News

In addition to ongoing communication, collaboration and stakeholder development, the Alliance worked together to deliver a number of positive steps in the advancement of citizen science for the Reef.
 
Fitzroy Partnership for River Health worked with Reef Check Australia to develop a supplementary reporting page to share relevant Reef Check Australia data citizen science data that is complimentary to information provided in the annual Fitzroy Basin Report Card. This project provides an example of locally-relevant citizen science information to complement Marine Monitoring Program data and explore alignment of data for Report Card indicators. 
 
 
ReefBlitz 2016 (October - December 2016)
ReefBlitz brought together 40 partners and supporters to actively engage 1,649 in 52 diverse citizen science events across Queensland. Ongoing connections were forged to engage more community members, build data linkages and apply information. 
Read about outcomes from the initiative in our ReefBlitz event summary 2016 and check out the video
 
Tangaroa Blue Foundation attended the world’s largest environmental and nature conservation event that takes place every 2 – 4 years. Citizen science was a theme of discussion and participants contributed to a draft strategy on Citizen Science that has been an outcome of one of the conference workshops. The strategy is intended to serve as a road map to foster citizen science across the IUCN and other environmental institutions. More to come on this in early 2017 when released publically. 
 
Coast 2 Coast conference (September 2016)
Steering commitee member, Dr Vicki Martin, attended The Marine and Coastal Citizen Science Workshop that was held as part of the Coast to Coast Conference and spoke about the Alliance. Many attendees had not previously heard about the Alliance and felt it was a valuable initiative. In an afternoon brainstorming session, the idea of an alliance appeared in several of the hypothetical projects. 
 
Steering Committee member, Dr Vicki Martin shared findings on the first national surveyof people’s willingness to assist marine science in Australia with paper  ‘Public Interest in Marine Citizen Science: Is there Potential for Growth?’, published in the journal BioScience.
 
We ran an online campaign and video showcasing the range of coastal and marine citizen programs. There is something for everyone! 
 
SEQ Catchments has been working with citizen science organisations across the region to integrate these valuable datasets into natural resource management planning. You can find out more about a number of citizen science projects operating in South East Queensland on the StoryMap.
 
Discover how multiple citizen science programs are helping volunteers collect valuable data about the health of coral reefs during the largest global coral bleaching event on record. See page 54 in the Dive Log July 2016 edition and the collaborative summary from CoralWatch, GBRMPA and Reef Check Australia. 
 
ICRS is the largest coral reef conference in the world. The Alliance was represented in the Citizen Science in support of coral reef protection and sustainability session, where we helped to facilitate a Townhall session. We also presented a poster. Proceedings from the International Coral Reef Symposium have been released, including the summary for the citizen science Townhall session.
 
New funding toolkit (April 2016)
Marine Conservation Finance helped build Reef Citizen Science Toolkit to support the process of diversifying funding models to create longer-term financial strategies.
 
A summary of the Alliance was submitted for the ACRS annual newsletter.
 
Citizen Science Forum (March 2016)
We joined in as part of World Science Festival to talk about citizen science and the unique collaboration of the Alliance.
 
Capacity Building projects (2016-2017)
In an effort to maximise benefits and reduce duplication, Alliance members had an opportunity to undertake a project that helped advance their program objectives, while also providing constructive resources for other members. Projects included:
  • CoralWatch helped to unite Reef citizen science organisations to produce a an infographic and informational flyer about coral bleaching that showcased 3 reef citizen science projects (CoralWatch, Eye on the Reef, Reef Check Australia). The project also produced CoralWatch health charts that can be provided free of charge to Alliance members to utilse in their programs. 
  • Tangaroa Blue Foundation conducted an Organisational Health Check. The project engaged professional services in legal and workplace requirements to review organisational operations, ensure compliance, and create a check list of these requirements to assist other organisations to do their own reviews. 

  • Reef Check Australia undertook a review of online donations platforms to document criteria such as functionality, cost, integration and customisation. Financial security is a challenge for many grassroots citizen science groups and this project was designed to provide a shared assessment matrix of online fundraising platforms, consolidate resources about donor management, and share a case study on learnings.
  • Fitzroy Partnership for River Health is leading a project to develop a supplementary reporting page to share relevant Reef Check Australia data citizen science data that is complimentary to information provided in the annual Fitzroy Basin Report Card. This project will provide an example of locally-relevant citizen science information to complement Marien Monitoring Program data and explore alignment of data for Report Card indicators.