Do you have five minutes to help the Great Barrier Reef? A new citizen science project is calling on ocean lovers from across the world to take part in the first ever Great Reef Census.
Hosted by conservation group Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Reef Census is looking for citizen scientists, young and old, to help analyse some of the 13,000 images that were collected of the reef at the end of 2020.
An extensive volunteer group of scientists, dive crew, conservationists, and tourists took part in collecting the images all up and down the 2,300km Great Barrier Reef.
Now they need citizen scientists the world over to take a look at the images, and mark out what they see. The photos have been uploaded to a database, where anyone can jump on, choose an image and ‘colour in’ the key elements they notice, whether that be coral, sand, or rubble.
The website is simple to use and runs you through how to analyse the images before giving you some of your own to check out.
Once you’re done, you’ll see a map of the parts of the reef that you helped analyse! Neato!
You don’t need any science or marine biology background, just a burning desire to help out the Great Barrier Reef! It’s no secret the reef isn’t having a crash hot time right now, so it needs all the help it can get.
There are over 3,000 reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef, and this census is a way of filling in the gaps in scientists’ knowledge of this expansive reef system, and figuring out how different sections of the reef are reacting to the threats of climate change.
What are you waiting for? Get analysing and help out the Great Barrier Reef now!
Photos thanks to @ikatere_photography