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What exactly is citizen science? One wordy definition is "the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists". Or in simpler language, citizen science projects involve scientists and members of the community working together. It's that simple.
The Discovery Circle are a group working for the University of South Australia who frequently run projects which encourage ordinary people to work together with scientists on activities. They range from a serfamily-orientedriented BioBlitz days, to free citizen science workshops where people are encouraged to do their own bit for science.
National Science Week runs in Adelaide from August 11-19, and the Discovery Circle have some suggestions on how you can get involved.
Science in the Pub - Citizen Science Matchmaking Most of us enjoy the occasional glass of wine or beer, and scientists are seldom known to say no either. Head for the hills and the Uraidla Hotel, where you can enjoy your favourite drink while Dr Philip Roetman introduces citizen science projects for you.This Science Week event takes place on Tuesday 14th August from 6-8pm at the Uraidla Hotel. It will only cost you $5 and nibbles are thrown in free. Details and book online here.
Fungi Film Festival The Fungi Film Festival is open to fun girls as well as guys, and again is being held in the Adelaide Hills. See The Kingdom – How Fungi Made Our World (the best film in the 2018 International Science Film Festival) for the princely sum of $9 (kids are free). It will be a fun night full of informative talks about citizen science and entertainment, including presenting the annual Citizen Science Award to a deserving local recipient. Free nibbles are included in the price, but there's no mention whether they will be marinated mushrooms or tasty toadstools.
Discover more about the Fungi Film Festival on Friday 17th August, 5-8.30pm at Mount Barker, and book online here.
When It's Too Cold to Go Mushroom Hunting: Mushroom Man at Adelaide Central Market
Fungi of the Adelaide Hills I'm beginning to wonder whether Science Week is being sponsored by the Adelaide Central Market. For this free event, you'll join the Adelaide Hills Science Hub, Inspiring SA, Fungimap and Mt Pleasant NRC at Mt Crawford Forest (Gate 4) for a family friendly foray into the fabulous field of fungi!
This fun for kids is specifically aimed at children aged in the 1-5 years age group, so you're right out of luck if you're a 25 year old with mushroom mania. Come to Mount Crawford on Saturday 18th August from 1-3pm to get your dose of spores. Info and bookings.
Here's Looking At You (Image: Adelaide Hills Council)
Frogs of the Adelaide Hills Finally, a frog friendly fungus free event! This free walk and talk in the beautiful Adelaide Hills at Gumeracha will help you discover more about your local amphibious friends. Learn about frog mating calls, habitat and how you can become a FrogSpotting citizen scientist. Meet your locals before they croak it on Sunday 19th August, 2-4pm at Gumeracha. Information and bookings.