Category: Collaboration & partnerships

Global Citizen Science practitioners invited to contribute to UNESCO’s 2021 initiative to promote Open Science

Open Science, the movement working to make research more accessible and transparent, has been developing since the late 1990s. Citizen Science, has been developing in parallel and benefits from many of the technological advances that have allowed Open Science to flourish.

As our networks have been working hard to raise the profile, understanding and uptake of Citizen Science so those encouraging the practice of Open Science have been doing the same with increasing success.

Now with an understanding of the importance of the widespread collaboration of communities and science to address urgent planetary challenges, UNESCO has identified the need to encourage science to be more connected to societies’ needs and to offer real opportunities to allow everyone to participate and benefit from what science can offer. They have established a process for developing a global standard setting Recommendation on Open Science which they expect will be adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in 2021. This will be a formal agreement which will acknowledge the importance of Open Science and agree global standards making this approach to research more valuable for policy makers, governments and society.

We are very pleased that Citizen Science has been recognised as a key element of Open Science and the global Citizen Science community has been invited to contribute to this process as part of the expert Advisory Committee. The first request was to develop a short paper on ‘Global Citizen Science perspectives on Open Science’ where the views of 63 Citizen Science practitioners from 24 countries (including 5 from Australia) were synthesised into the paper responding to UNESCO’s key themes. This paper can be found  here.

From our consultation it became clear that there is a consensus that Citizen Science is understood to be an important pillar of Open Science. There is also now significant expertise within both the Open Science and Citizen Science movements making this UNESCO initiative an opportune time for us jointly to consider how to maximise the opportunities of collaboration to make further advances together.

In order to “bring citizens closer to science”, the Citizen Science movement works to “leave no one behind” and develop co-creative processes which engage communities in research and learning which is relevant to their concerns. This is the particular aspect of Open Science which UNESCO has highlighted in this initiative which Citizen Science embodies, so we are confident we can make a significant contribution to this work.

Recognising this consultation is a significant opportunity for the advancement of Citizen Science, the Citizen Science & Open Science Community of Practice (CoP) has been established under the umbrella of the Citizen Science Global Partnership (CSGP). This CoP will allow members access to learn from and contribute to the networks of Citizen Science communities across the world to enrich the UNESCO consultation process for the Recommendation. If you are interested in joining this CoP please register here.

UNESCO is particularly keen to encourage Indigenous communities to contribute to this process from the beginning.

Any questions and for further comments please contact: Libby Hepburn (co-chair CSGP Open Science & Citizen Science Community of Practice) libby@atlasoflife.org.au.

Citizen Science perspectives on Open Science – questionnaire

UNESCO is developing a global policy and regulatory agenda on Open Science (UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science) that will include Citizen Science as one important pillar. We have created a Citizen Science & Open Science Community of Practice (CoP) within the Citizen Science Global Partnership to establish a cooperation with UNESCO on that initiative.

The first request of this partnership with UNESCO is to produce a short paper by the end of May 2020.  The paper shall reflect the Citizen Science perspective on Open Science and its development in future.

If you would like to get involved in the Community of Practice, or to contribute to the paper, please contact Libby Heburn on 0458 798 990.

For more information on the UNESCO Open Science agenda please click here.

Putting a Citizen Science Stamp on it!

By Michelle Neil

At the end of March 2019 I had just returned from the USA Citizen Science Association’s Conference in Raleigh NC and I had just submitted my ACSA blog about my adventures. I was still buzzing about everyone I had met, the sheer volume of people (over 800!) that were at the Conference and how well citizen science was presented plus the funding and grant opportunities and global collaborations that we talked about.

Yet back in Australia, I was frustrated.  Despite the Australian Citizen Science Association’s (and my) best efforts, many Australians still didn’t know what citizen science is or how anyone can contribute to increase scientific knowledge.

My husband, John, overheard my grumbling and, with the latest Australia Post Stamp Bulletin in hand, said, “You know what you need to do? You need to suggest to Australia Post to make a citizen science stamp! They have a website address in the Stamp Bulletin where you can enter your suggestion.”

What a cool idea, I thought. As kids, my husband and I both collected stamps. My husband is still a keen stamp collector or philatelist.  Stamps are collected all around the world as they represent cultural, historical and significant times, places, attitudes and events with often intricate, beautiful designs.

I grinned, jumped online and, taking note of the theme requirements, filled in the form as me, a keen citizen scientist of Australia.

