Citizen science is about the community participating in scientific research. Its key objective is to make science more accessible for the community and to produce valuable information for scientific research. To be involved in citizen science you don’t need a science degree. Citizen scientists work with scientists or within a scientific framework to achieve scientific goals.
Citizen science involves public participation and is a great way to harness community skills and passion to answer our questions about the world and how it works.
Gecko collaborates with the Gold Coast Catchment Association Inc (now called Watergum) who manages several citizen science programs being Platypus Watch, Macroinvertebrates and Water Quality.
Gecko is involved with the macroinvertebrates and water quality programs, what we call the Clean Creeks Program. This program raises community and government awareness in the Currumbin, Tallebudgera and Coomera catchments and aims to distribute information on waterways health, trends and impacts.
Macroinverbrates are small animals that live part or all of their life in water. There are many types of macroinvertebrate such as dragonfly larvae, mosquito larvae, beetles and snails.
Macroinvertebrates make good biological indicators because they have different sensitivities to pollution . So by sampling macroinvertebrate communities and looking at both the types and numbers of animals present we can get an idea as to how healthy a waterway is. This data when joined with the water quality data (e.g. pH, conductivity) provides a snapshot and forms part of past collected data to establish a baseline as to how healthy a waterway is. The collected data is managed by the Gold Coast Catchment Association Inc and is accessible to the community on their website https://goldcoastcatchments.org/citizen-science/.
If you would like to join us in macroinvertebrate and water quality testing in the Currumbin and Tallebudgera catchments please contact us. There are two dates in October where you can join in. Saturday 20th October in Tallebudgera and Saturday 27th October in Coomera.
Testing usually runs on a Saturday or Sunday morning for about 2 hours every 3 months. Its fun, come along.
Register your interest and find out more information by contacting Gecko at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Activity images credit: Gold Coast Catchment Association