Australian Citizen Science Association Conference

When: 23rd-24th July 2015

Where: The Shine Dome, Canberra, Australia.

The Australian Citizen Science Association Conference is currently being held in Shine Dome, Australia. This annual conference brings together the global and Australian citizen science community to share skills and ideas and encourage collaboration amongst citizen scientists. In fact, the Commons Lab’s very own Anne Bowser is there right now presenting some of her recent work.

The conference bring together Australian and international experts to better understand best practices needed to create and deliver successful citizen science projects. Some of the presentations and workshops at the conference directly tie policy and citizen science together, while others aim to inspire communities around the idea of citizen science and its benefits.

One example of such a talk is “Data Deficiency in Australia and the role of Citizen Science” by Chris Sanderson. Here is a brief description of what the talk is about from the conference program :

Australia is a megadiverse country, with an extremely high level of endemism in its native species. Despite being a wealthy first world nation, many of our species are highly data deficient. Australia’s governments do not list threatened species that are data deficient, and do not provide them with protection. As a result of this, many of Australia’s threatened species are not protected because we don’t know enough about them. Citizen science has the potential to address this issue through a variety of approaches. This talk will discuss some areas that are in desperate need of attention and some of the ways in which citizen science may be employed to assist filling in these knowledge gaps.

Sanderson’s talk is a perfect example of how citizen science can be used to not only fill in knowledge gaps that exist in certain areas of study but also to effectively protect the environment and different communities.

One of Bowser’s talks takes a different approach. Her talk “Introducing PPSR_CORE: Standardizing metadata to support a growing community” will focus on creating a collaborative endeavor to share data and metadata about citizen science projects. Bowser argues that using PPSR_CORE as the standardizing protocol will facilitate easy and standardized data sharing. Such a standard will also develop a common vocabulary for discussing the different components of citizen science and will encourage greater collaboration in the community.

But these are just two of the many interesting talks and workshops that are taking place at the conference. If you were unable to make the trip down under, you can read more about the myriad presentations here.

The koala is a threatened species in Australia. Chris Sanderson argues that citizen science could provide better protections for koalas and other threatened spices.  Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
The koala is a threatened species in Australia. Chris Sanderson argues that citizen science could provide better protections for koalas and other threatened spices.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

This post was written by Rohin Daswani who is a Research Assistant with the Commons Lab in the Science & Technology Innovation Program (STIP) at the Wilson Center.

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