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We are extremely excited and honoured to announce that AUSMAP has been selected as a FINALIST for the 2021 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes for Innovation in Citizen Science!

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia’s most comprehensive national science awards, honouring achievements across the areas of research and innovation, leadership, science engagement, and school science. The category “Innovation in Citizen Science” award demonstrates excellence in citizen science practice, through innovative research and community engagement projects.

AUSMAP citizen scientists in training collecting microplastics at Athol Beach.
AUSMAP citizen scientists in training sampling at Athol Beach.

We already know that plastic pollution is a global problem. Here at AUSMAP, we address this issue through citizen science by collecting scientifically valid data and designing effective mitigation strategies. Our Australia-wide program is a global first in which we train you, our citizen scientists of all ages, to document plastic pollution. As a fully immersive experience, we hope to educate communities to reduce their plastic footprint, while empowering ambassadors for long-term behavioural change.

AUSMAP, led by Program Director Dr Michelle Blewitt from the Total Environment Centre and Dr Scott Wilson from Macquarie University, has been working with a consortium of research, environment, education, government and sustainable business organisations to achieve these consistent results. During the past three years, our community of over 700 citizen scientists has removed more than 3 million pieces of microplastics.

Scientists standing at the Dee Why Drain, installing microplastics mitigation strategy
Part of the team, AUSMAP Program Director Dr. Michelle Blewitt, AUSMAP Research Director Dr. Scott Wilson and Operations Manager, Kylie Tymoszuk, near a stormwater drain sampling site in Dee Why. In this project, AUSMAP has trailed and successfully implemented this source reduction method. The location of Dee Why lagoon as a microplastics hotspot was determined based on citizen science data collected by the local community and high-school students.

Dr Michelle Blewitt is so proud of her team and the citizen scientists involved, “The impressive contribution from citizen scientists has assisted AUSMAP to create an entire ‘source to solution pathway’, from identifying microplastic hotspots to finding effective solutions.”

“This is the first time anyone has attempted a multi-faceted management approach to micro-litter while empowering citizen scientists to have a significant impact in generating sustainable environmental solutions,” said Dr Scott Wilson, Research Director of AUSMAP.

Jeff Angel, Director of the Total Environment Centre which founded AUSMAP, said, “Plastic pollution is one of the most critical environmental issues of our time. Each year, more and more plastic is contaminating the marine and human food chain, lasting many, many decades. Shining a light on it; engaging the community, and working on solutions with government and business is essential.”

The AM Eureka Prizes winners will be announced on Thursday 7 October at a live broadcast event. We invite you all to stream the award ceremony online. Register to watch the awards at!

If you would like more information about our selection or would like to reach out to AUSMAP for an interview, feel free to email us at If you would like to join our citizen science program, head here!



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