Author: Amy Slocombe

ACSA-SA meeting: 6th June

The South Australian Chapter of the Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA-SA) invite you to join us for a citizen science meeting on Thursday 6th June at the Glenunga Hub, 6-7pm.

The meeting will include two project leaders who will talk about their SA-based citizen science projects and you will hear about the US citizen science conference that was held in March from one of our committee members who attended.

This event is open to practitioners and participants in SA citizen science or anyone who has an interest in this area of research.

Here at ACSA-SA we are aiming to bring the citizen science community in South Australia closer. We hope to see you at this meeting.

Speakers are Dr. Philip Roetman (Burnside City Council – Urban Foresters) and A/Prof. Craig Williams (University of South Australia – Mozzie Monitors and Activating Citizen Scientists). PhD Candidate from Adelaide University, Tahlia Perry will also speak about her experiences at the recent USA Citizen Science Conference.

Register here.

 

 

 

ACSA Victoria’s new look committee

Last month ACSA-Vic held elections for positions on its management committee. We are pleased to announce the following office bearers:

CHAIR
Kade Mills
ReefWatch Coordinator, Victorian National Parks Association

 

 

 

VICE CHAIR
Tess Hayes
Citizen Science Officer, EPA Victoria

 

 

 

SECRETARY
Yvonne Cabuang
Waterwatch Coordinator, Melbourne Water

 

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER
Linden Ashcroft
Lecturer, The University of Melbourne

 

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER
Julian O’Shea
CEO, Unbound

 

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER
Pat Bonney
PhD Candidate, Research Officer, Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI)

 

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER
Christine Connelly
Lecturer in Environmental Science, Victoria University

 

 

 

 

If you are based in Victoria and would like to get involved in Chapter activities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kade via email.

Earth Challenge 2020: Research Questions to Help Citizen Science Scale

A message from the Wilson Centre, USA:


Your knowledge + Small digital acts of science = Answers to the world’s most pressing challenges

April 22​nd​, 2020 marks the 50​th anniversary of Earth Day. In recognition of this milestone a consortium of partners is launching Earth Challenge 2020 (EC2020) as the world’s largest coordinated citizen science campaign to date. By working with existing citizen science projects and building capacity for new activities, EC2020 will foster the collecting and integration of one billion open, interoperable data points to strengthen links between science, the environment, and society. In addition to integrating existing citizen science data, Earth Challenge 2020 will also create a new mobile application and app framework, available in six UN languages, to help communities around the world participate in citizen science.

To make sure that Earth Challenge 2020 is relevant to everyday people’s lives, we launched a public call for questions and insights around​“critical topics in environmental and human health” in fall 2018. We collected hundreds of responses, with engagement from all seven continents. After analyzing common themes with our partners, we identified six high-level questions to become focal points for our work:

1. What is the extent of plastic pollution?
2. What’s in my drinking water?
3. What are the local impacts of climate change?
4. How are insect populations changing?
5. How does air quality vary locally?
6. Is my food supply sustainable?

We’ve mapped United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to each research question to highlight their intersectional nature, create links to an international policy framework, and further engage the global community. Now, we’re reaching out to a range of communities, including experts working in citizen science and complementary research areas, to understand where exactly Earth Challenge 2020 can provide the most value and to invite potential partners to join us on this endeavor.

Contribute Your Expertise

Join us in developing the research methods we’ll use to guide the Earth Challenge 2020 effort. We understand that partnering with the research community is critical for making sure that Earth Challenge 2020 data are useful, usable, and used. We’re enlisting citizen science practitioners, other scientists, educators, and others to decide what data and information will be most helpful to answer these questions using citizen science. We’re organizing six Research Teams—each focused around one of the research questions.

Research Teams will work with us and each other to:

  • Take a critical look at how the research questions align with the relevant SDGs.
  • Decide how the SDG indicator and target structure will influence data collection and integration in Earth Challenge 2020.
  • Identify what citizen science data already exists.
  • Ensure existing data can be documented in a harmonized way.
  • Determine what new data should be collected using the Earth Challenge 2020 mobile app.
  • Help identify and/or design protocols for data collection, validation, and integration.
  • Identify complementary data and information, including data from sensors (Earth observations and low cost/ open source).
  • Offer strategic advice on other aspects of the project, including the design of educational materials and a what-you-can-do toolkit.

