Resources

The Discovery Circle is committed to community participation and education. Below we provide resources to help you get involved in citizen science, including:


What is citizen science?

Citizen science projects are research projects run by scientists in partnership with the wider community. These partnerships often involve hands-on activities, like searching for wildlife and recording where you found it, or collecting water samples and testing the water. Activities may also be conducted online, like counting animals or classifying galaxies in photographs.

Many citizen science projects can focus on animals, like birds and bats. Astronomy and weather-focused projects are also popular. And there are a growing number of citizen science projects exploring other areas, including human health and biomedical science.

Technology has enabled recent growth in the number and quality of citizen science projects. Some projects have apps for smartphones that help record information. There are also many online citizen science projects, where participation can be completed on a home computer or on a smartphone.

There are a number of reasons you might get involved in a citizen science project. You might be fascinated by the topic of the project, or want to learn more about it. You might be concerned about changes you have noticed in the environment. You might want to make a contribution to a scientific project, you might want to use or develop a skill, or you might want to meet new people in your local community with similar interests.

An introductory video to citizen science:


Citizen science projects you can contribute to

See Discovery Circle projects on our homepage (click here). In addition, we have listed a range of local, national and international projects here:

 

Galaxy Zoo

  • Websitehttps://www.galaxyzoo.org/
  • An online project for people who love astronomy or want to learn about it.
  • Help classify galaxies: over 1 million people have participated and helped to classify over 100 million galaxies!

 

Zooniverse

  • Websitehttps://www.zooniverse.org/
  • The success of Galaxy Zoo has led to the development of a wide range of citizen science projects on the ‘Zooniverse’ platform.
  • Zooniverse offers online projects in biology, history, language, literature, medicine, physics and more (over 100 projects available). You can help scientists identify, classify or transcribe all sorts of things, whatever takes your interest!

 

Bowerbird

  • Websitehttp://www.bowerbird.org.au/
  • Bowerbird is an Australian website where you can create your own projects – catalogues of living things that you photograph in the schoolyard, at home, or anywhere.
  • You can upload images of living things and the Bowerbird community will help identify them.
  • Read a Discovery Circle blog about the features of Bowerbird (click here).
  • Download the Discovery Circle tips on photographing plants and animals (342KB PDF file: click here).
  • An alternative website that you might like to try is an international project called iNaturalist: https://www.inaturalist.org/

 

Questagame

  • Websitehttps://questagame.com/
  • A phone app that allows you to record sightings of wildlife.
  • You can gain points on a leader-board by completing quests to find particular species (you can even set up quests yourself!)
  • Download the Discovery Circle tips on photographing plants and animals (342KB PDF file: click here).
  • Read a Discovery Circle blog about playing Questagame (click here).

 

Foldit

  • Websitehttps://fold.it/portal/
  • An online game where you help researchers by solving ‘puzzles’ based on the structures of proteins.
  • Training is provided – learn how to ‘fold’ proteins for biomedical research, then compete online as an individual or a team.

 

Goanna Watch

 

Edible Gardens

  • Websitehttp://www.discoverycircle.org.au/projects/edible-gardens/
  • Help researchers understand the best ways and the best crops to grow in your garden
  • Record and learn about your own water use and food production (fruit, vegetables, herbs, poultry, bees, fish)
  • We’ll help you record the inputs and outputs of your garden – then you can compare areas in your garden, your school garden, or other people’s gardens
  • See a list of participating gardens (click here)
  • Read a Discovery Circle blog about urban food production (click here)

 

Frog Watch South Australia

  • Websitehttp://www.frogwatchsa.com.au/
  • Use a phone app to record frog calls and conduct habitat surveys.
  • Have your frog calls identified, or use the online resources to develop skills in frog identification.

 

EchidnaCSI

 

Old Weather

 

Redmap

 

Reef Life Survey

  • Websitehttps://reeflifesurvey.com/
  • If you are a recreational diver, you can be trained to conduct surveys of conspicuous species on reefs.

 

DigiVol

  • Websitehttps://australianmuseum.net.au/digivol
  • Become a ‘Digital Volunteer’ for the Australian Museum.
  • Help transcribe Museum data so it is discoverable online for anyone to access anywhere in the world.

Regional initiatives in South Australia

 

On the Eyre Peninsula?

 

In the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin?


Finding citizen science projects

Need help finding citizen science projects? Below are two citizen science ‘project finders’, where you can search for projects by location, by topic and more…


Citizen science project assessment template

If you are planning to create a citizen science project, you may find this project assessment template useful (click here to download the Word document).