The story of Patrick the platypus, the orange river and the ACSA Seed Grant

The story of Patrick the platypus, the orange river and the ACSA Seed Grant

Blogs, Collaboration & partnerships, Engaging citizens
When the Werribee River in Bacchus Marsh turned orange from sediment in late 2018, some local community members began to ask, “Is Patrick the Platypus OK”? Patrick is the name locals had given to the platypus (or platypuses) living in that section of the river. We were worried this severe level of sediment would smother “Patrick’s” food supply – invertebrates. Platypus cannot survive where their food has been killed. The river stayed orange for eight months! Action was needed. In response, a small group of local residents came together to form the Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance. The Australian Citizen Science Association (ASCA) seed grant came at just the right time for the newly formed Alliance. It provided us with vital equipment and resources to get our citizen science activities started,…
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Insect Investigators – a school-based citizen science project discovering and documenting our biodiversity

Insect Investigators – a school-based citizen science project discovering and documenting our biodiversity

Blogs, Collaboration & partnerships, Communication & promotion, Field-based citizen science, Showcasing science outcomes
By Erin Fagan-Jeffries My goal is to get the community more involved in the process of how we document and describe our biodiversity – I believe we all should be part of this process to better understand what is living in the environment that we call home. The seed grant from the Australian Citizen Science Association allowed me to top up the amount available from my broader postdoctoral funding to allow four trials of a citizen science project that connected school groups to the process of species discovery. So far, trials of a project have been underway at four school across South Australia: Macclesfield Primary School in the Adelaide Hills, Cowell Area School on the Eyre Peninsula, and Waikerie and Ramco Primary Schools in the Riverland. Each school set up…
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Reflections on EU citsci CoP talks

Blogs
By John Pring, Chair ACSA-ACT I have been participating in discussions with some of the European WeObserve citizen science communities of practice for some time and was asked to provide an update on the Australian bushfires that had occured over the recent fire season and the involvement of ACSA and Australian citizen scientists in the recovery process.  Here is a summary of that presentation and discussion. [caption id="attachment_18212" align="aligncenter" width="499"] Morton National Park NSW February 2020[/caption] The fires in Australia had been something that they had watched in horror but did not truly realise the size. The official losses (3500 homes, 5850 Outbuildings and the tragic loss of 34 lives) had meaning but indicating to people living in the Netherlands that the fires had burnt an area approaching 2.5 x…
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NRFC Conference, Hobart

NRFC Conference, Hobart

Blogs, CS Project
This week the National Recreational Fishing Conference was held in Hobart. The theme was “Our Fishing, Our Research, Our Recreational Future” with talks on how citizen science projects by recreational fishers are helping inform and improve both fresh and saltwater fisheries management. Projects featured included artificial reef building and monitoring by  OzFish Unlimited as well as WA based Recfishwest’s Reef Vision, Ocean sunfish mapping. OZFish is a particularly interesting case because it is an example of a volunteer-based organisation of recreational fishers focused on protecting and, importantly, restoring fish habitat that is also commercially sponsored, thus giving them a lot more funding, and thus scope, to actively improve the environment. For more information check out the following sites: ozfish.org.au recfishwest.org.au/our-services/research/reef-vision-artificial-reef-monitoring oceansunfish.org
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Gold Coast BioBlitz

Gold Coast BioBlitz

Blogs, Field-based citizen science, Meetings and Events
The Gold Coast is all about enjoying our natural areas and environment and spending heaps of time on the beach. However, the wild array of wildlife often seems to be overlooked whilst doing so. Local community organisation, the Gold Coast Catchment Association hosted the Gold Coast Bioblitz 2019 together with SEQ NRM Healthy Land and Water. The 24 hour event included a full weekend of flora and fauna surveys conducted by 230 community members under the expert guidance of 50 scientist and survey assistants. The aim for the BioBlitz was to discover the hidden creatures of the Gold Coast hinterland as well as to engage the local community through education and hands-on experience, in this case in the beautiful Austinville Valley. These intensive biological surveys done over the 24 hour…
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Q&A with ACSA’s Patron…Dr Geoff Garrett AO

