Student citizen scientists are playing a vital role in helping us learn how the Warrumbungle National Park is recovering from the severe bushfire in 2013 and intense thunderstorm that followed.
The storm washed large quantities of sediment and organic matter into the streams that drain the park, potentially affecting water nutrient levels and the organisms that live there.
Scientists from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment are monitoring how the streams are recovering from the fire and storm. However, they can’t be there all the time. This is where citizen science comes in.
Students learn to collect data
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is working with the Warrumbungle Environmental Education Centre to get local school students involved in monitoring water quality and sampling macroinvertebrates.
Not only are students learning to collect and contribute meaningful data, they are helping us assess stream health after the fire.
We have developed resources for students and educators to review before they visit the park.
Educators in other areas can use these resources with students to monitor the health of their own local stream or wetland.
We've also developed a video to demonstrate some of the sampling methods covered in the manuals.