Environment stories in Science Week

Media releases, National Science Week

The search for Australia’s next top junior weather presenter

The Great Barrier Reef is huge! How citizen scientists across Australia can help monitor its 350,000 square kilometres

Can science + business help us fight the war on waste? Melbourne

Face-to-face with Frill Collins the frill neck lizard and Frida the tawny frogmouth, Darwin

Bob Brown’s battle for the planet, from the Franklin River to Federal Parliament, Sydney

Dozens of interesting environment stories, people and events around Australia for National Science Week this August, including:

  • Bringing Queensland’s coast inland with virtual reality, Mt Isa and Longreach
  • How Indigenous knowledge can help with urban planning, saving species and fighting climate change, Canberra
  • Saving the Great Barrier Reef with super corals and mangroves, Sydney
  • Scitech, solar science and sustainable homes, Perth
  • Solar-charged kids and race cars, Hunter Valley
  • Moving climates: theatre, dance and digital art that deals with the data of disaster, Canberra.

More on these highlights below, and others at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/science-week, and on Twitter at @SciWKMedia.

Scientists and event organisers are available for interview throughout Science Week. Read on for contact details for each event, or call:

Tanya Ha: tanya@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0404 083 863
Niall Byrne: niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or 0417 131 977

More than 2,000 events are registered for National Science Week 2018, which runs until Sunday 19 August. Media kit at www.scienceinpublic.com.au, public event listings at www.scienceweek.net.au.

More on the highlights…

Presenting my local weather—national

Calling all weather cadets!

The Australian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society (AMOS) is launching a national video competition for primary and secondary students. AMOS invites school-aged children to explore their local weather and climate, and present it to camera.

Working TV weather presenters and meteorologists Nate Byrne (ABC News Breakfast) and Jane Bunn (7 News Melbourne) show how to create weather segments, including where and how to get weather information, tips on screen presentation, shooting on location, and using props.

Hop onto the competition website for resource kits about weather prediction and presentation, and tools for understanding our changing climate. Participants must film and enter their own two-minute videos to go in the running for prizes around the country.

Tuesday 3 July to Friday 31 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Melissa Lyne, melissa@amos.org.au or 0415 514 328

Virtual Reef Diver: dive into your computer screen to help scientists—national

Dive online to help the Great Barrier Reef this Science Week—and you could win a GoPro camera!

The ABC’s citizen science project Virtual Reef Diver is celebrating the International Year of the Reef, inviting people to dive through their computer screens into the Great Barrier Reef.

They will review and classify underwater images of the Reef to help scientists identify areas of sand, coral and algae to help build a better picture of coral cover. This work will allow scientists and reef managers to make critical decisions to ensure that the Reef has a future.

The project has been developed by the Queensland University of Technology, in collaboration with a host of scientific and community organisations.

Monday 6 to Friday 31 August. www.virtualreef.org.au

Several researchers, divers and science communicators are available for interviews.

Media enquiries: Suzannah Lyons suzannah@scienceinpublic.com.au, 03 9398 1416, 0409 689 543

The battle for the environment with Bob Brown—NSW

Hear from one of Australia’s leading environmentalists and former politician, Bob Brown.

As both an activist and a politician, he has a unique perspective on our environmental battles, successes and failures.

But what has been achieved by the environmental movement since its 1970s renaissance? Where should we focus our efforts to protect the planet? And how does his trademark optimism stand up to the tremendous environmental challenges that we face?

Wednesday 15 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Matt Fraser, matt@cardinalspin.com.au, 02 8065 7363 or 0401 326 007

Waste away: the future of garbage—Melbourne Museum, VIC

Rubbish or resource? EPA has gathered together a panel of experts to discuss the future of waste.

Waste has become a hot topic: China is taking less of our collected recyclable materials, plastic bag bans have come into force, there are new discussions of ‘waste to energy’, and growing stockpiles of waste in Victoria and elsewhere in Australia.

Hear from the expert panel and join in the conversation about waste opportunities and resources. Join the panel:

  • Ruby Chan—Inventor of eco-friendly compostable food containers ‘Moducware’
  • Mark Glover—Founder of Renewed Carbon, a specialist sustainable resource use consultancy
  • Barry Sullivan—Business Development Manager of Renewables Downer Utilities Australia
  • Trevor Thornton—Deakin University Lecturer focused on recycling contamination and waste management education.

Thursday 16 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Carlie Newman, events@epa.vic.gov.au or 03 8458 2655

Meet the Top End’s wildlife—Nightcliff & The Gardens—NT

Meet Frida the tawny frogmouth, Quilla the whistling kite, Sherbet the sugar glider, Frill Collins the frill neck lizard, Mr Slithers the rough-scaled python and Sodium the saltwater croc.

See the wildlife of the Top End at Bush Tales’ ‘Wildlife Workshops’ and learn about the science behind the survival of these creatures.

