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…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More
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,…
Read More
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…
Read More

#CitSci2019, Raleigh, NC USA!

Blogs, Collaboration & partnerships, Conferences, Meetings and Events
By Michelle Neil (ACSA Secretary and social media moderator) “We come together at this conference to learn and work together for positive, productive outcomes.” Every year ACSA sends a member of the Management Committee to a sister citizen science association conference somewhere in the world. This year I was the lucky one, so earlier this month I set off to attend the Citizen Science Association’s #CitSci2019 Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina USA. [caption id="attachment_14580" align="alignleft" width="145"] Flying into Raleigh NC. Population 464,000. Pic: Michelle Neil[/caption] After more than 30 hours of travel I flew into Raleigh at 4am on Tuesday the 12th of March, grabbed an UBER and headed to the hotel. The first day of the conference dawned cold and fine. I headed across the road to the Raleigh…
Read More
Organising a Citizen Science Road Map for Sustainable Development

Organising a Citizen Science Road Map for Sustainable Development

Blogs
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (#SDGs) until recently have not been something most of us have been aware of in relation to citizen science – but there’s increasing focus on these goals as they set the aspirations of sustainability; environmentally, economically and socially. The 17 global goals are designed to set a sustainable development agenda to transform our world by 2030. Local, state, and federal government personnel are now incorporating the SDGs into domestic policy, planning and reporting, so there is a real need for co-ordination, but also to define a role for citizen science to be embedded and integrated into this process. Several groups are exploring how members of the general public and non-traditional data can contribute to achieving these incredibly ambitious aims, with a number of targets…
Read More
Martin Brocklehurst in Australia: Citizen Science advocacy and insights at a global level

Martin Brocklehurst in Australia: Citizen Science advocacy and insights at a global level

Blogs
By Libby Hepburn Martin Brocklehurst’s instructions to me were to fill his visit with as many important and influential people as possible, who might help develop citizen science in Australia – so I did. The result has been an amazing journey with global and local insights into a multitude of citizen science initiatives and a hugely positive and energised response from people across the country. It’s a great time for citizen science! Martin Brocklehurst is one of the Founders of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), Chair of the ECSA Policy working group, instigator of the Global Mosquito Alert Consortium (GMAC) and has played a key part in the formation of the Citizen Science Global Partnership (CSGP). His illustrious career has included high level government appointments in the Environment Agency…
Read More