Citizen science is an important component of many scientific research studies around the world. It helps scientists collect much more data than would otherwise be possible. Citizen scientists contribute to real-world scientific research, make new discoveries and for some projects can also reap the benefits of spending time in nature.
Leap into Nature is focused on citizen science as a tool to engage people with nature and science. There are many programs you can get involved in from the comfort of your own home, or get active outdoors, explore nature and find out things about nature you never knew before. Its a fantastic way to get the kids involved in outdoor activities too, as there are some great skills to learn and technology to engage with and lots of critters to learn about.
Leap into Nature is currently co-facilitating a citizen science project called 'Nature Next Door' with Glen Eira City Council. The project officially launched in March 2019. With a spring seminar series kicking off with frogs in September at Packer Park: https://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/our-city/whats-on/frogs-of-glen-eira
We will be focusing on insect pollinators, frogs and birds, with more fauna groups to be added over time. Our key study site will be Rippon Lea Gardens, a 'biodiversity hotspot' for the municipality. We have teamed up with National Trust, researchers from RMIT University - Luis Mata from the National Environmental Science Programme: Clean Air Urban Landscape Hub, and Melbourne Water.
Glen Eira residents will have the chance to learn insect and frog identification skills and apply these skills by making recordings of insects or frogs at Rippon Lea, other parks in Glen Eira and within their own gardens.
Our vision is to have a knowledgeable and engaged community in Glen Eira, as we seek to improve conditions and provide more habitat for biodiversity within the council area, both at home, on nature strips and in our local parks and gardens.
Want to know more about what local insects occur in Melbourne, check out these websites:
Get in contact with me if you would like to know more, or better still register your interest with the Sustainability Department of Glen Eira City Council here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have started to create some resources for this project, here is the first one geared for children - colouring in of a Blue-banded Bee - want to know have you seen the Blue-banded Bee in Glen Eira? (Blue-banded bee photo by Luis Mata)