Category Archives: Citizen Science

Citizen science: feed your inner geek

Citizen science is a hot topic right now and will only grow over time. Citizen science projects are studies where non-professional scientists help with the research. You can get involved in citizen science projects in a number of ways. Sometimes the work is online and on other occassions it involves hands-on field observations. It’s totally up to you and your interests.

A great place to start getting a feel for what’s available is the Scientific American Citizen Science blog or the just-launched PLOS blog CitizenSci.

This post is a quick run-down of the types of projects for citizen scientists, ranging from crowdsourcing for online analysis of data to DIY science.

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Citizen scientists help discover the influence of environment on manta ray behaviour on the Great Barrier Reef

MoJo Musings

At the Melbourne Writers Festival in September, Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty AC suggested that citizen scientists who enjoy stargazing or bird watching could provide useful data for scientists.

A recent article in PLOS ONE reminds us that SCUBA divers also have a role to play as citizen scientists. SCUBA diving instructors and boat skippers helped to collect data about manta ray sightings and movements near Lady Elliot Island at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

This type of data can help scientists understand the behaviours of species that are under threat so that suitable management strategies can be put in place.

Image credit: Fabrice Jaine, PLOS ONE (2012)

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