?

  • We're very keen to learn about your experiences of sharing or opening up data, if you have any examples if would be really great to hear your reflections.

  • Thanks for sharing @JohnDuffey, is your sensor in place permanently, or for mobile spot checking?

  • @DrRaquelAjates yes, this is at community / village scale, not commercial at all.

  • Yes, it's very difficult to think about collaborative projects at the moment, I hope you are able to use it in the future.

  • @DavidBrown @SusanCrowther thankyou for your contributions and highlighting potentially conflicting information on the survey. The team will review it as it does appear to be in error. Please bear with is whilst we correct it for others, and thankyou for your feedback. It is very much appreciated!

  • Yes, private land can be difficult if the issue is contested or sensitive. We have worked with farmers, using co-design. The motivations of people to take part are varied, but increasing drivers for more sustainable management of land at policy level makes a huge difference.

  • I find mycology absolutely fascinating, on a personal note I've started cataloguing mushrooms on my walks here in Scotland.

  • Thanks for these insights @XavierMcNally

  • Yes, it is possible. For example, one of our communities started to monitor soil in wetlands with the aim of counting the variations in bird migration to correlate the two in a changing climate

  • An question for the right Reddit community @NormanWoollons?

  • If you don't mind me asking @DavidAlbertoBorreGonzalez, how do you map those social connections?

  • Great insight @DavidAxon, a colleague in Spain also mentioned harvesting is another unchanged practice, often linked to festivals, fixed dates, the moon's cycle, regardless of changes to climate. Is this something you are also aware of where you live?

  • Nice to meet you @RadhikaBhandari

  • Thanks so much for sharing your interests @FedericaOns, I'm hoping the course will give you useful resources and connections :)


  • Hi @MagnusSälgö these skills are often in demand in Citizen Science teams, welcome!

  • @DavidAlbertoBorreGonzalez any terms you think are missing let us know :)

  • Welcome back @JannaHolmstedt :)

  • This is where citizen science and participatory design has crossed-over, search for participatory design with these topics?

  • @JannaHolmstedt the GROW Observatory had a focus on assessing soil moisture, with additional data required to contextualise that. Hopefully the resources and discussion on this course will be of help.

  • @DavidAlbertoBorreGonzalez Educators involved on this course have experience of land-use and management from four different observatories. Is there a particular resource you are looking for?

  • @EdwinWisse I'd agree with your comment, and from past experience it's essential to integrate the steps to involve policy-makers, designing events and outputs that are going to connect. It's also important to recognise there isn't a one size fits all approach and some countries are more democratic than others. Nevertheless an explicit strategy and resource is...

  • @GijsMos welcome, great to see your team participating!

  • Thanks @laurefallou :)

  • Thanks for sharing your work and the research network, both are really fascinating. I live next to a tidal estuary in Scotland and just starting to educate myself about seaweed!

  • Google translate does a great job on the links @PatriciaSéquier , thanks for sharing them :)

  • Thanks for sharing the link to the cohousing scheme @KatyMarshall

  • Welcome @AlexandraCzeglédi, I'd be interested to know what discipline your students are from? Our partners in the GROW Observatory from University of Miskolc were soil scientists and probably have quite a number of resources that could be useful for you.

  • welcome @ManonD , we've shared your challenges particularly keeping people involved and tackling data awareness. Hope the course helps with those issues!

  • Hopefully you'll find the course useful @DungNguyen

  • Thankyou for sharing about Sensemakers Amsterdam, great to see your projects @EdwinWisse

  • Great to hear from everyone, we're looking forward to interacting with you as the course moves forward.

  • You art projects sound really interesting @TeresaHolmes, we had an artist create a work using GROW soil moisture data. Do share more about your practice if you feel it is appropriate. I'd be interested!

  • There are quite a few interesting citizen science initiatives through Politecnico di Milano @CarlaCorazza. GROW Observatory had a Community Champion based there, you can find out more here:

  • This can be a really good way of curating information, but it can be difficult to get a unique hashtag nowadays!

  • Did you manage to download the toolkit @JanMole ?

  • @JanMole this conjures up a great cartoon image :)

  • @RebeccaS you make a good point, it is not only the app development but also maintaining and sustaining over time due to funding. It is important to plan for updating any app as new iOS and Android software comes out at the very least.

  • Yes, in GROW Observatory we had sensors disappear for a number of reasons: stolen, fell into cracks in the ground in a particularly hot summer, lost in the undergrowth, and also damaged: by animals, farm machinery, and natural elements.

  • Great points, particularly 'change', some change is exceedingly rapid and easy to observe, other aspects are long-term and require a different pace i.e. once per year @JanneKorhonen

  • Thanks everyone!

  • The financial incentives is a really interesting point @CallumMorrison. Some people fervently believe that community leaders or champions should be paid, others prefer financial contribution to go into the community itself where decision-making is held. There is a highly technical way - using distributed ledger - where experiments are happening around...

  • This is an important point @CallumMorrison, what you are describing is collecting data for scientific knowledge - contributing. What we increasingly try to enable is communities gathering and analysing data, and making a plan to address the issue at hand, informed by the insights from data, but also other forms of knowledge.

  • I'd also add, identifying 1 or more plausible or preferred outcomes for the group, then creating an action plan based on the data to try and make change.

  • Thanks for the feedback

  • Thanks Miguel, and for highlighting examples in those countries.

  • @RaulToran I worked previously on Making Sense, the project before D-NOSES, and with Smart Citizen :)

  • Thanks Kevin :)

  • We overcame this in our work in Kosovo, the citizens were an active group of young people, that design their own structure through general assemblies. You can find out more here!

  • This is very true, you also have try to connect people with the problem, how does it affect their lives? What value are they bringing to solve it?

  • Have you seen our work on Making Sense, and the full toolkit Kevin? There is a free download here:

  • Yes, we experienced this in my project Making Sense Particularly where communities had been struggling with issues, were frustrated with the lack of care by officials or municipalities. It is natural that people have personal 'hypotheses' cause and effect, that can distort discussions. We used a tool called Community Level Indicators,...

  • Are you aware of the UN Sustainable Development Goals Callum? There is some interesting work starting to emerge around these, not in silos but a more holistic approach...

  • Yes, you can start very simply as well, using paper diaries, photographs, as long as you have a protocol. There is lots of 'instructables' and ways to build very simple sensors cheaply to get people together to create interest. The other way might be if you have a makerspace or fabled close to you, or one in an educational institution. You'll find people in...

  • Hello! I really appreciate you raising this as an issue, some of our other educators have been working in Africa, I'll see if I can get hold of them for their experience. However, still, many citizen science initiatives start simply, bringing a community together that wishes to solve a problem, but they need some evidence. So, you still need a 'protocol' but...