I recently gave two presentations on citizen science, to quite different audiences!
Firstly, I gave a presentation on aspects of Citizen Science to a large gathering of spatial professionals at the Perth GeoRabble monthly catch-up, upstairs at the Universal Bar in Perth. I (a botanist in another life) spoke alongside geologist Levi Fordham, educator Jesse Robertson and GeoRabble stalwart Maya Dominice. My take home message was: “think global, act local”.
My presentation focused on aspects of empowering the citizen to participate in science, such as putting research-backed smartphone apps into the hands of engaged citizens. I used the Dolphin Watch app we have produced for the Department of Parks and Wildlife as a local case study in the successful components of a citizen science project, including:
- specialist involvement in the research questions to be answered by the app,
- great community engagement personnel, and
- an app developer providing standards-based data management tools in the app and back-end data repository.
The following night, Tracey and I attended the Coastal Walkabout info and training evening in Mandurah, organised by the local community and Krista Nicholson from Murdoch University’s Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU). I joined other speakers – Daniella Hanf and Delphine Chabanne (also from MUCRU) – in talking about various aspects of citizen science and the role it plays in their research into Dolphin populations in Western Australia.