We’re seeking individuals to serve as volunteer advisors to research teams who:

  • Are committed to helping collaborative citizen science scale.
  • Have an interest in one or more of the research questions.
  • Value and/or have expertise in data interoperability.
  • Value scientific rigor.
  • Value and/or have experience in engagement, education, and impact evaluation.
  • Are willing to share their knowledge with a broader community.
  • Can commit to monthly or bimonthly phone calls and periodic emails.

Join a Research Team

Some of you previously expressed interest in becoming a member of one of the Earth Challenge 2020 research teams. Others of you may be learning of this project for the first time. Either way, please ​email Sarah Newman, Research Team Coordinator, at ​sarah.newman@colostate.edu​ if you are interested in participating AND indicate which research team question(s) you are interested in​.

Earth Challenge 2020 is a collaboration between the Wilson Center, Earth Day Network, and U.S. Department of State and many more partners. Learn more at: ​http://earthchallenge2020.earthday.org/

Expression of Interest – Host Institution of ACSA

Introduction

The Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA) was formed to advance citizen science through the sharing of knowledge, collaboration, capacity building and advocacy. We are a member-based community that supports, informs and develops citizen science. ACSA membership is open to citizen science project managers, volunteers or anyone with an interest in citizen science. ACSA currently has 255 active members and 11 organisational members.

ACSA is a fully member-based incorporated association and registered charity. We are governed by a volunteer Management Committee consisting of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, three General Members and one Host Institution representative. ACSA currently has one paid staff member or National Coordinator who works three days per week. We have an active social media presence with 4,037 Facebook followers and 4,235 followers on Twitter. For the past four years ACSA has been hosted by the Australian Museum. ACSA is now seeking a new host organisation which can contribute to the ACSA’s mission by providing in-kind resourcing and support, and in exchange have the opportunity to connect with and help develop the National network for citizen science in Australia.

Closing Date: 17th May 2019

Overview of Requirements

Ideally, the host organisation will be able to make available all, or the majority, of the following resources:

  • Office resources for up to one full-time equivalent ACSA staff member including computers and telephone, office space and furniture and IT support
  • Access to teleconference and videoconference facilities
  • Provide work space for ACSA volunteers as required
  • Be able to act as an employer of ACSA staff (on and off location) as required
  • Make available meeting room space and kitchen facilities
  • Support where possible, the objectives and mission of ACSA
  • Support efforts to grow the partnership and access mutually beneficial funding opportunities
  • Help promote the association through communication channels

Additional ‘nice-to-haves’ include:

  • Access to internal graphic design services and print facilities
  • Access to host institution merchandise contacts and rates
  • Would also welcome the host being able to provide a part time administrative support officer (e.g. managing memberships, general enquiries)  

Interested organisations should complete and submit this Expression of Interest form in order to be considered as an applicant for the role of hosting organisation.

Value to host organisation

Citizen science is a field that is burgeoning globally, with significant scientific output and impacts on policy, formal and informal education, and community engagement. The host organisation of the ACSA will benefit through:

  • Playing an important and visible role in the development of citizen science in Australia, for the benefit of science, scientists and the wider community.
  • Increased capacity and corporate knowledge, particularly in the field of citizen science, and also in related scientific, educational and engagement endeavours.
  • Connecting with a large, national and international multi-disciplinary network which includes: community groups, NRM bodies, universities, schools, government agencies, local councils, state and government federal agencies, NGOs and corporate business from across different sectors such as environmental sciences, human science, astronomy, computing and IT.
  • Joining a network with influential science champions such as: Dr Geoff Garrett (ACSA’s Patron and former Queensland Chief Scientist), Australian Chief Scientist Alan Finkel AO (through the STAR Portal), as well as State Chief Scientists.
  • Engaging with the global citizen science community and developing networks with other international citizen science associations, museums, government institutions, and universities. ACSA is an accredited observer at the United Nations and have sent delegates to UN meetings. We hold an MoU with the European Citizen Science Association and the United States Citizen Science Association. Recently we signed an MoU with United Nations Association Australia.
  • Ties and connections with ACSA’s five current Regional Chapters, based in Queensland, ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
  • A place on ACSA’s Management Committee in the form of the Host Institution representative.
  • Organisational Membership of ACSA (with benefits for up to 5 employees).
  • Increased visibility through logo placement on ACSA’s website https://citizenscience.org.au/.
  • Agreement that ACSA will help promote relevant host institution programs/projects via its social media channels.

Host Costs

All costs associated with the Expression of Interest will be the sole responsibility of the applicant organisation.

No Contract

Nothing in this Expression of Interest should be construed to give rise to any contractual obligations or rights, explicit or implied, by the issue of this Expression of Interest or the lodgement of it as a submission.

