Programs and initiatives

EPA Victoria Citizen Science program


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‘Citizen science can play its part in increasing community awareness of environmental problems’ – Bob Temple, EPA citizen scientist


Become a citizen scientist

EPA citizen scientists learn new skills, new ways of thinking about their local environment, and can meet people in their community with similar interests.

This summer we’re looking for people to help us with local knowledge and data in the following areas:

Port Phillip Bay

Help us monitor water quality at our beaches!

Take photos of stormwater drains with your phone, or complete a simple water quality test. Every piece of information helps protect our beaches, and Victorians, from the harmful effects of pollution.

Keep an eye out for Drain Detectives signs at Sandringham, Mentone, Mordialloc, Dromana and Rye beaches asking for your photos of stormwater flow. Send in your images to help us understand when stormwater drains are flowing.

Want to get more involved? Register your interest at epa.vic.gov.au/DrainDetectives with your name and preferred beach. We'll keep you updated about water quality testing training sessions and other ways to get involved.

Find out more about Drain Detectives on the Yarra and Bay website.

Latrobe Valley

Help us track the movement of dust around the Latrobe Valley.

Knowing how dust moves around the Valley will help us manage dust as best we can and protect people’s health.

Record when your home is impacted by dust to help us understand trends in the area. We’ll use your observations, weather conditions and air quality samples taken by trained volunteers to study the impact dust is having on residents of the Latrobe Valley.

Our team of community members designed the study to answer the questions: “Where is the dust at my home coming from? And how is it affecting the air inside my home?”

Have you experienced a dusty day at your home in the Latrobe Valley? Keep track of dust observations using this form.

Let us know if you would like to become a trained volunteer and use equipment to monitor dust at your home by registering below to join our citizen scientists.

What is citizen science?

Citizen science involves volunteers from the community being part of scientific projects. This involvement can include the co-design of projects, data collection and the interpretation of data.

Citizen science creates a two-way working relationship between EPA and the Victorian community and promotes a shared understanding of important environmental issues. Through citizen science, community members are empowered to be involved in scientific projects traditionally limited to trained scientists.

Aims of EPA’s citizen science projects

 The aims of EPA’s current and future citizen science projects are to:

  • deliver high quality applied science outcomes for Victorians
  • empower community to a play a meaningful role in environmental science and decision making
  • foster innovative science through new technology and new approaches to tackling environmental issues by partnering with community.

Meet our citizen scientists

Established in 2014, EPA's Citizen Science program has engaged with over 100 citizen scientists across a range of projects. Our citizen scientists provide EPA and the Victorian community with important scientific information.

Meet some of EPA's citizen scientists.

Contact us

For more information on current or future citizen science opportunities, please email the Citizen Science Program Coordinator on contact@epa.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated on 20 Sep 2019