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Launch of ACSA-QLD, Citizen Science Strategy and more!

By Michelle Neil, ACSA-QLD member & ACSA Secretary

Did you know that the very first meeting to form ACSA started at the Queensland Museum? On the 10th of May 2014 more than 80 people met to develop this community of practice we now call ACSA. It’s amazing to realise that it has been less than 5 years ago since it all began…

January 24th 2019 was a landmark day for citizen science in Queensland as Minister Leeanne Enoch formally launched the new ACSA-QLD Chapter and announced the Queensland Government’s Citizen Science strategy and grants at the Queensland Museum.

Citizen science groups including Cooloola Coast Care, Qld Health’s Zika Mozzie Seeker, Scenic Rim Wildlife, BirdLife Southern QLD, Brisbane Catchments Network, CoralWatch, Healthy Land and Water, Gold Coast Catchment Association, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management and the City of Gold Coast were invited to set up a stall in the Whale Mall.  Over 200 adults and kids stopped by to try their hand at citizen science activities and to listen to Minister Enoch’s speech about the value of “mobilising Queenslanders to help our scientists with important research projects, because the more eyes and ears you’ve got out there, the better”.

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/1/24/government-funding-aims-to-mobilise-queenslands-citizen-scientists

Zika Mozzie Seeker coordinator and Advanced Medical Entomoligst, Brian Montgomery from Metro South, Qld Health, spoke about the importance of public participation in early warning programs and how important “null”or zero values (e.g. no mosquitoes) are to citizen science projects. He also spoke about the commitment of citizen science projects to communicate findings back to the project’s citizen scientists.

In his first official speech as ACSA-QLD Chair, James Gullison spoke about the new ACSA-QLD Chapter, the Citizen Science strategy and grants before inviting the former Qld Chief Scientist, Dr Christine Williams to be the patron of the ACSA Qld Chapter. You can read James’ speech below.

More information about the Qld Citizen Science strategy and grants can be found here.

So what’s next for ACSA-QLD? After a big deep breath we are now very busy organising a citizen science booth for World Science Festival Brisbane. Come along and see us at Street Science!

ACSA-QLD Chair James Gullison

 

Speech: James Gullison (ACSA-QLD Chair)

“The ACSA-QLD Chapter is excited about the launch of the Queensland Citizen Science Strategy as we believe it will further promote the value of citizen science to the greater community.

It was less than 12 months ago when there was a meeting of the Queensland delegates at the Australian Citizen Science Conference in Adelaide when we were told the Office of the Chief Scientist was supportive of an ACSA-QLD Chapter. From the formation of the committee in June 2018, it’s hard to believe  how quickly the strategy and chapter have progressed in a short time frame.

We could not have achieved so much over the past twelve months without the support of the Office of the Chief Scientist. We would like to thank the former Chief Scientist Dr Christine Williams for her role and ongoing support and formally invite her to be the patron of the ACSA-QLD Chapter.

The location and timing for the launch of the Queensland Citizen Science Strategy could not be more appropriate, particularly during the school holiday period. It is great to see so many excited faces around the venue which demonstrates the passion and enthusiasm that community has for citizen science. Being a father of a 4 year old, it gives me pleasure when I am able to share my passions and work with her due to the excitement she gets when she tells me that she is a ‘scientist’.

Citizen science is inclusive and allows anyone to be able to participate in a variety of projects. It’s what makes it such a rewarding and fulfilling experience because the research is being achieved and people are enjoying themselves in the process. It allows us to go diving with Reef Check and assist on their surveys, waking up on cold mornings and searching for platypus in the Gold Coast hinterland with PlatypusWatch and observing the native birds in our backyards with BirdLife Australia.

Citizen science covers a whole range of science categories and it’s what makes it so appealing – it’s for anyone.”

Free Seminar with Martin Brocklehurst – 11 Sept

The Australian Citizen Science Association, CSIRO and GeoScience Australia present the following FREE public seminar by Martin Brocklehurst:

Global Citizen Science – Can Citizens Deliver and Make a Difference?

