Australian Citizen Science Conference 2015

Maximising the Capacity of Citizen Science for Science and Society

A Fenner Conference on the Environment supported by the Australian Academy of Science
When: 23-24 July, 2015
Where: The Shine Dome, Canberra Rainbow bee-eater

Overview of the Conference

Citizen science is a partnership between individuals and scientists for investigating pressing questions about the world. The purpose of this conference was to bring together the Australian citizen science community to share skills and ideas, as well as to encourage collaboration.

You can download the Book of Abstracts, which includes abstracts for all of the speed talks and poster presentations (click here; 2MB pdf document – it may take a moment to download).

Important Dates

April 15 Call for abstracts – send in your ideas for speed talks and posters (click here for directions on the preparation and submission of abstracts for talks and posters)
If you have a late submission, please email the conference committee at:
April 15 Travel scholarship applications – support to attend the conference – see further down this page
May 8 NOW OPENConference registration – see further down this page
June 5 Notification to successful talk and poster presenters; notification of travel scholarship application outcomes
July 23 Conference: Day 1 at the Shine Dome (click here to download the Book of Abstracts for further details; 2MB pdf document)
July 24 Conference: Day 2 (including the AGM of the Australian Citizen Science Association) at the Shine Dome (click here to download the Book of Abstracts for further details; 2MB pdf document)
July 25 NOW OPENThe Saturday Sessions, hosted by Inspiring Australia at Questacon are for groups to meet and discuss areas of mutual interest:

  1. ACSA Strategy and Development (9am – 10am)
  2. BioBlitzes (10.30am – 11.30am)
  3. Technology Useability for Citizen Scientists (12.30pm – 1.30pm)
  4. Citizen Science and Policy (2pm – 3pm)

These sessions are designed for open discussion. The sessions will be moderated, but will be open and inclusive – an opportunity for you to provide input to these topics.
Click here to find out more and register to attend any of the sessions (you do not need to be registered to attend the conference)

Conference Program

DAY 1 – Thursday July 23
08:00 Registration
08:30 Welcome to Country
08:40 Welcome from Inspiring Australia
08:50 Official Opening: Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist
09:00 KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Maximising the capacity of citizen science for science and society Rick Bonney (Cornell University)
09:30 Morning Tea
10.00 Learn about and discuss designing citizen science projects to achieve outcomes for participants, science and society…
SPEED TALKS AND WORKSHOP 1: Deliberate design of citizen science projects International and Australian examples will underpin an interactive workshop about best practices in citizen science, including defining and documenting project aims, and implementation of a design framework. Led by Jennifer Shirk (Cornell University) and Carla Sbrocchi (University of Technology, Sydney)
11.55 Film preview – Maratus: one photo can change your life. How a citizen scientist discovered a new spider species.
12.00 Lunch
12.30 Share your project and learn about the diversity in citizen science in Australia…
POSTER AND NETWORKING SESSION 1: Citizen Science projects in Australia Practitioners of citizen science will present posters about their projects
14:30 Afternoon Tea
15:00 Learn about and discuss advances in data collection and management…
SPEED TALKS AND WORKSHOP 2: Data – collection and management An interactive discussion about the methods and tools for collecting and managing data in citizen science projects, including QA practices and standards, and the process of sample design. Session led by Luigi Ceccaroni (European CSA) with Piers Higgs (Gaia Resources) and John La Salle (Atlas of Living Australia)
17:00 Share your ideas and learn about the latest advances in citizen science…
POSTER AND NETWORKING SESSION 2 (with drinks and nibbles): Innovations in Citizen Science Posters related to novel outcomes of citizen science, new techniques or tools for supporting projects
17:15 ADDRESS: Chair of the Board of the Australian Citizen Science Association
20.00 Close of day 1
DAY 2 – Friday July 24
07:00 Registration
07:30 Annual General Meeting: Australian Citizen Science Association
08:30 KEYNOTE SPEAKER: New ways of thinking for integrating social and ecological systems John Williams FTSE (Former Chief, CSIRO Land and Water)
09:00 Learn about innovative citizen science projects across a wide range of fields…
PANEL DISCUSSION: The many forms of citizen science Panel members:

10:00 Morning Tea
10.30 Learn about and discuss strategies for data validation and analysis …
SPEED TALKS AND WORKSHOP 3: Data – Validation and Analysis Presentations on established, robust and novel techniques will inform a workshop on validating and analysing the data from citizen scientists. Session led by Rick Bonney (Cornell University) and Peter Walsh (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies)
12:15 Lunch
13:00 Learn about and discuss innovative ways to increase the impact of your projects on individuals and communities…
SPEED TALKS AND WORKSHOP 4: The social impacts of citizen science An interactive discussion underpinned by global examples of formal and informal education, promoting connections to nature, developing skills, and changing attitudes and behaviours. Session led by John Tweddle (Natural History Museum, London), Philip Roetman (University of South Australia) and Chris Gilles (The Nature Conservancy)
14:45 Afternoon Tea
15:15 Learn about and discuss how and why to evaluate your citizen science projects…
SPEED TALKS AND WORKSHOP 5: Evaluating project effectiveness Talks and a workshop focussing on program evaluation and documenting the outcomes of citizen science projects. Session led by Nancy Longnecker (University of Otago) and Gretta Pecl (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies)
17:00 Close of Day 2

You can download the Book of Abstracts, which includes abstracts for all of the speed talks and poster presentations (click here; 2MB pdf document – it may take a moment to download).

Guidelines and tips for presenters

Please review the guidelines and tips for talk and poster presentations: click here.


Conference registration is now open. Earlybird registration is AU$330 (including GST), including lunch on both days, drinks and nibbles at the end of day 1, and a light breakfast at the AGM of the Australian Citizen Science Association. Some travel scholarships will be offered to cover registration fees and travel to the conference (see below). The earlybird registration period will wend on June 20, when registration will rise to AU$365.

Travel Scholarships

We are offering a number of travel scholarships (20+) of up to AU$500 for Australian practitioners of Citizen Science, particularly for those with limited institutional funding. To apply for a travel scholarship, please email the conference organising committee ( by May 15th, limiting your email to 150 words, summarising the following :

  • How and where you are involved in Citizen Science (including institutional affiliations, your location, if your contributions to Citizen Science are in a paid or volunteer capacity, and if you are a student).

  • Why you are applying for a travel scholarship and an estimate of the costs you will incur to attend the conference, including conference registration.

  • The title of any abstracts you have submitted to present at the conference.

Preference will be given to applicants who have limited institutional funding and those who will be contributing at the conference (e.g. presenting a speed-talk or a poster). Applicants will be informed of the result of their applications by June 5.


Recommendations for accommodation are available: click here. Attendees should book accommodation directly with the accommodation providers.

Stay in touch

All announcements about this conference will be made through the email list of the Australian Citizen Science Association. To join the list and make sure you don’t miss any updates, click here.  Questions? Contact the organising committee:

Conference Sponsors

For information about sponsorship, please contact Philip Roetman

Current Gold Sponsors are:

            Australian Academy of Science logo             Inspiring Australia logo             Office of Environment and Heritage NSW logo
            Atlas of Living Australia logo             Gaia Resources logo             University of South Australia logo

Current Silver Sponsors are:

Queensland Water and Land Carers

Conference Organising Committee