Citizen Science Grants Recipients

Lead Applicant Project title Project Description Grant amount
University of Western Australia Galaxy Explorer Forensics Citizen Science Astronomy Project Global Citizen Scientists will help Australian astronomers discover how much light is arriving at the Earth from over 2 Million galaxies, allowing them to determine both the galactic distance and what they are made of. Participants will use an online tool to learn how to analyse astronomical images and derive various properties of galaxies, and then provide their data to astronomers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth, WA. Once complete, the results will be published as a catalogue for global astronomers and Citizen Scientists to access. This catalogue will help make the WAVES project possible; the largest ever experiment on the evolution of galaxies, and will have a lasting impact in the field of astronomy. $350,275
Federation University Australia The National WaterbugBlitz: Citizens assessing Australian waterways The National WaterbugBlitz will allow communities to learn about freshwater biodiversity while assessing the ecological state and condition ("health") of the freshwater systems they care about. For one month in the year, participants from all around Australia can discover how healthy their local rivers and wetlands are, using innovative methods developed specifically for citizen scientists. This will capture a waterbug inventory for freshwater ecologists who will generate an annual map of river health across the nation, which catchment managers can use to identify trends in the ecological state of freshwater systems. $342,796
University of New South Wales The Sydney schools weather and air quality network (SWAQ network) Sydney's population is predicted to grow by 30% within twenty years, most of which is slated for the semi-rural fringes. The resulting urbanisation will adversely impact temperature and air quality in these areas of rapid population growth. Currently there are few meteorological and air quality observational sites to adequately monitor the effects of this increased urbanisation on local weather and air quality. This project will place meteorology and air quality sensors in 30 schools across Sydney. Students will collect and analyse research quality data in science and geography curriculum-aligned classroom activities. The data will also be freely available online to the public and researchers. $499,631
The University of Adelaide Wild Orchid Watch - providing insight to environmental change Australia has the world's most diverse terrestrial Orchid flora. Many are threatened. They are highly susceptible to environmental change, are taxonomically complex, yet many questions on their taxonomy and ecology remain unanswered. Wild Orchid Watch (WOW) involves the creation of an app for citizen scientists to collect a suite of basic information on orchids that will be useful to both taxonomists and ecologists. The systems will incorporate an interactive website and a database along with communications support. This will enable research into further understanding of the value of orchids as indicators of environmental change, providing fundamental information on distribution, abundance and phenology. $484,770
The University of Melbourne The Pesticide Detectives: national assessment of pesticides in waters The pesticide detectives program will support citizen scientist based research to assess the occurrence of pesticides commonly used around the home in Australia s waterways. Citizens will work with researchers from the Centre for Aquatic Pollution identification and management (CAPIM) to conduct a national survey of concentrations of current use pesticides within waterways draining from catchments of varied land-use. The program will assess chemicals commonly found in the home, therefore educating participants about products they may use, how they may enter our waterways and risks they may pose. The data collected will provide impetus for policy and debate to reduce the occurrence of and risks from pesticides in Australia's waterways. $265,113
Macquarie University Citizen insights to the composition and risks of household dust Greater urbanisation means people are spending up to 90% of their time indoors. Consequently, environmental health risks are dominated by fine dust particles from indoor air aerosols. Dust can contain harmful agents that penetrate deep into lungs and migrate into the blood stream. Information on the composition and risks associated with house dust is largely absent and households do not know how to reduce risks. This project will address this knowledge gap by engaging with citizens to submit vacuum dust samples for chemical and biological analysis. Participants will be able to assess, interpret and understand their results using interactive web tools. Remedial actions and advice on what to do next will be linked to participant results. $490,803
The Trustee for Australian Museum Trust "FrogID" - the Australian Museum's national citizen science project The Australian Museum (AM) has created FrogID, a five year national citizen science initiative to involve all Australians in frog conservation, by contributing information on Australian frogs and their distribution. An education component will also be tailored to Australian primary and high schools. An innovative aspect is the FrogID app, which uses an "audio DNA" approach that identifies frogs by their call, developed by the AM, with the support of IBM. The app is the primary tool citizen scientists will use to engage and record the frogs around them. Designed with a gamification element, it will appeal to all ages and experience levels. $493,193
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Evaluating the environmental impact of sunscreens in Port Phillip Bay RMIT Researchers and the Port Phillip EcoCentre will engage various aspects of the community (volunteers, community groups, students) in citizen science techniques to collect marine water to examine the effects of sunscreens and its constituents on marine health and ecology. The samples will be analysed for potential sunscreens contaminants at RMIT University using advanced analytical instruments and eco/nano-toxicological assessment, and a comprehensive research data set will be generated. From this data set and inputs from participants involved, a policy document will be developed for various stakeholders, including Federal authorities. All the participants will be duly acknowledged in flyers, reports, presentations and findings will be shared via various public platforms. $250,000
University of Technology Sydney Increasing participation in ocean science through data visualisation This project will enable citizen scientists to bring new perspectives to ocean data by using intuitive and playful visualisation tools. Working with researchers from the University of Technology Sydney participants will (1) access and analyse existing ocean data via a web portal, contributing to a global analysis of environmental exposure experienced by drifting plankton; (2) visualise and explore morphological development of virtual microbes (marmics) that evolve in response to environmental changes; and (3) discover and share insights made possible by experimental visualisation practices. Participants can 3D print their marmics which will be publicly exhibited, and their experience will be evaluated to enhance scientific engagement. $259,565
