CitSciOz21: reflections & summaries

Blogs, Communication & promotion, Conferences, Meetings and Events
By Luise Manning Luise was the recipient of one of ACSA’s complimentary conference regsiterations, available to those people who did not have organisational support to attend CitSciOz21 Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, the 3rd ACSA Conference, which was planned to be held on the Gold Coast last year, went from a face-to-face conference to an on-line event. The induction videos on how to use the platform were useful to test your equipment before attending the conference. This was my first ACSA conference and I was quite impressed by the ease of registering and the easy-to-understand home page containing the timetable of events for each day. It was very professionally done and provided a wide variety of topics and content.  The benefits of the on-line conference meant that even if two…
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Finding opportunities in the apparent chaos: citizen science and marine debris

Finding opportunities in the apparent chaos: citizen science and marine debris

Blogs, Collaboration & partnerships, Communication & promotion
Towards a nationally focused citizen science monitoring strategy for marine debris By Jordan Gacutan, PhD Candidate | Centre for Marine Science and Innovation | UNSW, Sydney As Murphy’s law states, "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong", which rings true in the events which partly derailed/delayed the production of training materials for marine debris monitoring, supported by the ACSA seed grant that we won in 2020. But just as often, and as many a PhD student will attest, opportunities arise from the chaos. Tackling marine debris through citizen science At the University of New South Wales, we are tackling the growing problem of marine debris by using citizen science data across Australia to inform practical opportunities for management. The work partners with the Tangaroa Blue Foundation and the Australian…
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Volunteering for ACSA: a win-win

Volunteering for ACSA: a win-win

Blogs, Collaboration & partnerships
By Faiza Sayed My experience of working as a volunteer data analyst for ACSA has been enjoyable, enriching and rewarding. The concept of Citizen Science and the work that ACSA does has always inspired me for being able to educate, productively engage and empower the young and old alike. This is what my team and I strive to do through STEM Catalyst as well. Volunteering with ACSA enabled me to bring together my passions for empowering people and working with data / technology.  Not only did I incredibly enjoy the job at hand, but also had some great work to add to my profile, landing me a full-time role as a Data Analyst. A big thank you to Amy and Alice for giving Nasreen and I the opportunity to come…
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River Health Assessments Underway in Wingecarribee thanks to ACSA Seed Grant

River Health Assessments Underway in Wingecarribee thanks to ACSA Seed Grant

Blogs, Communication & promotion
By Karen Guymer Getting to know Wingecarribee Waterways The Wingecarribee Shire, also known as the Southern Highlands, features meandering rivers, tranquil creeks and majestic waterfalls. This water supports our towns, farmlands, forests and biodiversity. Council is responsible for many thousands of kilometres of waterways within 3000ha across 38 bushland reserves within Wingecarribee Shire. Winning the ACSA Seed Grant in 2020 was fantastic as it enabled us to train council staff in the Bushcare, Natural Resources and Sustainability Services Teams in understanding more about river heath assessments and the tool used to do this, the Rapid Appraisal of Riparian Condition (RARC). The hands-on field day led by Lori Gould, Rivers of Carbon Program Manager with the Australian River Restoration Centre (ARRC), provided theoretical and practical skills and knowledge for staff. As…
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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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