Queensland's Citizen Science Hub

Educational Materials Library

Dr Peter Dart and Col Lynam, members of The Royal Society of Queensland, have compiled this primer on the coal seam gas industry. Are you aware that Queensland coal seam gas is a risk to food security?

The paper includes a useful table of recent reports and media columns with hotlinks. The paper has been written exclusively for the Queensland Science Network.


Dr Pat Dale, member of The Royal Society of Queensland, has been investigating methods of mosquito control for more than 30 years. In particular, she has trialled “runnelling”, a low-impact form of habitat modification, as an alternative to spraying pesticides. In this article published in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, she and co-authors compare control methods using economic tools, notably “present value”. Discount rate can be manipulated to yield very different economic conclusions.

P Dale, J Knight & P Daniels (2018). “Using present value as a simple approach to compare mosquito larval control methods“. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 34(1): 25-33.

ABSTRACT. Simple economic-based comparisons of source reduction and larvicide treatment are generally lacking in the mosquito control literature. The aim is to address this by developing an Excel tool that calculates the total present value (PV) of control methods. We use 15 years as the time frame, but this can be varied. Total PV is calculated based on the cost of each method at the start. A 3% discount rate is applied to recurring costs, and one-off costs are included throughout because they are part of the total PV. The data are based on information provided by mosquito control agencies in southeast Queensland, Australia. Values in the tool can be simply edited to reflect specific program characteristics. The outcome for the data used showed that source reduction is an appropriate option if maintenance is minimal. When major maintenance is needed, then larviciding may be the better option, particularly if money is the main consideration. However, if the frequency of applying larvicides increases, then source reduction becomes an increasingly attractive option.

Here is a PDF of a slide presentation explaining the study (2.6MB).

Here is spreadsheet in Excel format and in pdf format  with genuine data.

The National Waterbug Blitz is Australia’s first nationwide, citizen science, waterway monitoring event. In spring each year, Australians are encouraged to discover how healthy their local waterways and wetlands are, simply by exploring and identifying what waterbugs live in them. Many schools, farmers, local residents, catchment or Landcare and other community groups, are collecting information on local waterway biodiversity through surveys of water life.

Participants usually attend a workshop or training event hosted by a local group and take water samples containing freshwater macroinvertebrates, which can include various stages of life, from dragon flies, damselfies, mayflies, caddisflies, waterbeetles and many more species that inhabit the water in creeks or waterways.

Aquatic invertebrates, though small, play a very important role in determining a waterway’s health These tiny creatures are very sensitive to changes in the waterway. Therefore, the condition of the wetland, creek or river can be easily determined by the presence or absence of these creatures. Thus in very disturbed water only very hardy species (those not sensitive to pollutants or sediment run off for example) will be present. Snails, bloodworms or backswimmers would be most commonly found.

The Waterbug App is free to download. However, it’s not just as simple as taking a photo. Participants need to have the correct resources, to collect the water samples, such as a fine mesh net, buckets and sampling materials to pick the live samples and classify them before the photo can be taken and uploaded.

It’s intense work, requiring at least two people to help as well as a safety factor whenever one is working in water. Involving adults and children to get outdoors to try hands-on activities to learn about freshwater ecosystems has to be a bonus in any science activity!

The Queensland Science Network is pleased to present otherwise not-easily-accessible seismological activity.

Seismology database

There are three files.

An introduction to the database.

The database of Queensland seismic events (6MB). Note: the database has been converted to pdf format in order to stabilise it. People such as educators who wish to extract some data from it and would prefer a Word document or Excel spreadsheet should contact the QSN Editor Mr Col Lynam on newsletter AT scienceqld.org. The Word document is 1.5MB.

List of seismographic stations and inventory of archive boxes dispatched to the State Archives.

The official Queensland Government site https://www.data.qld.gov.au/organization/environment-and-science has very sparse reference to these subjects.

Adequacy of government seismographic data collection

Geoscience Australia (GA) has a mandate to monitor for and report any earthquake event of magnitude 3.5 or greater in the immediate Australian jurisdiction. They do not actively monitor for or report on lesser events unless there is a public interest or if they declare an interest. For example, in the case of the Whitsunday earthquakes and aftershock sequence, non-government seismologists have detected and (for suitable events) located almost 1600 events ranging down to subzero magnitudes. GA has published data on a minor fraction of that number for the same area and the range of their published events does not extend less than magnitude 2. This situation is not limited to the Whitsunday area. It is demonstrable that GA is detecting and publishing data for only very small proportion of earthquake events in Queensland. This is more a reflection on the poor relationships between Australian governments and the Australian scientific community than on the scientists themselves.

The publicly funded Queensland earthquake monitoring network and reporting system is woefully inadequate to cater for the real need. The Queensland Government really has no idea where and when the vast majority of earthquake events are occurring within their jurisdiction. They are seeing only the tiny tip of the pyramid that is poking through the floor of ignorance.

Non-government seismologists have argued that seismological research would be of general benefit to the Queensland Government, Queensland industry and commerce and Queensland society in general. Knowledge of where and when small earthquake events occur is an indicator of where future larger and potentially damaging events will occur.


To be uploaded

A series of information sheets on soil properties and soil erosion by Southern Queensland Landscapes and the Queensland Department of Resources provides an excellent introduction to soil science.  Lucidly illustrated, they are suitable for mid-year to senior science students.



03 Gully erosion





08 Understanding soil colour

09 Understanding soil texture.

Australian Dr John Cook has developed a game, Cranky Uncle, to explain global warming and climate denialism. The game is promoted on the site www.skepticalscience.com as a teaching tool, for secondary and tertiary levels. The game is accompanied by a book and a Teachers’ Guide.

The website has a wealth of material on climate change and global warming. The site is tailored towards a popular audience and is authoritative.

By Jodi Rowley Curator, Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Biology, Australian Museum

Australia has 240 known species of frog, almost all of which are found nowhere else in the world. Some species are flourishing, like the Striped Marsh Frog. But others have declined dramatically since the 1980s, and four have become extinct.

Croaks, whistles, bleats and barks – every frog species makes a different sound. By recording a frog call with the FrogID app, students will discover which frogs live around them and help us count Australia’s frogs, empowering your students to be citizen scientists.

FrogID is a national citizen science project that is helping us learn more about what is happening to Australia’s frogs. All around the country, people are recording frog calls with nothing more than a smartphone.

With the data obtained through FrogID we are able to track the Cane Toad and identify where frogs are thriving and where they aren’t. And by matching calls to weather and habitat, we are learning more about how different frog species are responding to a changing environment.

Get your class and students involved in FrogID:

  1. Create account & group at FrogID.net.au
  2. Instruct students to create account & join class
  3. Download the FrogID App, Sign In & Record
  4. Check Leaderboard for Results


Forthcoming Events
8:00 am One hundred years strong: A cele... @ Queensland Museum
One hundred years strong: A cele... @ Queensland Museum
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One hundred years strong: A celebration of Queensland entomology @ Queensland Museum
We cordially invite the general public to join us for a Centenary Celebration: a day of Entomology at the Queensland Museum on Tuesday the 9th of May 2023! The full-day Symposium, titled ‘One-hundred years strong:[...]
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