6708 PB Wageningen
Ir. Froukje Rienks is the head of PR & Science Communications, working at NIOO since September 1998.
She takes care of a wide range of science communication activities - from the NIOO press releases, contacts between the NIOO scientists and the media, organisation of open days, festival stands, special (school and other) tours to citizen science projects. And she oversees the website, the social media and other information gateways.
Questions about the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), or ecology in general? Ask Froukje!
Press and other urgent questions: +31-(0)6-10487481
In 1997 she graduated as a biologist at Wageningen University. Her specialisation is population biology/ecology. Also, Froukje took a course in the Popularisation of Science, for science journalist and science communication officer, at the University of Nijmegen. Directly afterwards, she worked for the Dutch monthly on science and technology Natuur & Techniek.
Free-lance science journalist was the next stop. During this period she worked for various media like Teleac/NOT (TV), Bionieuws (biology newspaper), and Natuur & Techniek again.
In 2008 she spent her sabbatical leave in the US (Princeton University) and Germany (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology).
Space-based tracking technology using low-cost miniature tags is now delivering data on fine-scale animal movement at near-global scale. Linked with remotely sensed environmental data, this offers a biological lens on habitat integrity and connectivity for conservation and human health; a global network of animal sentinels of environmental change.
Progressively more community initiatives have been undertaken over last decades to monitor water quality. Biological data collected by volunteers has been used for biodiversity and water quality studies. Despite the many citizen science projects collecting and using macroinvertebrates, the number of scientific peer-reviewed publications that use this data, remains limited. In 2018, a citizen science project on biological water quality assessment was launched in the Netherlands. In this project, volunteers collect macroinvertebrates from a nearby waterbody, identify and count the number of specimens, and register the catch through a web portal to instantaneously receive a water quality score based on their data. Water quality monitoring in the Netherlands is traditionally the field of professionals working at water authorities. Here, we compare the data from the citizen science project with the data gathered by professionals. We evaluate information regarding type and distribution of sampled waterbodies and sampling period, and compare general patterns in both datasets with respect to collected animals and calculated water quality scores. The results show that volunteers and professionals seldomly sample the same waterbody, that there is some overlap in sampling period, and that volunteers more frequently sampled urban waters and smaller waterbodies. The citizen science project is thus yielding data about understudied waters and this spatial and temporal complementarity is useful. The character and thoroughness of the assessments by volunteers and professionals are likely to differentiate. Volunteers collected significantly lower numbers of animals per sample and fewer animals from soft sediments like worms and more mobile individuals from the open water column such as boatsmen and beetles. Due to the lack of simultaneous observations at various locations by volunteers and professionals, a direct comparison of water quality scores is impossible. However, the obtained patterns from both datasets show that the water quality scores between volunteers and professionals are dissimilar for the different water types. To bridge these differences, new tools and processes need to be further developed to increase the value of monitoring biological water quality by volunteers for professionals.
Involved in a lot of outreach and other relevant projects for society, Froukje supports many scientists in their communication. But sometimes, she is the one being interviewed herself. For example:
Please find below a variety of outreach products and activities, with links to details in the Pure system.