Academics v birdwatchers

To: "'Carl Clifford'" <>, "'michael norris'" <>
Subject: Academics v birdwatchers
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 15:39:44 +1100
In answer to your question and also in an exercise in depressed modesty,
I put forward the work that Canberra Ornithologists Group have done
since 1981 in our Garden Bird Survey and my books on it "Canberra Birds:
A Report on the first 21 years of the Garden Bird Survey" as something
equivalent of, say, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its citizen
science programs. Indeed ours is rather better because of the level of
detail it achieves, even though of small geographic scope. I also point
out that the same survey could be done by any large group of bird
interested people in any city anywhere in Australia (results need to be
kept separate for analysis for each city). It does need a minimum of at
least about 50 sites surveyed per city for most weeks every year to be
useful though. The method has been worked out, the computer systems have
been developed. The only "people to blame" for this not happening are
the people who are not doing it. 

Philip Veerman
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah  ACT  2902
02 - 62314041

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Carl Clifford
Sent: Friday, 5 March 2010 7:31 PM
To: michael norris
Cc: Birding Aus
Subject: Academics v birdwatchers

I agree Michael. Where is the Australian equivalent of, say, the  
Cornell Lab of Ornithology and its citizen science programs? Our  
educational institutions seem to be far more interested in milking the  
foreign student cow than instituting any thing like citizen science  
programs. No wonder Australia doesn't produce enough graduates in  
"hard' Degrees.


Carl Clifford

On 05/03/2010, at 6:40 PM, michael norris wrote:

Hi Russell and all

With very great respect that misses the point that amateurs have a lot  
to offer (as you do in your way).

Citizen science is highly respected across the globe but it seems that  
we in Australia are supposed to leave it to the experts.

Challenge a Council Plan and you may be asked what authority there is  
for the bird data.

And how many Councils encourage citizen science in their search for  
evidence-based policies?

We birdos need encouragement - not barriers - to contributing to policy.

Michael Norris


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