Form Submission

All inquiries and the electronic submission (in Word or PDF only) should be addressed to:

Amy Slocombe
National Coordinator
Australian Citizen Science Association
Email: amy.slocombe@austmus.gov.au

Closing Date

All Expression of Interest forms need to be submitted by 5pm Friday 17th May 2019 in order to be considered as an applicant for the role of hosting organisation.

Each EOI will be assessed by the full ACSA Management Committee according to the criteria below and the successful organisation will be notified by early June 2019.

For more information or to discuss this opportunity further, please contact Amy Slocombe at amy.slocombe@austmus.gov.au or call 0423 902 810.

 

Download: Expression of Interest form - Host Institution

 

T-shirt competition!

Let’s get into the spirit of #citscimonth in April with a t-shirt competition!

No, we’re not stretching or doing yoga…who can guess the MC’s pose? 

Competition Details

To enter the competition, wear your ACSA t-shirt and post a photo of yourself on social media with the hashag #citscioztee. You can post your photo directly to the ACSA Facebook page or tag us on Twitter or Instagram. It can be a selfie, a group pic with friends, family, colleagues or pets. Get creative and remember, only the entrant needs to be wearing the ACSA t-shirt in the photo.

Winner and Prize 

The photo that receives the most likes before the competition closes on April 30th, 2019, will win a $50 gift voucher from the Australian Museum shop. Not located in Sydney? No problem! ACSA will purchase a gift voucher for the winner’s closest Museum shop. ACSA will notify and announce the winner in May.

Get snapping now!

NB: you must be an ACSA member to be eligible to win

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Survey results are in!

From July to October 2018, we asked for feedback from Australian Citizen Science Association members and our broader network to find out more about our community and how we can help support this network and better shape our association.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! The results are in and the information you provided us has been collated and presented in the following report:

ACSA member & network feedback 2018

This feedback has already contributed to efforts to support, develop and grow the ACSA community by informing the devopment of the strategic plan for 2019-2021, and additional actions based on your feedback are detailed in the report.

Should you have any comments or questions about this report, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Citizen Science Victoria – Call for Nominations

We need you!

We started something special in 2018 with the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Citizen Science Association. This year, we need you to help us to build a vibrant program for our state’s community of practice (and interest) by joining our Management Committee!

We’re looking for committed, capable, enthusiastic people to keep us all connected to and learning from each other. If you have a role in citizen science and have some time and energy to offer us, we’d be grateful to receive your application for one of the following roles:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Secretary/Treasurer
  • Engagement Officer
  • General Committee Member (3 places)

Descriptions of these roles are available here.

Help Lead our Program

We aim to bring the Committee together at least quarterly to plan the Chapter’s program, organise events and align with the programs of member groups and organisations. If you’re passionate about involving people from all walks of life in scientific work, please nominate yourself for a role with Citizen Science Victoria today.

All Committee members must be (or must become) a subscribed member of the Australian Citizen Science Association.

To nominate, please complete and submit the form online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8M86NHTNominations close on Sunday, 31 March, 2019.

You can learn more about Citizen Science Victoria – and sign up for email alerts for ACSA-Vic events – at https://inspiringvictoria.org.au/programs/citizen-science/.

Launch of ACSA-SA

By Katie Irvine, ACSA-SA Chair

The South Australian Chapter of ACSA was launched with a bang on Friday night 1st February. The Rob Roy Hotel in Adelaide was packed to the rafters with over 150 citizen scientists, science communicators and enthusiastic South Australians in attendance.

Excellent presentations from Tahlia Perry (EchidnaCSI – The University of Adelaide), Steve Walker (FrogwatchSA – Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges) and Jasmin Packer (FungiMap – The University of Adelaide) entertained and informed. The audience had a chance to voice many insightful questions during the lively panel discussion.

SA’s Chief Scientist with panelists Tahlia, Jasmin and Steve

We were honoured that SA’s new Chief Scientist, Professor Caroline McMillen, attended the event and gave an impromptu speech on the importance of making science accessible for the community.

A big thank you to everyone who came along to celebrate the launch and learn more about citizen science. We appreciate the work of the Science in the Pub team, particularly MC Stefan Caddy-Retalic, who partnered with us on the event.

ACSA-SA committee members and guest speakers

⚡️ “South Australian Chapter”
Missed the launch of the South Australian Chapter of @CitSciOZ last Friday?
Never fear! Check out the #citizenscience moments here!