A stamp represents a piece of a country’s cultural heritage

Imagine my surprise and delight a few days later when our ACSA National Coordinator, Amy, forwarded a query from Australia Post asking to do a series of citizen science stamps…  and it was forwarded to me, as Secretary of ACSA, to respond too! I rang the contact from Australia Post to introduce myself and explain that I was actually the one that sent the original suggestion and to make sure there was no issue of conflict of interest – which there wasn’t (phew!).

My first task from Australia Post was to send them an email explaining:

  • what is “citizen science” for their researchers,
  • the different types of citizen science, and
  • to give examples of citizen science projects and why they were innovative / important.

The response to this task was perhaps one of the longest emails I have ever written with well over a dozen uniquely Australian citizen science projects suggested, each with justification, plus the link to more than 350 more projects on the Project Finder for their researchers to browse as well.

After two weeks my Australia Post contact let me know that they had chosen to feature not one, but a set of four citizen science projects on stamps to launch in the first half of 2020. Those projects were:

  1. QuestaGame – Australia’s original gamified citizen science app where you go on quests to document the biodiversity around you. Also suitable for kids with parental assistance.
  2. Butterflies Australia from Australian National University, which is a brand-new citizen science project looking at butterflies, including invasive species in Australia and its territories
  3. Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri (We Study The Country), Ngandi Elders, Ngukurr People, Yugul Mangi Rangers (in South East Arnhem Land, NT) and Macquarie University, worked together in a co-created project to “discover species new to science, found new populations of threatened species, preserved culturally-significant wetlands, and documented the community’s plants and animals in eight local languages”. Winner of the 2017 Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science.
  4. Zika Mozzie Seeker from Metro South Health, Queensland Health was the first citizen science-based early warning system to detect disease-spreading mosquitos in and around South East Queensland. Finalist for the 2018 and 2019 Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prizes for Innovation in Citizen Science.

After this announcement I was asked to contact the citizen science project managers and ask for their agreement. Each of the managers were asked to provide some details, in their own words, about what their citizen science project was about and how citizens contributed to the research. The researchers were trying to get a feel for the science as well as the citizens that contributed. Artist Jonathan Chong was then asked to do some preliminary sketches and give a few options to our project managers. This went back and forth for several months until the final stamp designs were approved by all.

I learnt quite a few things about science communication and organisation during this time as I was the go-between for so many groups:

  • It is important to have only one contact for each group or I get people mixed up in my head (not good!).
  • Just because I wanted the stamps to come out in Global Citizen Science Month (April) doesn’t mean it happens (oh well).
  • Kriol is not a traditional indigenous language, but rather one spoken as a form of hybrid language across northern Australia – and someone has even translated Shakespeare to Kriol!
  • Mosquito eggs don’t look like frog eggs. They are not round but rather more cigar shaped (seriously – look closely at the stamp!).
  • Citizen science look fun as a cartoon on a stamp!
  • Just because you have finished the stamp designs doesn’t mean its over yet – there are still first day covers, stamp packs and more to design!

This stamp series, besides from being the first ever citizen science stamps in Australia, has a few other “firsts” in it as well. For example, butterflies have never been portrayed on an Australian stamp as anything other than a picture depicting actual colouring, wing shape etc – until now. This will be the first time the Kriol language will be used on a stamp – technically an Australian Government approved piece of paper winging its way around the world!

It really boggled my mind when I sat down and went through how many people and organisations were involved and how many citizen scientists and scientists too! For example, QuestaGame has thousands of citizen scientists all over the world and is based in Cairns!  Zika Mozzie Seeker has hundreds of citizen scientists but the results it produces can affect millions in Queensland and beyond.

Finally, in February 2020 we finished all the designs and approvals and the stamps were sent to the printers. I was so excited when the latest Stamp Bulletin came out in late April. You can find out more about the stamps on pages 14 – 16. The first Australian citizen science stamp sets available from the 19th of May 2020 at Australia Post and you can explore them here.

Brian Montgomery, Zika Mozzie Seeker project team leader with Michelle Neil, ACSA Secretary

Citizen science and COVID-19

Just as ACSA responded to the bushfire crisis earlier in the year, we would also like to contribute to how the Australian community can stay positive, share experiences and contribute to science and learning in the context of COVID-19 social distancing, flattening the curve and mitigation.

Doing more together

While physical isolation guidelines are being implemented globally, this doesn’t mean we need to feel isolated and powerless during this challenging time. Indeed citizen science is all about the power and potential of ‘scale’ and that by working together we can do more. 

