"Citizen science (also known as crowd science, crowd-sourced science, or networked science) is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or non-professional scientists, often by crowd-sourcing. Citizen science is sometimes called public participation in scientific research." ~ Wikipedia
Citizen Science Network Australia is a new network aimed at developing a community of practice to support the field of citizen science within Australia.
Citizen science can be a great way to engage students in authentic scientific research and has been made possible to a much greater degree by internet and communications technology.
My article on ABC Splash about "Connecting Students with Scientists". (12th August 2014)

The following links are some examples that you may be able to participate in:
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"Zooniverse" projects include Space, Nature, Climate and Biology projects, that allow online research by citizen scientists. These are just some of the projects available:
  • How do stars form? (Milky Way project)
  • Plant Four (Explore the Red Planet)
  • Cyclone Centre (Classify over 30 years of tropical cyclone data)
  • Old Weather (Model Earths climate using historic ship logs)
  • Hear whales communicate
  • Go wild in the Serengeti
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Snapshot Serengeti is a Zooniverse project that allows users to identify and classify African animals and describe what they are doing (moving, eating, interacting). Really simple-to-use and a great introduction to citizen science projects.
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The Barbara Hardy Institute within the University of SA has conducted research into Citizen Science and has instigated a number of great citizen science projects including:
  • The Great Koala Count
  • Be a Beachcomber
  • Operation Spider
  • Operation Magpie
  • Bring us your Bugs
  • Operation Possum and
  • Operation Bluetongue

This site allows you to register for Citizen Science updates and find current projects.
Post/Biotics A citizen-science platform and 'lab in a box' toolkit providing the equipment, knowledge and science network everybody needs to support researchers in new antibiotic development. You can help your students to answer the question:
"What if the world's next antibiotic is in your backyard?"
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GalaxyZoo is a Zooinverse project which asks users to classify galaxies. It has two areas specifically for teachers and students: "Navigator" is an interactive tool that allows groups to classify galaxies together and then investigate galaxy characteristics. "Zoo Teach" is where educators can share lessons and resources that complement citizen science projects that are part of the Zooniverse.
"We need the public's help in observing the behaviour of tiny nematode worms. When you classify on wormwatchlab.org you're shown a video of a worm wriggling around. The aim of the game is to watch and wait for the worm to lay eggs, and to hit the 'z' key when they do. It's very simple and strangely addictive. By watching these worms lay eggs, you're helping to collect valuable data about genetics that will assist medical research."

"With your classifications we can understand how the brain works and how genes affect behaviour. The idea is that if a gene is involved in a visible behaviour, then mutations that break that gene might lead to detectable behavioural changes. The type of change gives us a hint about what the affected gene might be doing. Although it is small and has far fewer cells than we do, the worm used in these studies (called C. elegans) has almost as many genes as we do! We share a common ancestor with these worms, so many of their genes are closely related to human genes. This presents us with the [[#|opportunity]] to study the function of genes that are important for human brain function in an animal that is easier to handle, great for microscopy and genetics, and has a generation time of only a few days. It's all quite amazing!"

"To get started visit www.wormwatchlab.org and follow the tutorial."
For the "Atlas of Living Australia", citizen science is a very important source of data about biodiversity. Data and insights gained through the efforts of citizen scientists can be as valuable as that obtained by scientists working in academia, natural history collections, government agencies and business.Harnessing the efforts of the thousands of people participating in citizen science will enhance the range and depth of data available in the Atlas.There are a number of ways in which you can get involved in citizen science, including recording the sightings of plants or animals you have seen in your area and by contributing your sightings to one of the citizen science projects using our software (each site has a short summary and an area of focus so you can look for one that suits you!).
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Try Scistarter for various citizen science projects, including biology, space and environmental research. At the time of writing there were projects to help scientists to predict solar storms, to train computers to understand language and contribute to future space exploration. You can search by topic (for example, archeology, birds, food, physics or transportation) or by activity (at home, at the beach, in the snow or while fishing).
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"Redmap" stands for Range Extension Database and Mapping project. "This project invites Australians to share sightings of marine species that are ‘uncommon’ to their local seas. Over time, Redmap will use this ‘citizen science’ data to map which Australian marine species may be extending their distribution range – a.k.a [[#|moving house]] - in response to changes in the marine environment, such as ocean warming. Redmap members use their knowledge of the seas to help monitor Australia’s vast coastline. The citizen science data also highlights regions and species that may be experiencing more distribution changes, so that research can be focused into these areas."
Ecolinc App - Biodiversity of the Western Volcanic Plains Flora and Fauna Field Guide This app, produced by the Ecolinc Science and Technology Innovations Centre at Bacchus Marsh, has five categories of animals and seven categories of plants listed. Each category has a list of species, with images, distribution maps, taxonomy, conservation status and biological information. Some entries include sound recordings of bird and frog calls.
Museum Victoria's Field Guide to Victorian Fauna - This app has maps, images, taxonomy, threatened status and distribution information for vertebrates and invertebrates (butterflies, spiders, insects and freshwater, terrestrial and marine macro-invertebrates). Cannot upload your data, but excellent for identification.
The Smithsonian Institute - Tree Banding project is a global project that aims to collect data about tree growth over time. This data is available to climate scientists regarding rate of increase in diameter of tree trunks of different species in different countries. Although the project is closed to new registrations at the present time, many schools are collecting and uploading data with the kits that were supplied.
Questabird has now grown into Questagame QuestaGame is a mobile game that gets players outdoors to discover and help preserve life on this planet. They get points for spotting, identifying, photographing and recording species.
Cat Tracker at Discovery Circle
Leaf snap - identification of NH trees
Project Noah
Climate Watch
Fold-it - Solve puzzles for science

Instructions for Educators