Citizen Science

Background

Citizen Science is the participation of anyone who is not a practising ecologist, taxonomist, or biological scientist, in the collection of biodiversity related data. Anyone can participate from learners to Professors.
You can get as involved as much or as little as you like, but in all case your sightings are valued contributions to the scientific knowledge and the national biodiversity database.

Citizen science enables us to monitor the ecological goods and services of our ecosystem, for example when we clear invasive plants at the upper catchment, from time to time one would monitor changes in the surrounding and downstream ecosystem, such as restored ground water (within 1m depth), improved basal cover, decreased silt in streams, increased basal flow across the season, etc.

Within the citizen science concept there are various tools that are used to measure changes and trends in regulating services. With citizen science we are able to measure quality of these:

Citizen science involves fun and knowledge: it teaches everyone to take responsibility for taking care of our natural environment. After clearing a certain area from an invasive plant species e.g. wattle, one would be interested to see the change in ground water recharge. This is where citizen science comes in, where we use soak pits and clarity tubes to monitor water quality and quantity downstream of the cleared area.