Citizen Science Hub and Volunteer Information Portal

The SEED Citizen Science Hub and the Volunteer Information Portal are online places for you to explore citizen science and volunteer projects.

What is the difference between citizen science and volunteering?

The difference between traditional volunteering and volunteering as a citizen scientist is that citizen scientists collect valuable scientific data that can make a meaningful impact to scientific research and environmental decision making. As our need for data vastly outstrips our ability to collect it, your contributions have never been so important in improving scientific and governmental capacity to make evidence-based decisions for our natural environment.

Some volunteering projects do collect data such as plant and animal surveys, but this is not associated with scientific research. With traditional volunteering you can participate in weeding, tree planting and other opportunities that are directly beneficial for our natural environment in national parks.

The NSW government’s SEED Citizen Science Hub is a one-stop-shop for you to explore citizen science projects, events and opportunities across NSW. On the hub, you can:

  • connect with people
  • link your project or create a new project using expert step by step guidance to contribute, share and access environmental data through the SEED platform
  • discover the impact your contributions can have by being openly available to communities, scientists and decision makers.

The hub is designed with and for internal and external users to ensure it best suits user needs. This means that anyone involved with citizen science in NSW can use it to find projects, project participants, best-practice resources, other citizen scientists, data and how the data is being used or data impact.

Are you a project organiser?

If you are a project organiser you can use the hub to easily and quickly register your project, access best-practice examples and find participants. The hub also allows you to seamlessly manage your project participants by direct communication and automated notifications when you add an update, event or make changes to your project.

You can also use the hub to link your data to the SEED portal, so it is widely accessible to show your participants their contributions and improve the impact of your data. Once you have connected your data you can access data usage statistics to track the impact of your data.

Do you want to access and use citizen science data?

If you want to use citizen science data, you can use the hub to access and download data easily or explore the dataset on the SEED portal and accurately assess whether the data is suitable for your needs using our transparent data quality rating.

How can you participate in citizen science projects?

You use the hub to easily search and join projects in your area or that match your interests, skills and availability among many other options. Once you create an account on the hub, you can opt in to receive project invites that match your preferences.

Check out some of the projects you can be involved in:

VIP - the Volunteer Information Portal is an online, cloud-based portal which hosts many DPE volunteer projects, including all NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Royal Botanic Gardens volunteer activities, and a selection of Saving our Species projects. There are many and varied ways to join with like-minded volunteers to help the environment.

The VIP is a one-stop place where volunteers can find and sign up for volunteer activities, organise their shifts, track their hours, and find out all the volunteer news from across the state. It reduces the paperwork burden – which is great for both the environment and for people.

You can look for current activities on VIP online and as an app on iOS and Android.

Internal DPE projects can be advertised on both the SEED Citizen Science Hub and the Volunteer Information Portal to maximise project exposure. Project participants will be sent directly to the project on the host system so it can continue to be managed as normal. The entire process will be managed by us so there is no extra effort involved for you. All you will have to do is: