Coastal Walkabout is an open access, dynamic, citizen science initiative which utilises smart phone technology and social media to engage and motivate local communities to gather scientific observations within the coastal, estuarine and near-shore environments. The approach seeks to integrate structured and unstructured survey data to leverage citizen, community, government and science engagement. The project is enabling data transfer amongst organisations regionally, nationally and internationally.
Coastal Walkabout is part of an overall vision which seeks to build a consortium-based fully Open Access citizen science network across Western Australia (and beyond) through the development of open philosophy, novel database technology and strong social engagement platforms. The vision includes a scalable Western Australian Citizen Hub consisting of three themes: coastal and near shore environments (“Coastal Walkabout”); terrestrial environments; and a school engagement theme (“Budding Scientists”).
The philosophy behind Coastal Walkabout was conceived through collaborative discussions between Marine Ventures Foundation (USA), the Marine Conservation Ecology group at Duke University (USA) and the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit. This APP was developed by GAIA Resources with input from Duke University, Marine Ventures Foundation and Murdoch University. The development of the APP was made possible through grants from Lotterywest and Murdoch University.