Are you a citizen scientist interested in documenting what’s happening in your local environment under a changing climate? Grab your phone and take a walk along a new joint TERN and ClimateWatch trail in North Queensland and become part of a national environmental monitoring program.
TERN’s Australian SuperSite Network is teaming up with Earthwatch on their national ClimateWatch trails and together have just launched a new trail at Tinaroo Environmental Education Centre (TEEC)—a state government-run centre in far-north Queensland with a 25 year history of providing education on land care, outdoor pursuits and sustainability. The new trail is one of 52 ClimateWatch trails located all around Australia where citizen scientists are discovering what’s happening in their local environments.
Locals and visitors alike are invited to walk the new Tinaroo EEC ClimateWatch trail and record the species they see using a free app. The observations will be used in a national program that scientists are using to understand Australia’s environmental responses to climate change.
Additionally, the citizen scientist observations from Tinaroo EEC will also be compared to ecosystem monitoring data collected by scientists at the nearby Robson Creek Node of the TERN Far-North Queensland Rainforest SuperSite in Danbulla National Park.
Citizen science programs like this are an important component of TERN’s national ecosystem science research infrastructure. Community knowledge about and support for environmental science is developed through citizen science, and they provide individuals with a tangible way of getting involved in environmental issues. Moreover, citizen science programs help ensure that science is more attuned to community needs and interests.
Other citizen science programs TERN is involved with include a joint research project in Cleland Conservation Park near Adelaide that’s recording the impacts of controlled burns and how ecosystems recover from fire; and citizen data collection along the Transects for Environmental Monitoring and Decision Making, part of TERN’s Australian Transect Network.
- For more information on this project and others by TERN’s Australian SuperSite Network please contact Mirko Karan.
- Find ClimateWatch trails in your area or discover how you can create a trail at a location that is important to you here.
CSIRO’s Matt Bradford with a group of primary school students on the Tinaroo ClimateWatch trail