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The River Guardians Program – using technology to connect people with the Swan Canning Riverpark, Western Australia
EP23633
Poster Title: The River Guardians Program – using technology to connect people with the Swan Canning Riverpark, Western Australia
Submitted on 13 Nov 2015
Author(s): Marnie Giroud1, Piers Higgs
Affiliations: 1Swan River Trust, 2 Gaia Resources
This poster was presented at Maximising the Capacity of Citizen Science for Science and Society: A Fenner Conference on the Environment
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Poster Information
Abstract: River Guardians connects members with the Swan Canning Riverpark and the people and programs protecting our rivers. Members can take part in free river events, training to help protect our rivers, or volunteer as a citizen scientist for our flagship project - Dolphin Watch. The program and projects are underpinned by recognised scientific (both biological and social), environmental education and behaviour change principles.

The Dolphin Watch project presented in this paper is a partnership between the Swan River Trust, Murdoch and Curtin Universities. Developed as a collaborative, citizen science research and education project, it feeds into the Coastal and Estuarine Dolphin Research Project. Dolphin Watch has trained close to 1000 citizens to monitor dolphins and is the first community project monitoring dolphins in the Riverpark.

The project uses information and communication technologies (ICT) as a core method to reconnect people with the Riverpark. Citizens are engaged and trained to monitor the estuary using mobile phones, specifically tailored mobile applications (“apps”) and online web forms. Data reliability is a priority and new technologies are helping to reduce errors in reporting using GPS and error reporting built into operating systems.

Dolphin Watch volunteers attend events and activities designed to foster a strong sense of community. The project has received more than 15,000 volunteer reports and the data received to date – along with the research into the use of the technologies – has been successful in reclaiming the sense of place amongst participants in this digital age.
Summary: The Dolphin Watch project presented in this paper is a partnership between the Swan River Trust, Murdoch and Curtin Universities. Developed as a collaborative, citizen science research and education project, it feeds into the Coastal and Estuarine Dolphin Research Project.Report abuse »
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