What is ClimateWatch
Until ClimateWatch, Australia had no nation-wide public system monitoring biological responses to climate change. Everyday Australians have changed that.
Climate change is affecting rainfall and temperature, impacting our flora and fauna. ClimateWatch is the largest network of citizen scientists in the Southern Hemisphere monitoring exactly what changes are occurring to flowering times, breeding cycles and other periodic plant and animal life cycle events (phenology) across the continent.
30,000+ Registered Users
160,000+ Wildlife 'Spots'
179 Species Tracked
85 National ClimateWatch Trails
10+ 'Scientist for a Day' Corporate Professional Development Workshops
ClimateWatch breaks down the barriers of participation in climate action: the app is free to download, the flora and fauna easily identifiable, and data is validated for scientific accuracy and uploaded to the Atlas of Living Australia, making robust citizen science data accessible to climate change scientists.
ClimateWatch is aiming to inform and contribute to SDG 4 and SDG 13 through data and education. Our vast network of users submit sightings that are uploaded to the Atlas of Living Australia, a database that climate change researchers access to deliver evidence-led national climate change and adaptation strategies.
While governments are ultimately responsible for adapting national climate change adaptation and mitigation plans (SDG Indicator 13.2.1), the data generated through ClimateWatch generates can contribute directly to those plans.
ClimateWatch has also developed educational resources that are mapped to the Australian curriculum, to aid in mainstreaming climate change education into national teaching (SDG 4, SDG Indicator 13.3.1).
Repeated observations of plant and animal phenology provide important indicators of global change.
Trails can play an important role in directing the efforts of citizens, community groups, councils and government authorities to high conservation value areas.
The data is particularly scientifically valuable as the same individuals are regularly observed at the same locations over time. Understanding species phenology can also help in management decisions, such as identifying potentially vulnerable native species and allows for time-related prioritisation of the removal of invasive species.
Are you a council, community group or school who would like a trail in your area?
ClimateWatch provides real-world learning opportunities for students and teachers, from data collection in the field, to data analysis and interpretation back in the classroom; fostering both climate action and quality education.
- 100+ teachers trained directly
- 50+ teachers indirectly reached
- 500+ students impacted
- 18 stakeholder representatives from Friends of Groups, Environmental Education Centres, Council, Catchment Management Authorities and Parks Victoria trained
- 19 lesson plans developed for schools
Want to host a workshop with your school? Get in touch
ClimateWatch engages in science at the tertiary level, exemplified in Dr Nicola Mitchell’s use of ClimateWatch program for first-year biology students at University of Western Australia. The students learned real-world skills in how to analyze, present, interpret and publish their phenological and distributional data by publishing a scientific paper for Cygnus (online student journal). To date, UWA students have published 130 papers using ClimateWatch, testament to their discoveries and the benefits of utilizing citizen science in undergraduate education.
Furthermore, ClimateWatch has:
- 5 ClimateWatch trails on university campuses (University of Western Australia, Monash University, University of Sydney, Macquarie University, Murdoch University)
- Has mentored over 15 undergraduate students through professional placements
- Provided data to 4 Masters and PhD projects at University of Western Australia, University of South Australia, and University of Sydney.
- ‘Gardeners, walkers and citizen scientists join nature data quest’, ABC Ballarat, 2021
- ‘The smartphone app helping in the fight against climate change’, Particle Media, 2021
- Citizen scientists recording climate change, ABC Radio National, 2021
- ‘School students blaze trail in bid to help tackle climate change’, Remember the Wild, 2018
- ‘It’s Not Just Sea Levels. Here’s The Devastating Impact Climate Change Is Already Having on The Web of Life ‘, Science Alert, 2018
- University of Western Australia News, 2017
- Albury Botanic Gardens Launch, 2016
- ‘Citizen science: using the power of the masses’, Australian Geographic, 2015
- ‘Early birds: how climate change is shifting time for animals and plants’, The Conversation, 2015
- ‘Sprinter and sprummer: why Australia should scrap the four seasons’, ABC, 2014
- News piece, ABC, 2011