Category: ACSA development

Mozzie Monitors and Urban Foresters with ACSA-SA

By Katie Irvine, ACSA-SA Chair

The South Australian Chapter hosted a community meeting with citizen science presentations at Glenunga Hub on Thursday evening 13th June.

Craig Williams from UniSA spoke about some citizen science projects that his group have started over the last year. These include Mozzie Monitors: A crowd-funded mosquito surveillance program throughout SA involving over 100 citizen scientists, and Activating Citizen Scientists: An initiative with SA Health’s Office for Ageing Well.

Philip Roetman from the City of Burnside gave the first public talk about his new Urban Foresters Project. This project is enabling local residents to learn about and help monitor the urban forest, with a variety of activities to cater for different interests.

Dr. Philip Roetman of the Burnside City Council talking about Urban Foresters

We also heard from Tahlia Perry about her recent trip to the Citizen Science Association conference in North Carolina U.S.A., where she presented on EchidnaCSI. Her interesting insights from the conference included the popularity of the iNaturalist platform and the growing field of environmental activism through citizen science.

Thank you to everyone who came along, an enthusiastic group of about 40 citizen science participants, practitioners and new comers. The next ACSA-SA meeting will be an informal catch-up at an Adelaide pub. We will send an invite via the ACSA-SA email list, please email acsasacommittee@gmail.com to register for this list. We hope to see you there.

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.

Launch of ACSA-ACT & Region

By John Pring, ACSA-ACT & Region Chair

The ACT & Region Chapter of ACSA was launched on Tuesday 30th April at the CSIRO Discovery Centre in Canberra. More than 70 citizen scientists, scientists and interested parties were in attendance.

The official launch was done by Minister Gentleman of the ACT assembly. This was followed by a series of intriguing and informative presentations, by Andrew Robertson (Questagame), Michael Mulvaney (ACT Government) on the Nature Mapper platform (watch here), Roger Farrow (Citizen Scientist) on a series of plant-based projects within the area (watch here) and Woo O’Reilly (ACT Government) on Waterwatch (watch here).  A summary of the Chapters aims was also provided by yours truly (watch here).  We rounded out the evening with social nibbles and drinks.

I would like to extend a big thank you to all of those that attended the evening and to those that helped out with the organisation of the event.

Minister Mick Gentleman launching ACSA-ACT

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

 

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!

Launch of ACSA-QLD, Citizen Science Strategy and more!

By Michelle Neil, ACSA-QLD member & ACSA Secretary

Did you know that the very first meeting to form ACSA started at the Queensland Museum? On the 10th of May 2014 more than 80 people met to develop this community of practice we now call ACSA. It’s amazing to realise that it has been less than 5 years ago since it all began…

January 24th 2019 was a landmark day for citizen science in Queensland as Minister Leeanne Enoch formally launched the new ACSA-QLD Chapter and announced the Queensland Government’s Citizen Science strategy and grants at the Queensland Museum.

Citizen science groups including Cooloola Coast Care, Qld Health’s Zika Mozzie Seeker, Scenic Rim Wildlife, BirdLife Southern QLD, Brisbane Catchments Network, CoralWatch, Healthy Land and Water, Gold Coast Catchment Association, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management and the City of Gold Coast were invited to set up a stall in the Whale Mall.  Over 200 adults and kids stopped by to try their hand at citizen science activities and to listen to Minister Enoch’s speech about the value of “mobilising Queenslanders to help our scientists with important research projects, because the more eyes and ears you’ve got out there, the better”.

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/1/24/government-funding-aims-to-mobilise-queenslands-citizen-scientists

Zika Mozzie Seeker coordinator and Advanced Medical Entomoligst, Brian Montgomery from Metro South, Qld Health, spoke about the importance of public participation in early warning programs and how important “null”or zero values (e.g. no mosquitoes) are to citizen science projects. He also spoke about the commitment of citizen science projects to communicate findings back to the project’s citizen scientists.

In his first official speech as ACSA-QLD Chair, James Gullison spoke about the new ACSA-QLD Chapter, the Citizen Science strategy and grants before inviting the former Qld Chief Scientist, Dr Christine Williams to be the patron of the ACSA Qld Chapter. You can read James’ speech below.

