What is Citizen Science?
Put simply, it is "volunteers partner(ing) with scientists to answer real-world questions". Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The aim of citizen science is to increase our understanding of the condition of our natural resources: including flora and fauna - native and introduced, water and soil, by utilising the skills, knowledge and time of community participants, increasing the reach and volume of data collected.
The South East NRM Board is interested in collaborating with citizen scientists to grow our knowledge of the resource condition and will be investing in projects that enhance our regular works program.
Our Citizen Science Programs
Subregional Forums have provided a rich source of inspiration for community-driven citizen science projects. A few, really interesting ideas have been adopted into the 2019/20 - 2021/22 Business Plan and will be rolled out to the community soon. Please watch this space or get in touch to learn more.
Other Citizen Science Programs
You can contribute to many citizen science programs, which are run by our partners or other organisations. This work will inform NRM work.
FeralScan is a handy tool for community helping map feral animals and the damage they cause. There's an app for on the go records, a detailed website, Facebook, Twitter and plenty of other ways to get in touch. The site maps environmental and agricultural pests to inform policy and management programs.
You can contribute to this important work by registering and recording sightings of a range of pest animals on your own patch or as you travel.
SA Tree Watch is one way to record your assessment of the health of trees in your area by adding information to an interactive map. Information about sick trees and their symptoms will be used to help understand tree decline problems and develop a plan for improving tree health in the region.
Some other global and national citizen science portals are linked below:
Birds in Backyards - Australian bird watching advice and support, as well as recording sightings. Hosts the annual Backyard Bird Count.
Fungimap (currently here but migrating to iNaturalist - global datasets of flora, fauna and fungi, aquatic and terrestrial)
Atlas of Living Australia - includes access to iNaturalist and many historic records. This is where our regional Frogwatch data is hosted.
Frogwatch SA - South Australian frog tracking
Zooniverse - diverse range of Australian and international science, natural history, astronomy and other projects. From desktop analysis to field studies
Board's Principles for Citizen Science
The January 2019 Subregional Forums explored several questions around citizen science in the South East and looked at a range of regional and national citizen science projects from beach clean-ups and analysis of rubbish collected to monitoring salinity in wetlands to farmers' weather observations.
The result of these workshops was a good understanding of the work that has been done in recent times and the creation of a set of Citizen Science Principles that would underpin any new projects developed or funded by the South East NRM Board.
These principles provide a standard from which to base good project design; meeting robust scientific standards and effectively engaging the community.