Citizen Science Through the Decades Lecture

Did you know that over 130,000 ‘citizen scientists’ are actively contributing to science through more than 100 different projects? The Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) recently hosted a fascinating evening exploring citizen science from the past to today.

The Underwater Research Group (URG) of NSW, one of the oldest dive clubs in Australia, has been focused on marine citizen science since the early 1950s when it collected marine specimens for the Australian Museum. With present-day projects spanning marine debris, reef life surveys and weedy seadragon conservation, URG has quite a story to tell. In this presentation by SIMS visiting fellow and URG Research Officer, John Turnbull, the audience learnt about how URG is engaging scores of divers to deliver real outcomes for science and the community.

Above-water citizen scientists and Associate Professor Shauna Murray and Dr Olivier Laczka from UTS are enlisting the aid of recreational fishers to gather data that will help determine if toxins are present in Spanish mackerel.

But it’s not all for the ‘grown ups’! SIMS’ Dr Inke Falkner explained  how the SIMS Beach Detectives program is engaging primary school students in real-life science by contributing to the first microplastic survey of Sydney Harbour beaches.