What is project finder?

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The ALA Citizen Science Project Finder

A place to discover the wide variety of ecological monitoring and systematic science projects in Australia.

What existing projects interest you?

This project finder includes Australian-based biodiversity related projects of all different scales and themes as well as projects which cover regional and global geographic scope. Some of these projects are directly supported by ALA infrastructure and others use their own, but all can use the Project Finder to promote and connect people with their projects.

You can:

  • search for projects in your local area or in places that you might be planning to travel to.

  • search for projects related to a particular subject or theme, projects which are suitable for children, or
    projects which require no or lots of experience.

There are many ways to find and get involved in projects which interest you.

Are you planning a new project or already running one?

If you are planning to run a new project or have already started one and it is not in the Finder yet, you can easily add your project to the Finder. This will help you to promote your project and get people involved in it.

When you add your project to the Project Finder you can choose to use the ALA BioCollect system to collect data for your project, or you can simply register your project if you have your own database for collecting your project data.

This Project Finder is also linked to other international project finders to make it easy for you to find everything relevant in your area of interest and to ensure that your project gets maximum exposure to connect with citizen scientists globally.

Click here to learn how to use the Project Finder or to learn more about adding your project and using the powerful BioCollect tool.

Are you sharing your data?

If you are using your own database and are not yet contributing your data into the ALA, we would be keen to discuss with you the benefits of sharing your data to enhance scientific knowledge - contact our data team at data_management@ala.org.au.

The Atlas of Living Australia

Supporting citizen science to advance biodiversity knowledge and scientific investigation.

Please contact us at biocollect-support@ala.org.au to find out more.

Overview of the BioCollect system

The BioCollect system has been developed by the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) to support communities and organisations in capturing and managing field-based data at source and to facilitate the smooth flow of standardised biodiversity and other environmental data into the ALA and other major data aggregation repositories where it can be readily accessed and used to better understand our natural assets, as well as to improve planning, management and protection of them into the future.

BioCollect supports both “event-based” (conventional survey/monitoring), as well as “activity-based” styles of data recording. The activity-based model is essentially a project management approach to collecting and managing data and the system can be used as a project management tool for these kinds of projects. In activity-based projects, you build a chronologically arranged schedule of associated actions aimed at achieving a planned outcome and then record data for each activity as the plan is implemented.

The “project finder” feature of BioCollect is essentially a comprehensive searchable catalogue of projects providing direct access and linkages to all associated project materials and resources on all kinds of internet accessible external platforms. Projects registered in the project finder can be set up either to use the full data collection features of BioCollect or to just appear as a project in the catalogue. Even the later can still make use of the Blog and attached documents and resources features to further enhance the presence of their projects. You can also easily switch between the two options.

BioCollect can be used as a cloud-based data collection and management system in it’s own right, but importantly it can also be used in other ways such as: providing a database back-end to external web-apps and mobile platforms; or consolidating and mobilising historical datasets on a standardised data schema.

One of the aims of the BioCollect system is to provide a single point of access for all information about a project, regardless of whether BioCollect is being used to collect and manage the project data, or not. This includes: project support materials; communication materials and blog posts; links to mobile apps in any app store; links to external resources such as organisation and project websites, social media channels, etc.; survey forms; project data; and links to project contacts. It can also be your data collection and management system.

Both project and survey level descriptive information and collected data aligns with existing and developing standards as much as possible. The system is also linked to other major project finders around the world allowing your project to be discovered globally as well as for you to be able to easily discover and access other people’s projects happening anywhere in the world.

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