MEDIA RELEASE – R00090, 22 April 2016
A Brock University research team is partnering with a long-term care facility in Welland to study how residents’ involvement in environmental research affects their quality of life and well-being.
Residents at The Woodlands of Sunset and Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) are monitoring bird-feeding stations set up at various points around the facility, which is surrounded by wetlands and forests.
The residents are collecting data about the birds, which will be sent to Cornell University’s eBird database to be included in a section for Niagara.
Researcher Kerrie Pickering says working with Woodlands residents to collect scientific data is one example of “citizen science,” where experts and non-specialist community members collaborate to produce research.
“We’re exploring if engagement in citizen science, specifically bird watching, has an impact on the well-being of long-term care residents,” says Pickering, an ESRC affiliate and practising nurse.
“We’re helping residents understand what citizen science is and hoping to show them that they are a valuable member of society by being citizen scientists.”
Researcher Marcie Jacklin says there’s a lot of interest in the project.
“When I walk down the hall at Woodlands and say I’m with the bird project everyone wants to stop and chat about it,” says Jacklin, Brock librarian and bird enthusiast.
“So far it seems like the benefits of this project are going far beyond what we had initially expected.”
The researchers will also examine if locating a long-term care facility near nature makes a difference for residents’ well-being.
For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University email@example.com,
905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970
* Daryl Barnhart, Communications Specialist, Niagara Region firstname.lastname@example.org 905-685-4225 ext. 3290.
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