Citizen science is fast becoming a method by which individuals in the community assist scientists in investigating important research questions. At IMAS we see citizen science both as a source of data and information, and as a way of engaging with our community. Here are a couple of projects and publications about our use and enthusiasm for citizen science.
Redmap stands for Range Extension Database and Mapping project. This project invites Australians to share sightings of marine species that are 'uncommon' to their local seas.
Redmap uses this citizen science data to map which Australian marine species may be extending their distribution in response to changes in the marine environment, such as ocean warming.
This data also highlights regions and species that may be experiencing more distribution changes, so that research can be focused into these areas.
For more information on how you can become a citizen scientist, and help us track the range shifts of marine species, visit their website.
Reef Life Survey (RLS) aims to improve biodiversity conservation and the sustainable management of marine resources. This is achieved by coordinating surveys of rocky and coral reefs using scientific methods. The ultimate goal of RLS is to improve coastal stewardship.
RLS has established the first global baseline of marine biodiversity using consistent methods, which includes abundance data for over 3500 marine species at more than 2000 sites in 40 countries.
This information is used to track changing ecosystems, allowing managers and scientists to better understand how human society affects the marine environment, and to identify better ways forward to reduce threats.
For more information on how you can assist with the Reef Life Survey, visit their website.
Recently, Associate Professor Gretta Pecl co-authored an occasional paper, published by the Commonwealth Government's Office of the Chief Scientist. This paper celebrates the contributions that people are making to their communities through science.
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