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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Engaging and Retaining those elusive volunteers…

Blogs, Collaboration & partnerships, Communication & promotion, Education, Engaging citizens
By Jodi Salmond, Reef Check Australia Volunteer engagement and retention have long been an issue for the not for profit sector.  Organisations reliant on unpaid workers have substantial investments in time, training, and financial input, as well as an ongoing mentoring/upskilling programs to ensure volunteers feel both valued and supported, in addition to having the right skills to conduct the tasks required of them.  Despite this, some volunteers still cancel last minute, or cease to show up at all- leaving organisers stretched, frustrated, and unable to meet funding milestones. We all invest a lot in all our volunteers.  I believe that overall, we are great at supporting them; we train them, we guide them, we answer their questions, we thank them for, validate their efforts and make sure everyone feels…
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Quality training manuals thanks to ACSA grant

Blogs, Collaboration & partnerships
By Geeta Ortac, Bellingen Riverwatch I still remember the excitement when I saw the email from ACSA announcing an opportunity for a small grant. The timing couldn’t be better! Bellingen Riverwatch was gaining momentum and we really needed support to print out some good quality copies of our volunteer training manual. Bellingen Riverwatch is a water quality monitoring citizen science project supporting recovery actions for the critically endangered Bellingen River Snapping turtle (Myuchelys georgesi). These manuals were incredibly important as they served as an ongoing reference and training guide for our volunteers. The manuals aided data collection and ensured volunteer safety at sites. As the manuals were intended for frequent use (mostly in outdoor settings), it was recommended that they should be printed and bounded with good quality materials to…
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Member Spotlight: John Busby

Blogs
Name: John Busby How long have you been an ACSA member?: Since November 2017 Why did you join ACSA?: I strongly believe that a scientifically informed and engaged community will enhance both the environment and society. What do you love about citizen science?: The opportunities to engage with like-minded people, research scientists and government officials in projects that make a difference. What is the most awesome citizen science project you have been involved in and why? My partner had developed an interest in orchids and enjoyed discovering these in our local nature parks, without any plans for taking her hobby further. In early 2014, we learned that a prescription burn was planned for our local nature park, in an area that is extremely rich in orchids, including some designated rare species. We…
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On the Wallaby

On the Wallaby

Blogs
By Rob Pederick, ACSA member and grey nomad Now the tent poles are rotting, the campfires are dead, And the possums may gambol in trees overhead; I am humping my bluey far out on the land, And the prints of my bluchers sink deep in the sand: I am out on the wallaby humping my drum, And I came by the tracks where the sundowners come. From ‘On the Wallaby’ by Henry Lawson. G’day there, my name is Rob Pederick, but these days most people call me ‘Dusty’. I am a member of ACSA and an amateur entomologist. Most of my working life was spent on farms working with animals and I even had a go at zoo-keeping for a while. When I was a young bloke, many, many years ago,…
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My Year in Bhutan

My Year in Bhutan

Blogs, Field-based citizen science
By Danielle Northey, ACSA member and volunteer [caption id="attachment_14851" align="alignleft" width="250"] Danielle Northey with a Rheum nobile, a peculiar species of rhubarb which grows above 4000m[/caption] As I snuggled with my daughter in the warm autumn sun streaming through the window of our home nestled in the Himalayan mountains of Bhutan, I commented that the peach tree was beginning to lose its leaves. I said winter was on its way and that I was waiting for the Yellow-billed blue magpies to return to our garden. As if by cue, a Yellow-billed blue magpie streaked past our window. These majestic magpies are nothing like Australian magpies. They have elongated tails which make them glide through the air. Their tails are stripy and their bills are yellow, as you might expect, but I…
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