"LifeWatch Italy: the e-science infrastructure for biodiversity and ecosystem research supporting "Cammini LTER" is the title of the contribution authored by Alberto Basset (LifeWatch Italy JRU Manager and Interim Director of LifeWatch-ERIC Service Centre) and Sara Montinaro (LifeWatch ERIC Interim Chief Communication Officer), featured in the monograph "I CAMMINI DELLA RETE LTER-ITALIA" edited by the Italian Long-Term Ecological Research Network LTER-Italy, with CNR-Edizioni.
This freshly published monograph is dedicated to the informal science communication initiative "Cammini LTER" (i.e.: TRAIL LTER), conceived and realised by researchers active in the LTER-Italy Network and in LifeWatch-Italy. "Cammini LTER" are travelling events, lasting from four to ten days, taking place in slow mode – by walking, cycling or kayaking – along itineraries connecting two or more LTER sites, crossing different landscapes: natural reserves, sites of cultural relevance, small and large cities. The main objective of the initiative is to engage a wide audience in the aims and activities of LTER-Italy in order to increase the awareness on the importance of studying ecosystems and biodiversity over long periods.
LifeWatch Italy, committed to the development of tools for citizen science, has enthusiastically joined this initiative, an example of how scientific knowledge can be shared by researchers with different components of society, regardless from their age, education level or social background.
In the Monograph, the protagonists of the nine trails, realized in the three editions from 2015 to 2017, describe in detail all the itineraries, the communication activities and the different actors met on the way. Outside the laboratories, researchers involved in Cammini experience new responses to the changes taking place in science and ecology and in the relationships between natural environments and living beings, and to environmental and social challenges that require everyone, including scientists, to redefine roles and responsibility.