Many in our community are finding comfort in continuing with their daily citizen science activities and the sense of connection and purpose it provides. Whether that is recording species in our backyards, monitoring our rain gauges or helping to digitise records and images. We also want to share that sense of purpose with others in the broader community – especially those whose normal avenues of connecting are being restricted such as our senior citizens. 

Get involved with purpose 

We provide here is a list of some citizen science activities that anyone with a mobile phone or internet connection can actively participate in. Websites such as ACSA’s Project Finder, SciStarter and Zooniverse also provide an fantastic array of citizen science projects to explore. We will gradually add to this list and would welcome your suggestions: send us an email coordinator@citizenscience.org.au with your favourites.

Online citizen science projects:

  • Foldit – an online game in which citizens help design and identify proteins to help researchers create an antiviral therapy for COVID-19.
  • Flutracking – online health surveillance program to track influenza across Australia and New Zealand, and help researchers understand disease spread and target intervention. 
  • DigiVol – from the Australian Museum, a crowdsourcing platform to transcribe and digitise images and information from natural history collections in Australia and across the world, including camera traps and field journals.
  • Western Shield Camera Watch – analysing camera trap images to manage introduced predators, primarily foxes and cats, that threaten native wildlife in Western Australia.
  • Eyewire – a citizen science human-based computation game that challenges players to map retinal neurons.
  • SouthernWeatherDiscovery.org – digitising old Southern Ocean and Antarctic weather data from the log books of sailors and explorers from the 19th and 20th centuries to feed into a supercomputer to create daily weather animation for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
  • Bash the Bug – help understand which antibiotics are effective against Tuberculosis.
  • Stallcatchers – identifying blood vessels for blockages (stalls) that may contribute to Alzheimers and speed up research for a treatment.
  • Citizen Science Games – this website provides a great list of online citizen science games including various articles and publications
  • Astroquest– complete quests to help Australian scientists understand how galaxies grow and evolve
  • Open Pandemics – download software to run simulated experiments to help predict the effectiveness of chemical compounds on treating COVID-19.
You can get involved in citizen science from your home with online projects such as Digivol

Backyard citizen science projects:

Even from your backyard, home, local park or nature reserve you can participate in collecting citizen science information – download some of the apps or participate in some upcoming “blitzes”. Here are just a few to start you on your journey:

  • iNaturalist’s City Nature Challenge – April 24-27 2020 – be part of the global City Nature Challenge
  • Wild Pollinator Count  – April 12-19th 2020 – count wild pollinators in your local environment and help build a database on wild pollinator activity
  • Citizen Science Month – April 2020 – check out on social media #CitSciMonth for things happening to celebrate citizen science internationally and ways to participate virtually.
  • iNaturalist – record your observations of species, and share with the iNaturalist community   
  • FrogID – a national citizen science project that is helping us learn more about what is happening to Australia’s frogs by recording frog calls.
  • NatureMapr – community based citizen science platform to collect, manage and share species data.
  • QuestaGame – a game to make the adventure of going outdoors real and contribute to research.
  • Brush turkeys – collecting information about the Australian Brush-turkey (Alectura lathami) in suburbia, including observing their behaviours
  • Birdata – BirdLife Australia’s platform for those interested in the amazing array of birds in Australia.
  • ClimateWatch – understand how changes in temperature and rainfall are affecting the seasonal behaviour of Australia’s plants and animals.
  • Urban Wildlife App – an app with research from the environmental science program the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub looking at bell frogs, flying foxes and beneficial insects.
  • Hush City – a science mobile app, which empowers people to identify and assess quiet areas in cities to create an open access, web-based map of quiet areas, with the potential of orientating plans and policies for healthier living

Opportunity to learn and reflect

With the COVID-19 outbreak we have been inundated with a deluge of information and advice, highlighting the importance of science and an evidence-base to tackle challenges and make decisions (e.g. public health, epidemiology, modelling, vaccine production, genome sequencing etc). The global citizen science community also wants to make sure that we extend and improve our knowledge and theory around the practice of citizen science and reflect upon the relationship between science and society. ACSA’s 10 Principles of Citizen Science is one way we drive good practice in citizen science.