Tuesday 11 September, 2018
9:30am – 10:30am
CSIRO Discovery Theatre
Black Mountain, ACT

REGISTER NOW!

More Information

We are witnessing an explosion of Citizen Science activity as technology makes it possible for citizens to take part in science and deliver unprecedented levels of quality data across the globe. Martin Brocklehurst has been at the fore front of activity to bring the global citizen science community together to develop global programmes that have the potential to provide data and information that can be used to:

  • Empower citizens to manage emerging risks to their health and wellbeing;
  • To provide information to Governments that can be used to justify policy shifts to deal with emerging global problems such as poor urban air quality and invasive species that bring new diseases and disrupt existing ecosystems;
  • Track progress against the UN Sustainable Development Goals; and
  • Provide health professionals with levels of detail on disease and disease vector carrying species, at a speed and accuracy that will enable scarce resources to be targeted with a precision not possible using conventional scientific approaches.

With support from UNEP and the Wilson Centre in the US, the Citizen Science Global Partnership (CSGP) was agreed at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA3) in Nairobi 2017. Citizen Science Associations have emerged in Australia (ACSA), Europe (ECSA), the USA (CSA) and Asia (CSAsia) and discussions are underway to set up Associations in Africa and South America. CSGP is planning sessions on Citizen Science in Dubai at the Eye-on-Earth Symposium in October 2018 that will take part in parallel with the UN World Data Forum as the value of unconventional data sources is increasingly recognised by National Government. CSGP will also be present in Nairobi at UNEA4 in March 2019 at the highest-level environmental decision making body on the planet.

This talk and the associated discussions will explore whether we are ready to take the next step as Global Citizen Scientists and develop the integrated programmes that will prove the value of citizen science at the global level. Successful programmes are needed to drive change and encourage Governments to actively engage across the planet with the citizen science community. It will also explore the leading role that Australia could play in that process as the lessons learnt in running citizen science programmes on the Australian continent are shared with the global community.

Speaker: Martin Brocklehurst

Chair of the European Citizen Science Association Policy Working Group & Coordinator of the CSGP Delegation to the UN World Data Forum in Dubai October 2018.

Martin is a founding instigator of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) and the Global Mosquito Alert Consortium. He is Chair of the ECSA Policy Working Group and has significantly raised the profile of Citizen Science and its potential value to governments and global institutions, working with UNEP and Citizen Science Associations around the world. Martin is an acknowledged leader of the Citizen Science movement and has developed working relationships at the highest level globally to promote the value of Citizen Science and the data it can deliver to the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Martin is also a national expert on Waste and Resource Management and the UK National Representative on the ISO and CEN/CENELEC Ad Hoc Groups to explore what additional standards are needed to promote the Circular Economy and previously he was the Technical Advisor to the Parliamentary Environment Audit Select Committee, Growing a Circular Economy; Ending the throwaway society as well as adviser to the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) on the same topic.

Martin has taken on environmental advisory roles for a wide range of organisations including NGOs, Public Sector Regulators, Trade Bodies and the UK Parliamentary Audit Committee. For 13 years, he was a senior public-sector regulator, in developing and delivering UK Environmental Regulations, pioneering new approaches to regulation. For 14 years, he was a senior health safety and environmental manager in business recognised for delivering outstanding performance for multi-national oil companies. Independent Environmental Consultant (2011-18), Executive Manager UK Environment Agency (1998-2011), Senior HSE Manager Gulf Oil, Chevron and BP (1984-1998).

Martin’s specific interests in Citizen Science and the SDG’s relate to:

  • Invasive species and in particular tree diseases;
  • Citizen science Global Mosquito Alert and linked CS health monitoring;
  • Citizen science Air Quality monitoring and linked CS health monitoring;
  • Citizen science projects on Resource Efficiency and the Circular economy;
  • Citizen science projects relating to litter monitoring on land and programmes to reduce plastic litter into the marine environment from land; and
  • Citizen science in supporting programmes to understand and reduce the decline in natural ecosystems.