More information about the Qld Citizen Science strategy and grants can be found here.

So what’s next for ACSA-QLD? After a big deep breath we are now very busy organising a citizen science booth for World Science Festival Brisbane. Come along and see us at Street Science!

ACSA-QLD Chair James Gullison

 

Speech: James Gullison (ACSA-QLD Chair)

“The ACSA-QLD Chapter is excited about the launch of the Queensland Citizen Science Strategy as we believe it will further promote the value of citizen science to the greater community.

It was less than 12 months ago when there was a meeting of the Queensland delegates at the Australian Citizen Science Conference in Adelaide when we were told the Office of the Chief Scientist was supportive of an ACSA-QLD Chapter. From the formation of the committee in June 2018, it’s hard to believe  how quickly the strategy and chapter have progressed in a short time frame.

We could not have achieved so much over the past twelve months without the support of the Office of the Chief Scientist. We would like to thank the former Chief Scientist Dr Christine Williams for her role and ongoing support and formally invite her to be the patron of the ACSA-QLD Chapter.

The location and timing for the launch of the Queensland Citizen Science Strategy could not be more appropriate, particularly during the school holiday period. It is great to see so many excited faces around the venue which demonstrates the passion and enthusiasm that community has for citizen science. Being a father of a 4 year old, it gives me pleasure when I am able to share my passions and work with her due to the excitement she gets when she tells me that she is a ‘scientist’.

Citizen science is inclusive and allows anyone to be able to participate in a variety of projects. It’s what makes it such a rewarding and fulfilling experience because the research is being achieved and people are enjoying themselves in the process. It allows us to go diving with Reef Check and assist on their surveys, waking up on cold mornings and searching for platypus in the Gold Coast hinterland with PlatypusWatch and observing the native birds in our backyards with BirdLife Australia.

Citizen science covers a whole range of science categories and it’s what makes it so appealing – it’s for anyone.”

ACSA gains UN Environment Accreditation!

On 18 December 2018, ACSA was granted successful accreditation an NGO to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). You can read the Letter of Accreditation here.

“But what exactly does that mean?” you ask.

Well, accreditation provides non-governmental organisations with observer status to the Assembly and its subsidiary bodies according to Rule 70 of the rules of procedure of the United Nations Environment Assembly of UN Environment. Accreditation brings many advantages with respect to participation in the work of UN Environment’s Governing Bodies, such as the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UN Environment and the Committee of Permanent Representatives.

Accreditation is the main entry point for groups such as ours into policy dialogue at UN Environment. In the process leading up to sessions of the United Nations Environmental Assembly of UN Environment, ACSA and it’s members now have the opportunity:

  1. To participate in the Regional Consultation Meeting in preparation for the Assembly;
  2. To contribute to the preparation of Regional Civil Society Statements towards UN Environment and the Assembly;
  3. To receive unedited working documents of the United Nations Environment Assembly at the same time as the Committee of the Permanent Representatives (CPR);
  4. To submit to the UN Environment Secretariat written contributions to these unedited working documents for distribution to the Governments through the Committee of the Permanent Representatives (CPR); and
  5. To participate in the public Meetings of the Committee of Permanent Representatives, the Assembly and the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, an associated meeting of the UN Environment Assembly

And during the session of the Environment Assembly, ACSA can:

· Attend the plenary sessions of the Committee of the Whole and the Ministerial Consultations as observers and to exchange views and interact with Governments present;
· Circulate written statements to Governments, in the form of information documents through the UN Environment secretariat; and
· Make oral statements during the discussions of the United Nations Environmental Assembly of UN Environment.

We can now have a voice at this world table!

ACSA has been added to the List of Accredited Organizations with Observer Status to UN Environment, and we are pleased to announce that 4 of our members (Libby Hepburn, Mendel Wong, Scott Edmunds and Martin Brocklehurst) will be attending the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum (SPBF) on the Environment  and the United Nations Environment Assembly 4 to be held in Nairobi from March 8 – 13th, 2019. For more information on what ACSA’s delegation will be contributing, please read Libby’s blog.