Many people ask “what is citizen science?” and if you would like to know more there is a growing resource base to explore that question and reflect on how it might apply to your work and community aspirations: 

Reach out and share

The fast emerging impact of COVID-19 provides us as a society and its various actors (individual, community or organisational) the opportunity to reflect upon what small acts of reaching out and sharing we can do for those where the retreat to social isolation is confronting or another barrier to empowerment. For ACSA’s Vice Chair this was highlighted in a personal way:

“When my 80 year mother came to dinner last weekend she was very upset. All the things that kept her busy, provided structure to the day, meant she could meet up with friends and learn more about the world were cancelled – no University of the Third Age, no bridge, no Probus, no exercise class, no music concerts! While we as a family are connecting with her as much as possible, I wanted to see if she would be interested in citizen science as a way to bring some purpose and “something to do” back to her daily-life. “But I didn’t do science at school” she insisted. Not deterred, we have started on #NanDoesCitSci with the Digivol platform – the echidnas attacking a mallee fowl nest our first task together. We are hoping to earn the “Scientist” badge.”  

What can you do to reach out with citizen science?  Tell us your stories here – and as we opened with, let’s be “doing more together”.

Update – 30 March 2020

ACSA members have also recently contributed to a number of recent articles around citizen science and COVID-19:

Australian Citizen Science Association statement on 2019/20 bushfires

The unprecedented Australian fires are devastating. They have led to the loss of lives, homes, habitats and livelihoods. Members of the Australian Citizen Science Association extend our deepest sympathies to those affected personally and also recognise the ecological grief that may be prompted by the scale of this crisis. 

In this time of extreme loss, we are also buoyed by the extraordinary response of individuals and communities in a time of crisis.  We believe there is a role for citizen science to assist across multiple disciplines, in many research and monitoring capacities. 

ACSA is a member-based community that supports, informs and develops citizen science. With this in mind, we are seeking to support conversations and plans that help further connect the citizen science community to contribute to the extraordinary and complex efforts required to organise a safe, strategic and coordinated response – both short and long-term.

We understand that there are many people who want to help with response. We do too. Please appreciate that the safety of you and others is paramount.  If considering citizen science activities, always ensure that the area you visit is cleared for entry, you are safe and that your activities do not interfere with the critical frontline work of emergency first responders. We are not currently promoting field based data collection. Emergency responses need to come first. Many volunteers are actively contributing to response efforts as firefighters, relief centre workers, and wildlife carers, while other people returning to their homes are putting out water or vegetables for wildlife remaining. Our thanks goes out to those contributing to these efforts.

The first four steps of ACSA’s approach is outlined below:

STEP 1 – Rapid community feedback

ACSA has commenced multiple processes for crowdsourcing information about what and how citizen science projects might contribute to the recovery of forests and ecosystems, monitor the effects of climate change, and empower citizens to create datasets that may positively influence climate policy.  

A quick call for ideas is open for feedback. No idea is too big or too small. You can share information about  existing projects and new concepts that could address a critical gap. As a community, we can work together to create and support imaginative, robust and impactful projects that will contribute to positive outcomes for science and society. We’ll share the ideas generated with you and use them as part of our citizen science advocacy in consultations with government and industry. 

STEP 2 – Community of practice discussion

We encourage our members to join the WILDLABS Bushfires Slack channels, in which several of our committee members, and representatives from response organizations such as Conservation Volunteers Australia, are already active. Please get involved in these conversations to share your insights and details of any active groups or discussions around citizen science bushfire responses so that we can link to these initiatives. There are several citizen science threads. The WILDLABS Slack link is <https://www.wildlabs.net/community/thread/825>. 

STEP 3 – Project audit & key needs

We are partnering with SciStarter and Atlas of Living Australia on a survey to compile a list of projects where citizen science data and data processing could be useful in helping to monitor the impacts and recovery from the bushfires and of a changing climate more broadly. We will be posting this survey soon – please stay tuned. 

This survey will be a first step in helping to support the broader conversations around how to maximise the positive contributions from citizen science for response and recovery efforts. If you manage or know about good projects, we very much value your feedback.  There are a huge range of existing citizen science projects that are already collecting data around relevant topics. 

Potential categories of needs and goals identified so far include:

    • post fire assessment and recovery (ecology and or biodiversity monitoring, documenting regrowth, identifying remaining patches of habitat, soil condition)
    • Wildlife and endangered species support (presence/absence, abundance, distribution, predator control)
    • Air quality, cloud, smoke monitoring etc. (empowering citizens to self-monitor or access nearby monitoring, coordinating citizen data)
    • Water quality, including runoff/ash issues (projects exist, coordinating/sharing role)
    • Health and well-being (respiratory issues, mental health, community sustainability)
    • Climate change observations, local weather conditions
    • Research (Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC
    • Shared global goals (Earth Challenge 2020, SDGs). 

