Communicating with Data

Coastal Explorers on FieldScope

Currently, our coastal ecosystem monitoring project (#WeAreCoastal) is hosted on FieldScope. During
the spring and fall field season, teachers and students use random sampling techniques to collect data
about species diversity, invasive species, type of substrate, and human impacts on their coastal
shoreline. They also collect data about water temperature and salinity and weather conditions.

Data are currently being collected by school groups in coastal communities in the province of
Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada’s east coast and in the co unity of angnirtung in Nunavut a
Canadian Territory in the Eastern Arctic.

The project is based on the long-term ecosystem monitoring research of Dr Robert Gregory and his
team at Ecological Sciences Section of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Dr. Gregory, his research team,
and other scientists at Parks Canada have helped shape this experiential learning project.
Long-term data collected will help answer questions like:

  • How diverse is the fauna and flora in different coastal environments of the North Atlantic and Eastern
  • Where are the rare or invasive species?
  • Are there long-term shifts in species diversity, type of substrate, temperature, and salinity in these
    coastal areas?
  • What are some of the local human impacts on these shorelines?
  • What can all these indicators and changes tell us about the health of the coastal ecosystem being


The FieldScope digital platform selected to host our citizen science projects offers easy-to use tools for
students to visualize and analyze data and communicate information using data stories. In addition,
FieldScope uses the ZenDesk platform to host a community forum and knowledge base where the
student groups can post about new features in the tool, highlight important help articles, program
resources, and so on.