Earthwatch Institute ClimateWatch: Building a citizen science phenology network ClimateWatch will build a network of citizen scientists across Australia gathering local, regional and national scale data on our nation's biological response to climate change. Using app based technology, Australians take images and record behavioural and geographical data of plant and animal species. Education resources will aid integration into schools and a network of walking trails will be established with partners across the country for community members to freely use. Data will be publicly available and visually displayed using cutting edge modelling techniques. ClimateWatch will enable development of adaptation and mitigation strategies to climate change, while simultaneously engaging Australians in climate action. $425,505
Australian National University Butterflies Australia: A national database of butterfly distributions Invertebrates in general are significantly understudied, and butterflies are a charismatic flagship taxa for championing the study of invertebrates by citizen scientists. Butterflies Australia is an online database for collecting records on the distribution and abundance of Australian butterflies. Citizen scientists will have the opportunity to learn how to identify butterflies in their local area, and to contribute by inputting their sightings into a national database via a web portal with expert moderators helping verify their records. Workshops on butterfly identification and how to conduct surveys will be run in many population centres around the country, and data will be collated, analysed, and communicated via a blog and newsletter. $342,459
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Citizen Science helping improve satellite detection of water quality Water colour is a very informative indicator of the ecological state of marine and fresh-waters. Until recently, only measurable with a suite of unwieldy scientific instruments, with development of Eye on Water by the European Union, these measurements can be made now by citizen scientists by a smart phone app. These citizens will generate a large pool of valid data for calibration of satellite information, and provide a synoptic overview of river, lake, and coastal water quality for natural resource management in Australia by deploying Eye on Water in Australian communities. Each participant will obtain a quantitative understanding of how local water bodies change seasonally and in response to short duration events like floods and cyclones. $450,000
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Scientists work with communities to improve urban microclimate The number of extreme hot days is predicted to increase significantly over the next few decades in all Australian cities affecting communities with huge impacts on public health, mortality rates, energy demand and economy. Working with 12,200 citizens in 22 local councils across Australia, the project will design infrastructure to measure urban heat island, overheating, and local climate change, providing the data and information required for citizens to understand, mitigate and adapt to extreme heat; and inform policy makers on future health and energy needs and on effective planning of the urban built environment and open spaces. Importantly, through data collection and participation, citizens will be empowered to respond to extreme heat through an understanding of influential factors. $355,000
Macquarie University Cross-cultural biodiversity assessment in remote Aboriginal Australia Macquarie University scientists will work with Aboriginal citizens of Arnhem Land to develop new tools for cross-cultural biodiversity assessment that can be applied across Australia. The biodiversity of remote areas is assumed to be threatened by invasive species and altered fire regimes; however, there is little documented data to inform management. Aboriginal citizens will trap, observe, identify and record flora and fauna using Western and Aboriginal science. Data will be recorded, analysed and communicated using cutting-edge digital techniques. This project is not just about citizens collecting data but being integrally involved in all stages of biodiversity research to empower community decision-making about remote land management. $256,060
University of Western Australia Using citizen scientists to test the effectiveness of biofertilizers Researchers from University of Western Australia will engage with community members in southwestern Australia to test whether biofertilizers can improve carbon storage, water holding capacity and microbial activity of agricultural and horticultural soils. Participants will be taught the basics of experimental design, collect soil samples and will learn how to measure selected soil health parameters. Data collected will be statistically analyzed to test whether locally produced biofertilizers can be used to improve soil health. The results of the study will be shared with all participants and other interested parties at field days and digitally through webpages. The value and opportunities provided by citizen science will be highlighted. $190,425
Museum Board Mega Murray Darling Microbat Project Scientists from the South Australian Museum and Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources will engage with Landcare associations, landholders, and other interested community members in the lower Murray-Darling Basin to collect information on microbats. Much is still unknown about bat species in this region, including their current conservation status, and the links between species diversity and habitat type and condition. Participants will be taught to survey for bats with ultrasonic recorders, and collect accompanying field information. Outcomes for maintaining microbat diversity in the region will be a reassessment of their distribution, diversity, habitat needs, management practices and conservation status. Participants, the public and scientific community will be informed of outcomes with a view to extending the program across the Murray-Darling Basin. $189,950
University of Western Australia MicroBlitz: Super-sized Citizen Science for Soil Microbiomes MicroBlitz is a West Australian citizen science project that engages volunteers throughout the State in a quest to discover the hidden bio-diversity in the soil beneath their feet. Through MicroBlitz, volunteer citizen scientists connect with the natural environment to collect soil samples that are sent to a centralised laboratory for DNA sequencing to map the microbiome of WA. Already established as a leading citizen science experience, we will join with the Marshall Centre, headed by Nobel Laureate Prof. Barry Marshall, to sample the far reaches of WA to develop a 'One Health' distance education program, train local trainers and bring the power of STEM education of Citizen Science to remote regions. $320,243
Macquarie University Scoop a poop: citizens tackle antibiotic resistance in the wild Scoop a poop enables citizens to contribute to the global fight against antibiotic resistance. Citizens from participating schools, their parents and Youth at the Zoo will work with Macquarie and Sydney Universities and Taronga Zoo to investigate antibiotic resistance in native animals. Citizens will learn about resistance, how to collect samples and how to investigate this global issue. Participants will collect possum scats from their backyards using a specially designed kit. Each year a number of students will come to Macquarie to learn the DNA methods used to test samples for resistance. Our project will educate the public on this global health issue and address Australia's National Strategy for combating antibiotic resistance. $402,212

Thanks for your feedback. If you have any ideas on how we can improve, we'd love to hear them.

Please provide your comments in the feedback form.