Dr Sally Carson – Key Note Speaker
Sally Carson is the Director of the NZ Marine Studies Centre, Dept of Marine Science, University of Otago where school students and the wider community engage with real science. Although involved in a number of science education initiatives she is currently focused on the development of a national citizen science project on long term monitoring of the NZ seashore (www.mm2.net.nz ). She has written numerous educational resources and recently developed a series of identification guides to the plants and animals found on NZ’s seashore.
Title: Marine Metre Squared… an experiment in citizen-engaged science.
Citizen Science is the new wave of informal science education where participants have the opportunity to participate in scientific research to learn scientific information, gain understanding of the nature of science, and/or develop their skills in the methods of science.
Marine Metre Squared (Mm2) is a national citizen science initiative for long-term monitoring of the New Zealand seashore. Schools, families, and communities are encouraged to get to know their seashore neighbours and collect valuable scientific information that will help build a picture of the distribution and abundance of New Zealand’s intertidal species. This project not only takes a snapshot of seashore biodiversity, it provides a baseline against which future change may be measured. Support and guidance from scientists is needed in development of protocols, interpretation of data and design of further studies.
However the project is not just about adding value to science. Key to the success of this project is the uptake by community groups and schools to go beyond simply submitting data and use it as a tool to facilitate engagement in wider environmental issues to enable community-engaged science.