Diamond on the Soles of their Feet is an inclusive citizen science project focusing on groundwater monitoring in Hout Cachment in the Limpopo province. Through graphic facilitation, storyboards and participatory methods such as network mapping and the “river of life”, the project involves actors at various levels – from local tribal chefs and municipalities to scientists, government and agricultural unions – with the common goal of improving the management of groundwater sources in rural areas. The project also actively involves citizens who are invited to gather data in remote wells. Notions of ‘polycentricity’ – multiple layers of governance – are central to this project.

I have a strong academic and extensive empirical background. I have conducted numerous household poverty surveys and worked in small and large community projects covering a wide range of development topics. I am dedicated to participatory research and have worked extensively on human development and well-being and the interconnections between humans and their environment where I make a strong connection between science and feelings. My passion is citizen science – taking science out of the library and the laboratory and into everyday life – with the aim of achieving a more just society through the democratisation of knowledge. I have strong facilitation skills in socio-ecological learning and use art to emphasise new ways of learning and communicating science. I am also a passionate mentor and assist editing or writing journal articles, reports, thesis or other publications.

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