We have also had a number of science, research and conservation organisations reach out. This conversation linking key needs from science, management and policy organisations and the Australian and global citizen science community is where ACSA seeks to focus our efforts. To help us consider ways to best connect the citizen science community with key needs, we welcome feedback on critical information gaps and key research needs where citizen science can help. 

STEP 4 – Long-term strategy

An effective response to coordinate citizen science contributions at this scale will require extensive strategy, consideration and collaboration. ACSA will work to develop a more long-term response together with you, our community. This will include approaches to best align the key data needs identified by science, management and communities with citizen science data collection, processing, analysis and sharing activities. 

We’re exploring ideas around how we can support constructive sessions at the upcoming ACSA National Citizen Science Conference (Oct 2020) and through other key advocacy and collaborative activities. We welcome your feedback to shape next steps. If you are interested in being part of a working group for a disaster recovery research stream of the conference, please contact cobi.calyx@unsw.edu.au.

ACSA stands with you and your communities, and we will support Australia’s response to the bushfire and climate crisis as best we can. As climate change continues to influence more aspects of our lives through both extreme events and other environmental, social, cultural and economic changes, we want to continue strengthening ACSA as a platform that can advocate for your priorities.

“Join Flutracking” Prof Paul Kelly urges Australians

On 6 April 2020 Professor Paul Kelly, Deputy Chief Health Officer, encouraged all Australians to join Flutracking to help track the spread of COVID-19.

Following this  Dr. Craig Dalton, co-ordinator of Flutracking.net reached out to ACSA and asked for our assistance in spreading this message far and wide.

Participating in this citizen science project is easy, and will provide incredibly valuable information that can help us track COVID-19 and other illness in real time.

Join Flutracking at https://info.flutracking.net/ and complete a simple 30 second survey once a week.

Join Flutracking now.

Welcome to Global CitSciMonth!

Citizen Science Month offers thousands of opportunities for you to turn your curiosity into impact. There’s something for everyone, everywhere! If you are #HomeSchooling, #StayAtHome or just having a #Staycation you can join a project or event from wherever you are to help scientists answer questions they cannot answer without you. There is something on every day (and night) during CitSciMonth and most are suitable for students to join in online. Check out the calendar for more information here such as the Grey Mangrove Hunt or join the ACSA team in the Stall-A-Thon where we will be helping to find a cure for Alzheimers with Stall Catchers.

Note: Check the time zones before you sign up for web events as this is a global events month.

Is your favourite citizen science project celebrating Global Citizen Science Month? Please let us know so we can share the word on the ACSA social media accounts!

ACSA Bushfire Response projects audit and promotion

Early in the new year we were waking up to the realisation of how awful and extensive all the bushfires across Australia were. We were also seeing a huge response from the public who wanted to contribute, to do something to help affected wildlife which we were seeing perhaps surviving the bushfires but subsequently in real problems because of a lack of water, food and shelter/cover.

We also realised that none of us knew what citizen science we could usefully do that would help scientists and natural resource managers with information about what was happening. We also needed to be guided as to what to look for so as to begin to understand the destructive and regenerative processes we were observing around us.

ACSA established an informal working group to undertake an audit of post bushfire/wildfire projects which involve an element of citizen science in their data gathering. Our task was to collate what we could find and make it accessible to the whole citizen science community.

We now have both an Atlas of Living Australia Biocollect Bushfire Projects page and a Sci Starter microsite to which we can continue to add suitable projects and where you can find relevant platforms and methodologies to work with.

Our “global audit” resulted in only 10 projects that responding to the survey. Not a great number, but there are really valuable projects within the responses Here are a few examples:

