AUSMAP was proud to be involved in the Save our Species event hosted by the Office of Environment and Heritage in August 2018; highlighting the power of citizen science.
Other citizen science projects such as PointSnap, Bellingen RiverWatch, National Waterbug Blitz, CoastSnap, Scoop A Poop, Our Bushland, Saving our Species on DigiVol - Quollidor, DigiVol, Powerful Owl & Australian Citizen Science Association.
The night included a fantastic spokesperson for citizen science, Stuart Harris, who on a bush walk in 2008, photographed a new species of peacock spider, after sharing it online he found a live specimen that was named after him. From there, he has kept searching for other species of peacock spiders, and continues his journey as a citizen scientist.
It was exciting to build interest and opportunities with corporate partners through the sharing of our preliminary work such as the data on microplastics we have collected around Sydney Harbour. Of particular interest, were 'nurdles', these plastic pellets continually turn up in our surveys, particularly on harbour beaches, and are part of plastic pollution we often don't see in our daily lives, but has a huge impact on our marine environment.
Not only did this event provide opportunity for future partnerships, it also highlighted the importance and impact of citizen science. When science programs reach out to involve the wider communities it opens up communication and understanding. We know many people want to help the environment and are unsure how, citizen science is the perfect way to do so. It was inspiring to be surrounded by so many projects supported in this way!
Thank you to the Office of Environment and Heritage for an evening of connection, discussion, ideas and passion for our environment through citizen science. If you would like to support or be involved in anyway you can contact us here https://www.ausmap.org/contact
Written by: Beth Vanderhaven (AUSMAP Social Media Coordinator, Volunteer)
Photos: Dr Michelle Blewitt, Kylie Tymoszuk