Meet native snakes, lizards, birds and more in these 60 minute sessions. It’s a unique opportunity to learn about the flora and fauna of Australia in a fun and engaging setting.

Friday 17 to Saturday 18 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Erin Costelloe, bushtales@outlook.com or 0421 669 058

Coral reefs: past, present and future—bringing the ocean to the outback—QLD

Coral reef science, a Netflix documentary, and virtual reality experiences will bring Queensland’s coast inland.

Communities between Mt Isa and Longreach can join in helping to save the coral reefs through the University of Queensland’s CoralWatch, the global citizen science program that monitors the health of corals across 137 countries.

Immerse yourself in coral reefs from afar through virtual reality, watch the Netflix documentary Chasing Coral, from the makers of the Emmy Award-winning Chasing Ice, and learn about what you can do to help save the world’s precious reefs.

Multiple dates and locations. Event details

Event enquiries: Monique Grol, info@coralwatch.org or 07 3365 3127

Will coral reefs survive climate change?—Ultimo, NSW

Is it too late to save the Great Barrier Reef—our national icon and one of the wonders of the world? What will warmer waters mean for shifting fish populations? What are ‘super corals’, and are they the key to saving our reefs?

In a perfect way to celebrate International Year of the Reef, join in conversation with deep sea marine ecologist Professor David Booth and marine bio-geochemist Dr Emma Camp, who is investigating what we can learn from mangroves and the impact of future climate change on coral reefs.

The UTS Science in Focus event will explore whether or not coral reefs can survive climate change, and will be followed by audience Q & A.

Wednesday 15 August. Event details

Media contacts: Rebecca Gallegos, Rebecca.Gallegos@uts.edu.au, or 02 9514 827

David Booth, Emma Camp and marine biologist David Suggett are available for interviews.

Indigenous science lessons for climate change, marine management, urban planning and saving threatened species—Questacon, ACT

Collecting animal tracks to measure species’ distribution, starting a world-renowned dance troupe to promote awareness about Aboriginal culture and tradition, and making the first seasonal calendar for the Kimberley: these are just three of the many things this panel of speakers has done.

Come and meet the advisors to the National Environmental Science Program for conversation about approaches to incorporating Indigenous knowledge and values into climate science, biodiversity, threatened species recovery, urban planning, land use, and freshwater and marine ecology.

Wednesday 15 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Cathy Oke, cathy.oke@unimelb.edu.au or 03 8344 7727

Moving climates—Braddon, ACT

The life of a climate scientist—how does it feel to spend your working life dealing with the data of disaster; how does it change you; and how do others perceive you?

Come and explore the inner world of climate scientists, demonstrated through theatre, dance, music and digital art as artists respond to interviews with climate scientists.

Bringing together climate scientists, an actor, dancer, digital artist and composer, the performance is a chance to see a work in progress, give artists feedback on how the work might develop, and discuss the issues it raises.

Friday 17 to Sunday 19 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Robin Davidson, robin@rebustheatre.com or 0415 464 202

‘Science in Practice’ at the Hunter Valley electric vehicle festival—NSW

Renewable energy meets race cars as solar-powered students compete for the Mini EV Prize. School-aged students will build mini solar cars from kits, adding design features to their cars to compete in a race on either a straight track or an oval track.

After the solar-powered races have finished, chat with University of Newcastle science faculty staff, discover soil sampling, geological displays, visualisations of the science behind home-made solar cells, magnetic high-speed trains and earthquake simulation machines.

Faculty scientists will give short talks on topics including paint-on energy, data science, microbial beasts, yeasts and ancient reefs, wildlife restoration, quantum mechanics and nanomaterials, and more.

Saturday 18 August. Event details

Event enquiries: Latha Lewis, Latha.Lewis@newcastle.edu.au, 02 4985 4169 or 0404 171 208

Change makers: climate science and adaptation—Perth, WA

Sustainability science gets practical. Change Makers engages people in Perth with the science of Australia’s serious environmental challenges and how they can get involved with the solutions. It’s a series of 20 free informative and empowering community workshops and presentations.

Proposed workshops and presentations include verge gardening and urban agriculture with high-profile gardeners, water-wise and future-proof gardening, residential renewable energy now and in the future, food sustainability and security, and a climate science seminar.

The events will be held in libraries, cafes, community gardens and other venues across Perth, all delivered by Switch Your Thinking.

Mutiple dates and locations. Event details

Scitech, solar science and sustainable homes: expo on the Canning—Wilson, WA

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Celebration of Science Community Expo, held on the banks of Canning River.

This year’s event features Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne talking about ‘Josh’s House’—the eco-living and housing research lab he calls home. The program has more than 40 activities, including rock bands, solar science, Scitech shows, native animal encounters, Aboriginal presenters, waste as a resource, bug science, a recycled wood workshop, native plant give-aways, interactive displays, hands-on demonstrations, presentations and an open speakers forum.

Sunday 19 August. Event details

Media enquiries: Amy Krupa, info@aaeewa.org.au or 040747054