Citizen science to aid bushfire recovery

How you can help bushfire impacted regions from home.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has called on Queenslanders to help Australia’s bushfire recovery research from the comfort of their own homes.

The national science agency has developed the Citizen Science Bushfire Project Finder which allows members of the public to contribute to research which will help prepare for the next bushfire season.

All you need to participate in at-home research is a computer with internet connection and a bit of spare time.

Projects include monitoring air quality, spotting quokkas in photos of Rottnest Island and identifying plants as they regrow in bushfire impacted regions.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the project drew on the passion and commitment of scientists and citizens alike to solve bushfire challenges.

“We’re using cutting-edge science like artificial intelligence, satellite imaging, and seasonal and decadal climate modelling to respond to fires and get ahead of the next bushfire season,” Dr Marshall said.

“However, the model is only as good as the data we feed it, and there is no substitute for the power of the people to keep us firmly connected with reality on the ground.

Dr Marshall said coronavirus hadn’t stopped Aussies from signing up to take part in the projects. 

“Despite the challenges we are facing, the Australian spirit remains strong and it is obvious that our citizens are eager to do their part in the bushfire recovery process,” he said.

To become a citizen scientist visit www.csiro.au/bushfireprojects.