Citizen Science is the collaboration of scientists working with the public with an aim to increase scientific knowledge through participation in a range of observational and monitoring projects. It's a great way to involve the community's passion for science and the environment to help answer questions about our world.
You don't have to be a scientist to get involved - anyone can be a citizen scientist! To find out about citizen science projects you and your group can get involved with, visit
- the Australian Citizen Science Association Project Finder
- the NSW SEED Citizen Science Hub, an online platform supported by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment
If you are interested in establishing your own citizen science project, the Citizen Science Hub Project Guide provides best practice information and resources to help you maximise the success and impact of your citizen science project
- Tangaroa Blue is a marine debris project asking volunteers to collect litter, record what you find, and contribute your data to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database. Plus they have lots of great school resources online, and an app for identifying litter and data entry to the database.
- AUSMAP is a microplastic monitoring citizen science program where schools (particularly high schools) and community groups can head to their local beach or waterway to sample for microplastics, sort and categorise them, to contribute data from around Australia to track their distribution and abundance.
- The annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count is fantastic way to monitor the birds in your school or project area if you're looking to improve biodiversity. Download the App where you can use a bird identification guide anytime, and enter bird observation data for your school/group during the week in October when the Count occurs.
- The NSW Bird Atlassers are volunteers who monitor birds in grids over all of NSW & ACT on a monthly basis performing citizen science data collections. They also run regular bird watching field trips and produce various publications.
Water quality and river health
- The National Waterbug Blitz is Australia’s first nationwide waterway monitoring event. In spring each year, Australians are encouraged to become ‘citizen scientists’ and investigate how healthy their local waterways and wetlands are, simply by exploring and identifying what waterbugs they contain. The type and number of waterbugs found in a waterway can tell us a lot about how healthy that waterway is. Anyone can participate! Download The Waterbug App for identifying and uploading your data to let us know the health of your waterway!
- Waterwatch NSW enables communities to care for catchments through monitoring water quality in their local waterway - creek, river, or wetland. Parameters which can be measure include temperature, pH, salinity (electrical conductivity) and turbidity, with available phosphate and dissolved oxygen also being able to be monitored by adult and high school groups. Data collected by Waterwatch volunters is uploaded to the NSW Waterwatch online database, and is publically available for anyone to look at. Go to the NSW Waterwatch website to find out more, look at the resources and videos available, and how to reach your local coordinator (available in some areas on NSW, otherwise fee for service is required).
- Streamwatch is a local community citizen science water program for the Sydney Region, monitoring the health of waterways and riparian areas. For over 30 years, Streamwatch volunteers have been collecting independent data. The program is now supported by Greater Sydney Landcare, providing pollution and biosecurity alerts to authorities and connecting people and nature with a practical purpose.