Backyard Explorer comes to Chillagoe

North Queensland event

Queensland Museum scientists conducted innovative workshops in Chillagoe over 3 days in May 2011 dedicated to assessing local biodiversity and the effect of human impact using data from insect trapping. The workshop was funded with assistance from the Science Connections Program within the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Hand net

The Queensland Museum Backyard Explorer workshops started with a free meeting with local Traditional Owners held at Chillagoe Eco Lodge Saturday, 28th May. The purpose of the meeting was to engage with the traditional owners prior to the main event on Sunday. Gifts from the Traditional Owners of Stradbroke Island were presented to the Indigenous Elders.

Participants from teachers to property owners, interested community members, environmentalists were invited to attend a program that encouraged the region to become more involved in science. Backyard Explorer showed community groups how to complete a survey of their property, work site, even backyard, incorporating scientific examination of habitat, vegetation and wildlife using the techniques we use in our research including identifying any insect finds and interpreting the bio-health of their area.

Following the full day workshop on Sunday the QM team, presented shorter workshops to Chillagoe State School students and teachers. This was particularly timely as the school is currently forming a School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) as part of the Earth Smart Science initiative. The school is planning an Indigenous Bush Foods garden that will partner with the local indigenous community as well as the Queensland Museum.

The SCOPE funded community and school events conducted in the North achieved the objective of promoting and developing school and community links among all partners involved: Earth Smart Science (Facilitator), Science Spark (Primary Science Facilitator), Schools, Community members (e.g. Traditional Owners), local land care groups (e.g. Northern Gulf Resource Management Group) and the Queensland Museum.

Additional photographs and resources from Backyard Explorer community sessions held earlier this year can be accessed from the Queensland Museum Facebook page.

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