AUSMAP is proud to announce the recent certification of our first official AUSMAP Trainers!
Hot off the heels of our launch, our next goal was to carry out our ‘Train the Trainer’ program which aims to train people in the AUSMAP methodology from various sectors including environmental educators, council staff and local community groups.
Certified AUSMAP Trainers are then able to train future leaders in the program to facilitate and run AUSMAP data collection programs for schools or community groups in their local area.
Our first training day was kindly hosted by the Taronga Conservation Society on 23 July 2018 with participants from Taronga Zoo, Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre (EEC), Coastal Environment Centre, Gibberagong EEC, Longneck Lagoon EEC, Willoughby Council, North Sydney Council, Surfrider Foundation and Australian Catholic University.
After a briefing on the AUSMAP program by Dr Michelle Blewitt, and an introduction into the methodology for carrying out a microplastic survey by Dr Scott Wilson, participants headed down to Athol Beach to practice their newly acquired skills.
All our participants received hands on experience in setting up the site for sampling and were able to see first-hand the amount and variety of microplastics in this harbour side location.
With the freshly sieved samples in hand, it was back to the lab to identify and analyse what was collected. These results will form part of our AUSMAP microplastic hot spot map.
It was great to see so many enthusiastic people, from a variety of organisations, getting involved with AUSMAP. Their contribution enables us to continue our journey of engaging the wider community in understanding the impacts of plastic pollution.
We have had lots of positive feedback from the Train the Trainer event. If you would like to get involved in future AUSMAP events, you can contact us here: https://www.ausmap.org/contact
Written by: Kylie Tymoszuk
Photos: Kylie Tymoszuk, Dr Michelle Blewitt