Q&A with ACSA’s Patron…Dr Geoff Garrett AO

Blogs, Collaboration & partnerships
One of our Member's recently mentioned that they'd like to know a little bit more about ACSA's Patron Dr Geoff Garrett AO, and the work he is doing behind the scenes for ACSA. What follows here is an amusing, honest and engaging account of the years since citizen science first crossed Geoff's radar (which was not as early as you might have expected for a Chief Scientist!) But perhaps that is just testament to the times that were. Not anymore! Read on to find out a little more about our Patron. [caption id="attachment_16591" align="alignleft" width="960"] Geoff and his avid birdwatcher wife, Janet[/caption] ACSA: How did you get interested in Citizen Science? And why? Geoff Garrett: To my considerable embarrassment, during my time as CSIRO’s Chief Executive and, thereafter, as Queensland’s…
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Member Spotlight: Monique Van Sluys

Member Spotlight: Monique Van Sluys

Blogs
Name: Monique Van Sluys Role: Wildlife Conservation Officer Organisation: Taronga Conservation Society Australia How long have you been a member of ACSA?: Since November 2017 Why did you join ACSA?: I have been involved with ACSA since the early discussions to create a citizen science network back in 2013-14. To join ACSA as a founding member was an easy and natural decision. I believe that the wide community should be involved with science for a better understanding of what it takes to create knowledge. What do you love about citizen science?: I do appreciate the opportunities citizen science creates for the wider community to engage with different aspects of science, to foster public participation and curiosity regarding the scientific process. It is inspiring for individuals to make a difference and contribute…
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Member Spotlight: Scott Bell

Member Spotlight: Scott Bell

Blogs
A bit about me: I'm Scott Bell, a fifth generation Tasmanian, married, and retired from General Practice at the end of 2006. I was fortunate to be able to purchase 640 acres of varied bushland, close to the coast in North Eastern Tasmania, in 2007. I’ve protected it with a covenant, apart from 2%, which is set aside for a building envelope. [caption id="attachment_16202" align="alignleft" width="300"] Scott with the lighthouse at Tasman Island, where he does voluntary work with the "Friends of Tasman Island"[/caption] Role: Retiree, home builder, citizen scientist, volunteer, community member How long have you been an ACSA member?: I just joined last month Why did you join ACSA?: To share ideas with other citizen scientists, to help me achieve my citizen science project goals How have you used citizen science…
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How Cooloola Coastcare hatched Cooloola TurtleCare with a seed grant from the Australian Citizen Science Association

How Cooloola Coastcare hatched Cooloola TurtleCare with a seed grant from the Australian Citizen Science Association

Blogs, Collaboration & partnerships, Communication & promotion
By Lindy Orwin, Cooloola Coastcare Worldwide, marine turtles are at risk. But on the Cooloola Coast in the Gympie region of Queensland, where several endangered, vulnerable and threatened species (including the green, loggerhead, hawksbill and flatback turtles) live, there are some extra challenges. This is an area of dynamic sand movement and many 4WD tourist vehicles use the beach daily, especially during school holidays, because the beach is a gazetted ‘road’. Young hatchlings whose nests survive the king tides and storm surge of the crazy Queensland storms, have to run the gauntlet to survive. The Cooloola Coast turtle breeding beaches urgently need monitoring and the community needs education about marine turtle behaviour if the turtles trying to nest in this area are to be successful. These beaches and those to…
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Member Spotlight: Tess Hayes

Blogs
Name: Tess Hayes Role: Masters student; Vice Chair - ACSA Victoria; formally Citizen Science Officer, EPA Victoria Citizen Science Program How long have you been an ACSA member?: Since December 2017 Why did you join ACSA?: I have always been extremely grateful for the community that exists among citizen science practitioners. There is a willingness to collaborate, to share ideas and come together with a solution focus to unpack common challenges that confront citizen science projects. I joined ACSA in late 2017 in order to attend the upcoming conference. After being involved for a while in an informal citizen science group in Victoria, it seemed a logical next step in widening my citizen science circle. What do you love about citizen science?: The thing I love most about citizen science projects…
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