Microblitz – mapping soil biodiversity with citizen science

Over the last few months Gaia Resources has partnered with the University of Western Australia’s MicroBlitz team to build a new citizen science app, and to streamline the way in which observations from the volunteer citizen scientists come into the program.  You may have heard the launch on 720 ABC radio on the weekend just gone – if not, you can listen to an excerpt below, or over at the ABC web site directly for the whole program.

MicroBlitz is a citizen science project which is building a state-wide map of soil microbial biodiversity. This baseline map will become a point of reference that can be used to monitor, manage and protect WA’s precious environment into the future. The app and associated new website forms will revolutionise the way MicroBlitz volunteers capture, contribute and visualise the data.

The MicroBlitz app is designed to assist the volunteers to collect soil sample data from across Western Australia. It automatically records the time and GPS location of each soil sample taken and allows users to log their kit number, associated observations (including a photo) and then upload that data in real time to the MicroBlitz website. The physical samples of the soil are then posted to the MicroBlitz team at UWA for further analysis.

The MicroBlitz app is available for download from the Apple App store by clicking on this link.


 Example screens from the new Microblitz app

As MicroBlitz’s technology partner, Gaia Resources is also inviting you to help us celebrate the availability of the new app at the official launch event, ‘Symphony of the Soil‘ on Thursday February 11th, under the stars at UWA.  Book your attendance via the link and we’ll see you there!

This has been a big group effort from the Gaia Resources team – with a lot of work from Serge, Sam, Ben (N), Piers and myself to get this up and running.  It’s great to see it coming to fruition after all this time and effort, and we’re looking forward to undertaking further projects with MicroBlitz in the future!

If you want to know more, you can have a look at the project page in our Citizen Science Hub, contact me via email or start a conversation with us on FacebookLinkedIn or Twitter.


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