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Citizen Science
  The Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study
People all over the world feed birds and/or give them access to water. Nearly every country in the world has bird groups and conservation groups that can give you guidelines on what to do. Australia is not one of them (yet) because there has been a strong idea that feeding birds is a bad thing to do. A joint project with Melbourne’s Deakin University, the Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study is about to change all that.

  Two Citizen Science surveys of large urban birds
1 Sulphur Crested Cockatoos
Dr John Martin, wildlife ecologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, outlines a long running citizen science project in Sydney, one that has Sulphur Crested Cockatoos as its focus. In the citizen science program, Cockatoo Wingtag, 120 Sulphur Crested Cockatoos in the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney were fitted with yellow wingtags over five years ago. Some birds were also fitted with solar powered GPS. Each tag has a 3 digit number. Members of the community report their sightings, building up a map showing where the birds have been moving and which habitats they choose for foraging. It was anticipated that the birds would move 50-100km but this has not proved to be the case. All groups maintained a radius of approximately 5km with a lot of sub populations with little movement between them. The next step of the program is to use the data to look at social networks and cognitive abilities of these wild populations. Tagging will continue in March and April 2017. Dr Martin has been overwhelmed by the long term positive community engagement. This is a collaborative project with the Australian Museum and University of Sydney. For citizen science appy days are here again.

  BowerBird Social Science Website (series)
Ken Walker, Senior Curator for Insects at Museum Victoria, uncovers the positive aspects of citizen science which has led to the development of Bowerbird, described as a social web based biological sand pit. With funding from the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) Bowerbird was launched in May 2013 and is the first Australian social science network.

  Earthwatch
Down to Earth Science: Professor Michael Mahony from the University of Newcastle discusses his long standing involvement with programs offered by Earthwatch, an international organisation that has citizen science as a major part of its research approach. Unlike well known non-government organisations like Greenpeace or the World Wildlife Fund which have a political and policy approach, Earthwatch has a major focus on providing quality opportunities for interested community members to be part of actual science research projects, most of which are environmentally oriented.

  People power: a valuable scientific resource
Many studies in environmental research are only made possible as a result of the generous involvement of volunteers as citizen scientists. Since engagement with scientists is an important part of citizen science projects, one benefit for citizens is that that they are able to learn new things from experts in the field. Dr John Gollan discusses his experience with three citizen science research studies, including one that evaluated the quality of data collected by citizens and by scientists

  Blue Cloud Spatial comes to the Kimberley
Dr Tom McMurray, President of the Marine Ventures Foundation discusses a remarkable and popwerful citizen science program called Blue Cloud Spatial that benefits from social networking that allows people to not only collect observations but to share them and smart phones give people access to geo location tools, high quality pictures and observatory comments, all of which can be automatically updated to websites.

  The Barbara Hardy Centre for Sustainable Urban Environments
Philip Roetman, from the Barbara Hardy Institute at the University of South Australia, discusses a series of Citizen Science research projects whose success reflected the widespread involvement and interest of the general community.

  People power in environmental research
Professor Chris Daniels, from the University of South Australia, details the innovative approach to research that underpins the role of the Barbara Hardy Centre for Sustainable Urban Environments. At its heart this research Centre at the University of South Australia conducts research into the relationship between people and the natural environment.

  The great birdbath data collection project (series)
Associate Professor Darryl Jones from Griffith University has taken on an unusual project in wildlife study that is generating plenty of community interest from across Australia.


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