OutBe: a new model to monitor and protect nature through citizen science

OutBe shares both its philosophy and its Dna with Outdoor Portofino: let’s get to know this new innovative startup which binds together science, nature and people through their interest in outdoor sports and Citizen Science.

How outdoor sport can give a helping hand to the scientific community, for the wellbeing of people and the Planet.

We know very little about nature, this is a given fact. And protecting something that we don’t comprehend is extremely difficult. But if the Planet is too large to be monitored and renewed only by scientists, this is when the many curious people who enjoy daily open air living come into play.

In this way, practicing outdoor sports that we love can become the perfect occasion for helping out the scientific community, assisting with studying and protecting nature both for our own well-being and that of the Planet.

OutBe is an innovative startup that joins together science, nature and people through outdoor sports, based on the citizen science concept.

How did the innovative startup OutBe come about?

The innovative startup OutBe was created thanks to Luca Tixi, a marine biologist and outdoor guide and founder of Outdoor Portofino and was developed together with marine ecologist Arianna Liconti, who is passionate about partecipative science and is the promoter of scientific projects and citizen science projects at Outdoor Portofino.

The idea that underpins OutBe was created right here in Niasca Bay, Portofino, but its scope is already broad and international. In fact, the new start-up aims to put people who love, explore and live nature at the service of environmental research, through the creation of an online platform that facilitates the connection between scientific projects, sports people and companies who want to support concrete measures for protecting the environment.

They call it the OutBe “ecosystem”, inspired by the marine ecosystem that fascinates them and plays host to their adventures. In this way, research activity breaks out from the enclave of accademia and sports people like us become the eyes and hands that science needs, increasing the data and actions necessary for understanding and safeguarding nature.

What is citizen science and what’s its role within the startup?

Citizen science (or participatory science) is a data gathering method, in this case to do with the environment, carried out by amateurs. We reckon that Citizen Science is an efficient way to give one’s personal contribution to science.

OutBe’s mission is to bring people closer to nature thanks to outdoor sports, which is a fun way to get them involved but also to educate them. In fact, through citizen science, OutBe gives everybody the chance to get to know the environment that surrounds us and to help advance scientific research.

Which outdoor sports does OutBe suggest for citizen science activities?

In the OutBe ecosystem you will be able to take part in various different citizen science projects thanks to the collaboration between outdoor centres and research centres.

But which are the outdoor sports that allow us to take part in citizen science projects? In general, pretty much all outdoor sports can give you a chance to help the environment. Here let’s focus on the water sports that can allow us to give research a helping hand.

As follows is a list of outdoor sports that are ideal for carrying out citizen science activities in the sea:

  • coasteering, an ideal opportunity for noting down the flora and fauna that we meet during marine trekking.
  • kayaking, during your paddle you can drag little research nets so as to help monitor microplastics, like in the Micro Plastic Hunters project
  • Snorkeling, to help monitor the animal species that you meet underwater thanks to initiatives like Reef Check, a Citizen Science project in Italy. 
  • Sup and surfing that, thanks to specialized sensors on the board, allow us to gather data regarding water temperature, for example.

Outdoor Portofino is the first outdoor center of the OutBe ecosystem

OutBe today is a small and dynamic team of under 35s and is proposed via a social community on instagram (@outbe.earth) and on LinkedIn, with a storytelling objective, so as to inform and inspire collaboration projects between sport and nature conservation, carrying forward the importance and values of environmental education.

After the success of the citizen science projects that we have played host to here in Niasca Bay, like the Portofino Seaweed Garden project and the CRABS Project, for example, we are delighted to be the first outdoor centre within the OutBe ecosystem. And you? How are you going to take part in conserving the marine environment? If you would like to know more, go on the outbe.earth website to become a part of the ecosystem that helps to match and support the different realities with the objective of studying and protecting the environment, in a fun and impactful way, and obviously always in the open air.

Author: Matilde Marino, Head of Marketing & Business Development of OutBe

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