The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) grants are open until 30 June 2020, seeking applicants to deliver research in applied environmental science to support decision-makers from across the Australian community. The program will be delivered through four thematic research hubs and seek to deliver national scale applied environmental research programs, but also strong engagement and outcomes with local communities. ACSA sees citizen science as a strong pathway to support these outcomes and is actively exploring opportunities to connect with bid consortia on collaborations and to communicate our identified research goals for our national Community of Practice. We would welcome any thoughts and ideas from our ACSA community on NESP engagement opportunities – please contact Amy.
Just before COVID-19 threatened to change the world as we know it, and as the bushfires started raging across the country, Dr Yaela Golumbic, who you may remember from her CitSciOz18 blog, had embarked on a journey to map citizen science in Australia.
With help from many in this community, and responses from almost 100 citizen science project leaders, scientists and practitioners across Australia, this work has attracted much national and international interest. Initial findings from the research are now available in this participant report, providing a glimpse into the unique characteristics of our Australian citizen science community.
In mid-April CSIRO officially announced its partnership with ACSA and the Atlas of Living Australia in producing the Citizen Science Bushfire Project Finder. CSIRO’s Chief Executive Larry Marshall and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews were both quoted in the media release with Minister Andrews reiterating her commitment to citizen science “Despite the challenges we are facing, the Australian spirit remains strong and it is obvious that our citizens are eager to do their part in the bushfire recovery process.” The Bushfire Project Finder features a geographic filter enabling users to identify available projects in their area. It can be accessed here.
The media release prompted a number of media inquiries with some great publicity resulting from this work. Have a listen to ALA’s Director Andre Zerger on ABC’s Goulburn-Murray (time stamp 2.19) or ACSA Chair Erin Roger followed by the Australian Museum’s Paul Flemons on ABC ACT and NSW radio (time stamp 1.47).
Thanks to all our members who contributed to this valuable piece of work. Updating the Project Finder with new projects that contribute to our understanding of recovery and resilience will be an ongoing commitment.
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
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.