- Charles Sturt University will host a free workshop on Thursday 5 May which will outline a community participation science project
- The project is aimed at schools and community groups and will explore the creeks and rivers of the NSW MidCoast region
Schools and community groups are invited to attend a free workshop on Thursday 5 May 2022 that will outline a science project they can participate in, which will investigate the aquatic biodiversity in creeks and rivers of the NSW MidCoast.
The project is a collaboration between Charles Sturt University, MidCoast Council, the University of Canberra, the Manning River Turtle Group, and the auspicing body Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services.
It will be funded through one of thirty-five National Science Week grants offered by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.
Following the workshop, each participant organisation will undertake their own eDNA sampling in a creek or river of interest and submit their samples for analysis. All participants will join a free webinar during National Science Week (Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 August) to learn of the results of their investigations.
Using new eDNA technologies, the project will explore the biodiversity and distribution of animals in MidCoast waterways, including the Endemic Platypus, Australian Bass, and the threatened Manning River Turtle.
Lecturer and Early Career Researcher in Environmental Science at the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences Dr Jessica Tout-Lyon played a critical role in designing the project and securing the grant. Dr Tout-Lyon will also deliver the work associated with the project.
“This project allows me to share my passion for science and the environment with school students and people from a range of ages and backgrounds,” Dr Tout-Lyon said.
“It will encourage knowledge-gathering and stimulate a conversation about science participation, the environment, and the value of healthy natural areas.”
Ms Clare Rourke from the Manning River Turtle Group said environmental DNA (or eDNA) sampling is an innovative scientific technique.
“It allows participants to engage in scientific field sampling and to learn about biodiversity.
“On Thursday 5 May, we will hold a field-based workshop where participants will learn about eDNA sampling and how it is used. There will be talks on local wildlife and participants will be given a kit to conduct their own sampling in a local creek or waterway of special interest to them,” Ms Rourke said.
MidCoast Council’s Manager Natural Systems Mr Gerard Tuckerman said, “The project forms part of Council’s effort to protect and improve the health and function of local catchments and waterways.
“We are pleased to be part of this positive event, so we encourage schools and community organisations to get in touch if they are interested in participating.”
This is a free event and participants are encouraged to call MidCoast Council on (02) 7955 7777 to express their interest in attending.
Please note, places are limited and the deadline to express your interest is Wednesday 20 April.