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Table 1 Overview of the research design in four research phases

From: Children as ethnobotanists: methods and local impact of a participatory research project with children on wild plant gathering in the Grosses Walsertal Biosphere Reserve, Austria

Research phase Main objectives Methods Samples Outcomes and intended impact
1 Introduce the project to local people Introduction of project in local newsletter, participation in plant-based and everyday life activities Recipients of local newsletter, Alchemilla and Bergtee project members, daily encounters Confidence and trust of biosphere reserve management and local people
Investigate domain of wild gathered plant species Freelisting Participant observation Freelisting: snowball sample of 36 recommended wild plant experts, participant observation of plant gathering and processing with local people Documentation of local knowledge, popular and scientific publications
2 Strengthen awareness about wild plant gathering Preparatory and follow-up school workshops; two information letters to parents 14 classes of all primary schools in the valley Improved information and awareness about wild plant gathering of children and local people
Investigate intracultural knowledge variation and motivations Structured questionnaires Family members and friends of children, n = 506 people Insights on knowledge variation and motivations, popular and scientific publications
Encourage knowledge transmission Children as interviewers 14 classes of all primary schools in the valley Knowledge transmission through 189 children interviewing 506 respondents
3 Investigate children’s view on wild plant gathering Two 5-day participatory video workshops with children interviewing local experts All 17 children of St. Gerold primary school, 10 volunteering children from the valley, interviewing eleven local experts suggested by children Children’s view on wild plant gathering, two participatory videos, 20 min each
Encourage transmission and dissemination of local knowledge Screening of participatory videos at local cultural festival; publishing of internet links to videos in local newsletter; DVDs to lend in local libraries About 200 visitors of the screening, >500 views of each video in an online video channel, Dissemination and transmission of local knowledge through participatory videos
Empower children Participatory video filmed with children with broad decision rights for children All 17 children of St. Gerold primary school, and 10 volunteering children from the valley Enhanced knowledge of plant gathering, skills in video production
4 Evaluate impact Semi-structured questionnaires Participant observation Questionnaires: ten children having taken part in the participatory video workshops and having used plants since then; participant observation during and after research phases 2–4 Indications about local impact of the research project