With less than 50 days until the 5th City Nature Challenge (CNC) the four Australian cities competing are busy training citizen scientists and getting the word out on social media. International founders and organisers, Lila Higgins (Natural History Museum of LA County) and Alison Young (California Academy of Sciences), anticipate more than 40,000 people worldwide will make & share over 1 million observations of nature in over 230 cities from the 24th to 27th of April inclusive. All Australian iNaturalist research-grade observations are added to the Atlas of Living Australia via the iNaturalist Australia node. You can read more about that here.
Philip Roetman and ACSA SA recently hosted their first CNC training session. Part one of “Using iNaturalist” can be found on the Adelaide City Nature Challenge YouTube channel here.
City of Geelong is running information sessions as part of it’s annual Geelong Nature Forum. Click here for more information.
Download the iNaturalist app and head to Redland City (QLD), City of Sydney (NSW), City of Geelong (VIC) or Greater Adelaide area (SA) from the 24-27th of April to participate in the City Nature Challenge 2020!
Join our next Citizen Science event and discover how citizen science can contribute to public health.
When: 3pm – 5:00pm, 25 March, 2020 Where: Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday St, Carlton. RSVP: via Eventbrite
Ann Borda, Centre for the Digital Transformation of Health – The University of Melbourne Ann is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for the Digital Transformation of Health at The University of Melbourne. Ann has a PhD in information science from University College London which has served as a springboard for her commitment towards transdisciplinary scholarship. Ann’s own research focuses on participatory health, digital health literacy, and smart cultural heritage.
Ollie Conlan, Bicycle Network More than two thirds of Australians, including children, don’t get enough exercise. The stats tell us that too many people are spending too much time sitting and not enough time moving. It’s a problem that we’re fighting hard to solve. With your help, Bicycle Network is making it easier for everybody to ride a bike, every day.
Presentations will be followed by time for group discussion and networking. We encourage you to come along and share your project stories and develop our community of practice.
The Australian Citizen Science Association convenes a community of practice in citizen science, exploring ways to make participation in research by non-scientists not just instructive, but also engaging, fun and social. Our thanks to our Chair, Kade Mills for hosting this gathering.
From your ACSA-Vic Committee
Chair: Kade Mills (Victorian National Parks Association)
Vice Chair: Tess Hayes
Secretary: Yvonne Cabuang (Melbourne Water)
Committee Members: Linden Ashcroft (University of Melbourne), Julian O’Shea (Unbound), Pat Bonney (Federation University) and Christine Connelly (Victoria University).
Are you involved in a citizen science project that is building STEM knowledge or skills, empowering greater community engagement in STEM, or changing attitudes towards STEM?
Sponsored by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources the Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science is awarded for demonstrated excellence in citizen science practice, through an innovative research and community engagement project.
Who can enter?
The prize is open to individuals and teams.
People can either enter themselves or be nominated by others.
Projects of all sizes and scopes – from localised community focused projects to national scale initiatives – are welcome to enter.
Activity entered for the prize must have taken place in the past 5 years
It’s a brilliant opportunity to get your project noticed; finalist representatives will be invited to attend the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes Award Dinner in Sydney, and the winner receives $10,000 in prize money.
Last year, 159 cities were involved globally, with more than 35,000 participants, but none in Australia.
We are changing that this year, with four cities representing our nation: Greater Adelaide Area (SA), Geelong (VIC), Redland City (QLD) and Sydney (NSW).
We are involved in an international competition to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. We hope you can make a contribution!
How to get involved:
You can participate as an individual and we hope you can spread the word to get friends and colleagues involved, too!
When? Any time from April 24 to April 27 – you can participate for four minutes or four days (any time you can spare)!
How? Find wild plants and wildlife in Greater Adelaide and record it using the iNaturalist app or website, work solo or work as a group. Your contributions along with everyone else’s will appear on the iNaturalist website ready for identification.
Why? Participate to learn more about local nature, demonstrate the importance of nature in Adelaide, make a contribution to global knowledge about nature in cities, and have some fun along the way!
Where? You can participate anywhere in Greater Adelaide, which includes all of the metropolitan area and extends to places like Kapunda, Murray Bridge, Goolwa, Victor Harbor and Aldinga (see the map when you register)
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.
Voting is now open for the election of members to the ACSA Management Committee for 2020-2021. We received six nominations for the two General Member positions available.
The six candidates are listed below – you can find their profiles and answers to four questions about the field of citizen science, together with details relevant skills and experience, here. Alternatively, you can access individual profiles by clicking on the images below. Please use this information to help you decide which two candidates to vote for.
General Member Candidates
Remember, you must be a Member to vote!
Ready to vote now? Members, log in here to access the ballot.
I want that job.
What should my CV look like?
What do I include in my cover letter?
Presenting an exclusive opportunity for ACSA members only, this training will help you understand what Government and other employers are looking for when reviewing job applications.
Presented by our Chair Erin and Vice-Chair Stephanie, who between them have 26 years’ experience in the government sector, you will learn how to best structure, format and present your CV and cover letter to give you the best chance of being selected for interview.
“With the growing need for scientific data and the barrier to entry lower than ever, researchers are increasingly turning to citizen science to help drive their projects”
ACSA Chair Erin Roger featured in an excellent article by the Brisbane Times on August 19, about the rise of citizen science and the increasing movement toward using people power to drive research. The article was then picked up by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age! The message is spreading.
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 the south are vitally important because sand temperature determines the gender of the hatchlings. Only beaches south of Bundeberg are cool enough to result in male turtles, to balance the feminisation of turtles north of this location.
In 2017, one nest was laid right next to the Lifesaver’s Tower on the main swimming beach. It was sadly lost during the first night to the ravages of a large high tide. Luckily for Cooloola turtles, a very experienced turtle carer with extensive experience around the world in turtle rescues, relocating turtle nests and tagging turtles, Joan Burnett, moved into our area. Now her work has been fast tracked thanks to an ACSA Seed Grant!
Cooloola Coastcare has been able to rally a merry band of volunteers together and start an education program for the community. In the last few weeks, members of the public have reported stranded and sick turtles and our team has been able to help out in the rescues and collect data about several turtles. With the help of the ACSA Seed Grant, the TurtleCare Program is well underway and plans are being ‘hatched’ for more Cooloola volunteers to be trained at the Mon Repos Turtle Research Centre in the 2019-20 turtle season. We’re changing the survival rate of marine turtles one turtle at a time. In July and August, we’ve been involved in rescuing a turtle from a crab pot, assisting a turtle found floating on the surface and collecting data about deceased turtles.
Turtle education will also be a feature of the upcoming National Science Week STEAMzone Festival in Gympie with Joan’s newest educational resource…a realistic model of a hatching turtle nest complete with the moonrise over the sea.
While there are many tourist photos of marine turtles in the Cooloola Coast area taken by campers, kayakers, fishermen and divers, there is little scientific data about the numbers of marine turtles trying to lay their eggs on Rainbow Beach. Data collected about turtles stranded and rescued by the Citizen Scientists is adding to the knowledge base.
A partnership has been established with the Sunshine Coast TurtleCarers for shared training and collaboration. Cooloola TurtleCare will promote broad and meaningful participation in citizen science by our TurtleCare volunteers, local residents and tourist visitors.
Dr Roetman founded Discovery Circle, a major citizen science initiative based out of the University of South Australia, which delivered projects to understand certain animal species. He was one of the driving forces behind last years #CitSciOz18 Conference and continues to be an active and valuable member of our South Australian Chapter.