Author: admin

New ACSA Publication List

We are pleased to announce the start of the ACSA publication list! The ACSA publication list is a quarterly electronic listing of publications in the field of citizen science within the Australian Community. The listing is intended to inform those within the Australian citizen science community of recently accepted papers, conference proceedings, book chapters and dissertations. You can contribute to this list!

How to submit a contribution to the listing:
Submitting a contribution can be done by sending an email to acsa.pubs.list@gmail.com with the following information:

  • title
  • author’s names and addresses (or affiliations)
  • abstract
  • the journal/proceedings/book with a link to the published document

Please only submit those publications where you are the author (to prevent duplication) and only include those that have been ACCEPTED for publication so that our listing does not become a preprint server.

If you have any questions or suggestions on how the publication list can be improved, please let us know at acsa.pubs.list@gmail.com.

We are looking forward to hearing about all the great work that everyone is doing!

*Voting Open* ACSA AGM – Nov 22

Voting is now open for positions on the ACSA Management Committee!

We have received some excellent nominations for committee positions, you can view the nominee profiles here! Voting is open to current members on the ACSA email distribution list and you should have received a customised email invitation with your voting form.

The AGM details are as follows:

When: Tuesday 22 November, 12:30 – 1:30 PM

Where: Hallstrom Theatre, Australian Museum, Sydney (meet in Museum Atrium no later than 12:25pm).

Don’t forget to register your intent to attend the AGM here. If you can’t make it on the day, you will still be able to listen in via teleconference (details coming shortly).

If you have any questions about the nomination process or the AGM, please don’t hesitate to contact Amy by emailing info.acsa01@gmail.com.

National Projects Working Group

Are you interested in large-scale projects and strategic planning? Information about the ACSA National Projects Working Group HERE

“Scaling up citizen science” an ACSA working group workshop. Tuesday November 22nd am Australian Museum Sydney

We will be considering the impact that can be achieved by scaling up citizen science projects to a large or national scale, what they can achieve for different stakeholders and policymakers.
Our international guest  speaker is Dr Poppy Lakeman Fraser visiting Australia from the UK. Poppy has had 10 years experience of being the Senior Programme Co-ordinator for the OPAL (OPen Air Laboratories)  project and also one of the leading contributors to ECSA (European Citizen Science Association).
We will also have contributions from Australian citizen science developers of large-scale projects – Paul Flemons describing the Australian Museum’s DigiVol  and also the recent , highly successful ABC “WildlifeSpotter” project, Ingrid Berthold from Waterwatch and Bruce Paton describing Earthwatch’s Climatewatch project.
 We will be seeking the input of citizen science practitioners and science/community policy makers to establish a shared understanding of where we should be directing our efforts in the future. We hope to develop a community of practice of people who are working to see citizen science develop to its full potential in Australia.
If you can join us, please RSVP to libbyhepburn@btinternet.com before November 11th
Kindly hosted by the Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney 2010

Citizen science community responds to Nature editorial

*** Re-posted courtesy of the U.S.-based Citizen Science Association ***

An 18 August 2015 editorial in Nature incited vigorous commentary on the citizen science discussion e-list, given that the piece closed on a note of suspicion regarding volunteers’ motives and potential conflicts of interest. While the piece, entitled “Rise of the citizen scientist,” opens with positive attention to the growing contributions of citizen science, many expressed that citizen science was unfairly singled out with a critique that should be fairly leveled on all scientific endeavors.

This points to a troubling issue for the field – that the diligent and often cutting-edge work done by citizen science practitioners (volunteers and professionals alike) to ensure data integrity is not sufficiently understood or appreciated. This may be a call to action for CSA, along with the European Citizen Science Association and Australian Citizen Science Association, to help raise awareness of ways this concern is addressed – and impetus for all in this community to reveal and share the methods and procedures used to this end.

Inspired by these concerns, individual members and leaders from all three Associations jointly submitted a Letter to Nature in response. While not accepted for publication in the journal itself, the letter is now posted as a direct response to the article online – as are many other thoughtful comments from various viewpoints. The comment thread is still open.

For convenience, a PDF of the letter is also available for download here.

The ACSA logo identity

We are pleased to share with you our new ACSA logo.

Our brief for the design of the ACSA graphic identity was that it needed to reflect:

  • that we are an Australia-wide connected network of people
  • any kind of science
  • growth and spread

We also said it should be bright and appealing across all types of media and formats (websites, brochures, social media etc).

Holly Webber our designer has responded very well to this brief, giving us something that has already evoked a wide range of responses, “flowers, fish, and fractals have been first responses from the first sight of the logo, people only seeing the people element later. Some other elements that come out are:

  • the central star/flower has 8 elements – reflecting the 8 Australian States and Territories
  • some of the dots are like eyes – the inquisitive nature of citizen science
  • the people are big and small – the wide range of people and organizations involved in citizen science
  • the perceptual illusion of switching between the white and orange shapes and spaces – that what we see in the world can be interpreted in more than one way

We hope you like it too and look forward to seeing it on websites, publications and T-Shirts in the near future.

All good wishes,

Libby Hepburn and Stephanie von Gavel

Holly Webber was the designer, and she can be contacted via the email hw.design@iinet.net.au

Updated survey results – Citizen Science in Australia

A summary of the results for the “Citizen Science in Australia” survey has been been completed by Philip Roetman and is available via the link below. Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey (105 people involved in Citizen Science in Australia). The data will be used by the Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA) to demonstrate the ‘state of play’ in this field and to generate support for the development of Citizen Science.

For the PDF of results click here: survey results

What are your thoughts on a ACSA?

Citizen science is a rapidly growing, collaborative method of engagement which allows non-professionals (as volunteers) the opportunity to participate and contribute to scientific research. These working partnerships can include volunteers from the general community, educators, students and businesses and the outcomes of  citizen science projects results in many mutual scientific, education and engagement benefits.

Scientific projects requiring ‘citizen scientists’ have expanded almost exponentially in the last 10 years (largely as a result of the internet) and consequently, the design, delivery and analysis of scientific projects incorporating citizen scientists is rapidly changing.

Citizen science stakeholders are now forming local and national ‘communities of practice’ such as the European Citizen Science Association and the (American) Citizen Science Association to ensure all aspects of citizen science (including science communication, volunteer recruitment and retention, data analysis and scientific methodology) utilise the latest research and best practice methods.

In Australia, there are over 100 citizen science projects spanning the medical, astronomy and environmental fields.  The grass roots nature of many of these projects means it is difficult for individual projects to have the resources to connect with the wider citizen science movement. The development of larger communities of practice such as national networks or associations can make it easier for all citizen science stakeholders to communicate with other projects, connect volunteers and learn from experts.

In order to have a strong and active citizen science community within Australia we need to ensure our vision, goals and objectives align with those of managers, community volunteers, researchers, educators and sponsors involved in citizen science.

So, what would you like to see from Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA)?