  • The WaterbugBlitz project which can be used to track the presence/absence of waterbugs to compare them with those present before the fires and monitor how they are affected by ash and erosion runoff and the subsequent changes in water quality after the fires
  • Eye on Water which looks at the colour of water and maps it against satellite images – this will be interesting because of all the extra material now present in any water bodies affected by fire, flood ash and erosion.
  • The Environment Recovery Project based on iNaturalist asking for observations from recently burned areas
  • Two Globe Observer projects, one on Land Cover recording and one on Clouds for recording post bushfire changes in vegetation/erosion and smoke intrusions
  • Questagame Bushfire which is a competition to record unusual species in refuge unburned areas and later when it is safe, to record what comes back into burned ecosystems
  • Naturemapr Water and Feed station monitoring asking people to record where water stations are and what comes to visit and behaviours such as aggression, including feral animals and unusual species and insects.
  • NatureMapr Post Bushfire regeneration and repopulation For recording post-fire regeneration and repopulation: The post fire appearance of any fungi, insect, plant and any other wildlife group can be recorded at locations specified by fire intensity, original habitat type or other environmental variable of interest, or as sites for which there is pre-fire data. Recording unusual or greater numbers of wildlife in refuge areas and how long they stay.
  • Airater a project to support people with asthma and allergies to better manage their health. The app provides users with up to date, local information on environmental conditions, including air pollution, pollen and temperature. Users can also log their asthma/allergy or other health symptoms and develop a personal profile of what their environmental triggers are.
  • Citisens, an app developed in Greece which allows citizens to easily georeference a fire-line in real-time and report its coordinates as they are photographing a wildfire. It offers real-time prediction and dynamic assimilation of citizen-reported hotspots into ongoing simulations for improved predictive accuracy, and decision support to issue citizen alarms based on the estimated time-dependent risk at their location due to an approaching wildfire.

The activity around putting out water and food stations and general post bushfire monitoring in many places, by natural resource management agencies and also many individual and community groups, will undoubtedly produce many images via camera trapping and we are pleased to learn that the Australian Museum is establishing  a Bushfire specific page for its great “Wildlifespotter” platform, so everyone with multiple camera trap images will be able to invite the global community to help identify “camera captured” wildlife.

We have also identified a number of other existing and tested projects which could easily be modified for post-bushfire research and are currently approaching universities and agencies to seek information about what scientists are seeking to work on and how our communities of citizen scientists could work with them. Some of these are focused on specific animals like Platypus, Frogs, Glossy Black cockatoos and Echidna. The Echidna project is particularly interesting as it seeks Echidna scat(poo) which can be analysed for stress, so post bushfire evidence will give fascinating new understanding of what levels of stress these animals are suffering around bushfires.

Although we hope that this season’s bushfires are over, there is much work to be done to understand better the effects of what has happened this season, in the short-term and long term. We also want to be better prepared both to help and to learn more,  more quickly when next bushfires happen in Australia, so we are gathering information about research which has been completed and which is just beginning and we hope to create a resource hub for a range of information and tools which everyone will be able to access.

Libby Hepburn

libby@atlasoflife.org.au

Citizen Science Bushfire Response Project Audit

The unprecedented continental scale of the current Australian bushfires is devastating. They have led to the loss of lives, homes, habitats and biodiversity on a huge scale.

In this time of extreme loss, we are buoyed by the amazing response of individuals and communities in this time of crisis.  We believe there is a role for citizen science to assist across multiple disciplines, at scale, in many research and monitoring capacities to contribute to important and valuable science that is needed now and into the future.

ACSA is seeking to support conversations and plans – both short and long term – that help further connect the citizen science community to contribute to the complex efforts required to learn from and understand the impact of the bushfires (see ACSA bushfire response).

The first step we are taking is an audit to gather as many research projects as we can that include fire – bushfire/forest/wildfire as their focus and citizen science as part of their methodologies. We have developed the ACSA Citizen Science Bushfire Response Project survey and we would be very grateful if you could circulate this widely through your networks to all those who might already be working in this area. We are seeking projects across a broad spectrum of subjects, from biodiversity to human health that use a wide range of methodologies, from projects which require on the ground work, to purely online projects where everyone can contribute.

This information will be used to create a publicly available list of active projects and ACSA will work with partners to identify a number of projects that have the potential to contribute on a national scale.

Contact:  Libby Hepburn

libby@atlasoflife.org.au   +61 458 798 990  Merimbula,

New South Wales, Australia

ACSA Seed Grant Winners

Congratulations to the recipients of ACSA’s Seed Grants for 2019! The Seed Grants were designed as a way of giving back and investing in our members, with two $1,000 grants available to ACSA members to seed their professional or project’s growth in line with ACSA’s strategic goals of Participation and Practice.

And the winners are:

  • Dr Erinn Fagan-Jeffries – Pupils for Parasitoid Wasps: The ‘Pupils for Parasitoid Wasps’ project involves school children running insect traps to collect parasitic wasps in their local environment, and being involved in naming and describing newly discovered species.

  • Jodie Valpied – Bachhus Marsh Platypus Alliance: The Seed Grant will help provide the necessary resources to the new Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance community group to begin a citizen science project on platypus habitat health, and to facilitate community engagement in this project.

Congratulations to Erinn, Jodie and your teams on winning this Grant, and we look forward to hearing how your projects progress.