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Citizen science in OEH

Citizen science is increasingly popular as a way of engaging the community in scientific research, and is an excellent hobby for enquiring minds.

Put simply (although many definitions exist), citizen science is scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions.

Examples of such scientific activities include collecting and analysing data, developing technology, and testing natural phenomena. Even though citizen science is not new, there has been a huge growth over the past decade, mostly because of easily accessible recording devices such as mobile phones.

Globally, citizen scientists now participate in a range of activities including:

  • collecting biodiversity observations
  • data and image processing
  • instrument monitoring
  • transcription.

Citizen science is an important tool that is helping to fill knowledge gaps. Our vision for citizen science is to drive a new era of public participation in science by developing collaborative projects that support decision-making and are engaging for the public.

In order to achieve this vision, we developed an OEH Citizen Science Strategy 2016–18 (PDF 1.1MB) that will help focus citizen science projects on strategic issues and guide development of citizen science more broadly. This strategy should be read in conjunction with the OEH Citizen Science Position Statement (PDF 1.2MB) which describes the standards and principles OEH will use when creating citizen science projects and commissioning others to undertake projects.


Freshwater Watch

Photo of dust storm on 23 September 2009

Photo of dust storm on 23 September 2009

Photo of freshwater wetlands on coastal floodplains

Freshwater wetlands on coastal floodplains (MMurphy)

  • Find out more about how citizen scientists are contributing to the DustWatch program.


Koala counts

Emu selfie

Emu (NPWS)

Photo of koala

Koala (DLunney/OEH)

  • In 2015, citizen scientists were busy collecting information for the Great Koala Count.
  • The Monaro koala surveys are helping us better understand the impacts of activities such as prescribed burning on koala populations.
  • The Bongil Bongil community koala survey is great way to get involved in measuring the relative abundance of the local koala population.
  • The Mundoonen and Yananunbeyan koala surveys are helping us monitor small remnant koala populations so we can better manage their habitat. Contact the Queanbeyan National Parks and Wildlife Service office on 02 6229 7166 to find out how to participate.

Orange hawkweed

Whale sightings

Photo of flora conservation officer examining orange hawkweed

Flora conservation officer examining orange hawkweed (JCaldwell/OEH)

Photo of Breeching southern humpback whale near Montague Island Nature Reserve

Breeching southern humpback whale near Montague Island Nature Reserve (SCohen/OEH)

World Parks Congress Bioblitz 2014

Warrumbungle citizen science

World Parks Congress Bioblitz 2014 Citizen Science logo
Warrambungles bird watching

NSW Soil Knowledge Network

Shorebird Monitoring Program

NSW Soil Knowledge Network

NSW Soil Knowledge Network (Image: Vera Hong)

Shorebird Monitoring Program

Shorebird Monitoring Program

  • This network is an independent, not-for-profit group that captures critical soil knowledge and experience and is a bridge between community and government.

Keeping up with the superb parrot

Male superb parrot, Anita Kuffner

Male superb parrot (Image: Anita Kuffner)


More information:

Page last updated: 07 December 2016