Are you spending a lot of time at home looking out of your windows, dreaming of all the places you’d rather be? Well, it’s time to make your staring count.
From now until Sunday the 19th of April, you can join people from all around Australia for the National Wild Pollinator Count – a long-term citizen science project that tracks native pollinator species around Australia. What’s required of you? Just to sit and watch any flowering plant for ten minutes and record the insects you see.
Yes, making a difference in the world can be that easy.
Photo: Uralba Eco Cottages / Facebook
The National Wild Pollinator Count is just one of many activities happening around the country as part of Citizen Science Month this April, so if counting bees and butterflies is not your thing, you’ll be happy to know that there are a lot of other opportunities to get involved, too.
And you don’t even need to break any ‘iso’ rules to contribute!
Photo: Cruise Maroochy Eco Tours / Facebook
From recording the birds you see around you (bonus points if you see any of the special April birds) to finding, recording and validating frog calls in your backyard, citizen science – or public participation and collaboration in scientific research with the aim to increase scientific knowledge – is an easy and productive way to pass some time while you’re forced to stay at home.
The best part is, your contribution could make a real difference to conservation outcomes and advances in scientific knowledge related to the environment, disease control and much more. Plus – you can get the whole family involved. Win-win!
Photo: Broger’s End Kangaroo Valley
“Citizen scientists can work from home too,” says Dr Julie Vercelloni, Research Scientist Fellow at QUT and one of the scientists behind the Virtual Reef Diver project, which brings spatial science and maths together to map the Great Barrier Reef’s coral cover and help protect the Reef for future generations.
“On Virtual Reef Diver, you can help protect the Reef by classifying underwater images. We have data that need to be analysed and transformed into valuable information to help scientists and managers monitor the Great Barrier Reef. It’s an excellent opportunity to stay connected with your passion while you are not able to travel.”
Photo: Wings Sailing Tours / Facebook
For more great citizen science projects to get involved in this month, check out the links below:
- Collect and record data that will help shape Australia’s scientific response to climate change with ClimateWatch.
- If you live along the coast and hinterlands of the south-eastern corner of Australia, you can help document the biodiversity of the region by recording what you see on Naturemapr.
- Play the Questa game – the world’s first game that allows players to help save life on earth!
- Set up a Backyard Bio Blitz to track nature in your own backyard and be part of the City Nature Challenge happening in Adelaide, Geelong, Redlands City and Sydney from 24-27 April.
Photo: Understand Down Under / Facebook
WILDLIFE IN CITIES
- Help monitor wildlife in Australia’s cities by recording what you see in the Urban Wildlife app. This information helps scientists to understand how native wildlife populations can best co-exist with humans.
- Complete quests to help Australian scientists understand how galaxies grow and evolve by joining Astroquest.
Photo: Wilpena Pound Resort
OTHER HELPFUL INFO:
– The 10 principles of citizen science
– Introduction to citizen science tutorial
Have you been involved in any citizen science projects? Let us know in the comments below!
[Cover image: Tropic Wings Cairns Tours & Wooroonooran Safaris / Facebook]