Stories from Science Camp: Welcoming Omani Environmental Scientists


June 13 2024

Our friends at EarthWatch wrote the report below on their most recent Science Camp, which the British Omani Society has provided funding for. 

Written by Maria Pontes at EarthWatch.


Our latest Science Camp, which took place at Hill End Outdoor Education Centre near Oxford during 26-30 May, welcomed Omani environmental scientists for the first time. It was an exciting opportunity for everyone involved to discover new cultures and experiences in the context of community engagement in environmental science.

What is Earthwatch Science Camp?

We believe that community engagement should be central to environmental research. We work to empower scientists from diverse backgrounds to engage communities with science through our science camps.

Science Camps offer early-career environmental researchers the opportunity to learn about and explore the role of community engagement. Science Camps are hands-on learning programmes, combining classroom and outdoor learning. Key themes include citizen science, science communication and enhancing connections with nature.

Participants’ relationship with Earthwatch continues beyond Science Camp. Our alumni belong to a network that offers peer-to-peer learning and support, and further opportunities to continue their skills development.

At this camp, attendees heard from a mix of contributors with expertise in community engagement, citizen science and storytelling.

Several Science Camp alumni shared their career experiences since attending. Science communication experts including Dr Praveen Paul, co-founder of the annual global science festival ‘Pint of Science’, and Jack Marley, environment and energy editor at The Conversation UK also ran sessions. Earthwatch colleagues from our community citizen science programmes, FreshWater Watch and Tiny Forest, contributed their insights too.

Welcoming Omani environmental scientists

Our Science Camps have always been about bringing people with diverse backgrounds together to share their unique perspectives and experiences. This year, we were thrilled to welcome six Omani scientists, alongside six UK based participants and other international scientists from Malawi and Iraq. The support of the British Omani Society and new partnerships with institutions in Oman made this possible.

An international group promotes sharing of knowledge across borders, development of language and confidence, and growth of international networks. It enables participants to explore environmental career paths and opportunities in different contexts across the globe.  

We tailored the curriculum for our Omani scientists. For example, exploring key environmental challenges facing the world today that are important for Oman such as climate change adaptation, nature-based solutions, and water management.   

Having Omani participants at this Science Camp has shown us that the key themes of community engagement, science communication, and using citizen science as a research tool is relevant to anyone, wherever they live.

Stories from Science Camp

Meet some of the May Science Camp’s contributors and participants.

Mohammed Al Saidi, participant, said:

“I'm from Oman. I feel welcome to participate in this Science Camp. The friendly environment can encourage people to share their knowledge, to speak out to each other, and build a relationship with them.”

 Shadha Al Ghafri, participant, said:

“It will be very important to the Oman people [that they] can participate in [Science] Camp so we can help Oman to become a good place, because it deserves to be a good place for the next generation.”

Are you an early career environmental scientist interested in using community engagement in your research? Apply to join our next science camp in September.

Find out more and apply.

Photo credits: Yoke and May 2024 participants

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