Environmental Virtual Observatories (EVOs): Prospects for knowledge co-creation and resilience in the Information Age

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Timothy Karpouzoglou
  • Zed Zulkafli
  • Sam Grainger
  • Art Dewulf
  • Wouter Buytaert

External organisations

  • Wageningen University and Research Centre
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Imperial College London


Developments in technologies are shaping information access globally. This presents opportunities and challenges for understanding the role of new technologies in sustainability research. This article focuses on a suite of technologies termed Environmental Virtual Observatories (EVOs) developed for communicating observations and simulation of environmental processes. A strength of EVOs is that they are open and decentralised, thus democratising flow and ownership of information between multiple actors. However, EVOs are discussed rarely beyond their technical aspects. By evaluating the evolution of EVOs, we illustrate why it is timely to engage with policy and societal aspects as well. While first generation EVOs are primed for scientists, second generation EVOs can have broader implications for knowledge co-creation and resilience through their participatory design.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Early online date31 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016