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  • Writer's pictureMagnetic Community News

Be inspired to be a reef community scientist

We all dream of being a marine biologist or dolphin trainer for a day. And the good news is your chances of a dream come true will be increased by participating in Reef Blitz, a community (citizen) science event between 1 and 8 June 2024

Students, beach walkers, snorkelers, SCUBA divers, fishers and conservationists are invited to observe marine species and take photos using the app iNaturalist.

Adj Prof Adam Smith said it is easy and fun and urged people to get involved in the 2024 ReefBlitz community event to find and record wild species, both in and out of the water, at locations from Torres Strait to Bundaberg.

“Community science initiatives such as this are a great way for encouraging local and global communities to learn, be inspired and get involved in understanding, monitoring and ultimately protecting their local reef environment,” he said.

“We collaborate with local schools, scientists, tourism, fishers, conservation, indigenous and government to conduct surveys of marine species from the shoreline to the deep reefs”.

James Cook University student Jacinta Jefferies has added over 200 observations of 120 species of fish and corals to iNaturalist and is a co-author of several field guides, said “I can’t wait and am hoping to photograph some sharks and rays. Reef Blitz is a great opportunity to learn about marine life, you just need a camera or a GoPro or a smartphone. Once you start using INaturalist, every snorkeling/scuba diving session becomes a chance to learning a bit more about what you catch or see underwater and share knowledge with community and reef managers."

You can iNaturalist anywhere at any time. But ReefBlitz is special and limited to observations between 1 and 8 June each year. To encourage participation the organisers have collaborated with Townsville business to facilitate events at Magnetic Island, John Brewer Reef and Yongala shipwreck.

“Take up the challenge and become a citizen scientist for the day as part of ReefBlitz. Perhaps you will photograph and record a new species for your area or for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area”.

Visit for more information and to join the online training event at 11am on the 31 May.


29 May 11am- Online introduction and training for citizen science

3 June 9-12.15pm. Introduction to Citizen science, Geoffrey Bay, Magnetic Island with Reef Ecologic and Pleasure Divers Magnetic Island

4 June 7:30-5pm Fish masterclass at John Brewer Reef with Reef Ecologic and Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive

5 June 7:30-2pm Deep masterclass at Yongala Shipwreck with Reef Ecologic and Yongala Dive

8 June 8:00-4pm World Ocean Day expedition to John Brewer Reef with Museum of Underwater Art, Reef Ecologic and Sealink

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