Island Bryophytes

Field Guide: Designing Mobile Interactive Tools for Place-Based Learning

  • FCT- PORTUGAL 2020
  • National Research Project
  • 2018 to 2022

The Field Guide project aims to establish an improvement in the levels of scientific literacy amongst children and young people living in the Azorean archipelago. With one of the lowest school success rates in Portugal, this project will combine place-based learning and mobile context-aware technology to foster more active and meaningful learning experiences in the region. Through the
design of a mobile electronic field guide, the project will offer a younger generation the opportunity to explore, learn about and monitor their immediate environment. Designed to interact with existng biodiversity web portals and their respective databases, the mobile electronic field guide that will be designed for the project will use the power of context-aware technology to shape youth’s understanding of the natural world while raising awareness of one of Portugal’s key - oceanic insular ecosystems.


List of publications under the project:

Silva, A. R., Gabriel, R., Amorim, I. R., Arroz, A. M. & Matos, S. (2022). À (re)descoberta da natureza: Guia de atividades pedagógicas. Angra do Heroísmo: Universidade dos Açores. [português; 57 pp.] ISBN: 978-989-8870-41-4

Gabriel, R. & Borges, P.A.V. (eds.) (2022). Guia prático da flora nativa dos Açores/ Field guide of the Azorean native flora. Instituto Açoriano de Cultura, Angra do Heroísmo. [edição bilingue; 520 pp.] ISBN:978-989-8225-74-0              

Matos, S., Silva A. R., Sousa, D., Picanço, A., Amorim, I. R., Gabriel, R. & Arroz A. M. (2022). Cultural Probes for Environmental Education: Designing Learning Materials to Engage Children and Teenagers with Local Biodiversity. Plos-One. doi:

Piasentin, Gabriel, R., Arroz, A. M., Silva, A. R., & Amorim, I. R. (2021). What Is Most Desirable for Nature? An Analysis of Azorean Pupils’ Biodiversity Perspectives When Deciding on Ecological Scenarios. Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland), 13 (22), 12554–. doi:

Sousa, D, Silva, A. R., Amorim, I. R., Ashby, S. , Arroz, A. M., Piasentin, F., Gabriel, R. and Matos, S.  (2021) The Field Guide App: Connecting Island Communities to Local Conservation through Mobile Interaction. Supplementary Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Communities & Technologies (C&T’21), Seattle, WA, 20-25 June. doi:

Picanço, A., Arroz, A., Amorim, I., Matos, S., & Gabriel, R. (2020) Teachers’ perspectives and practices on biodiversity web portals as an opportunity to reconnect education with nature. Environmental Conservation, 48(1), 25-32. doi:

Picanço, A., Gabriel, R., Arroz, A.M., Amorim, I.R., Silva, A.R., Sousa, D. & Matos, S. (2020). Um guia digital para a Natureza: promover a floresta dos Açores com aprendizagem baseada no lugar. Uaciência


Funding Institution:

Science and Technology Foundation - Total Budget: 239938 euros


The Project management is performed by M-ITI (, and Prof. Sónia Matos as PI workong on the Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira. Prof. Rosalina Gabriel is CO_PI and about 65000 Euros will be managed by Fundação Gaspar Fructuoso within cE3c - Azorean Biodiversirty Group.