Posted by: kubke | February 7, 2010

Back to School: Don’t forget popscinz!

I have started seeing the uniformed youth heading back to school, which made me think it is time to remind everyone about one of the purposes of popscinz.

The Tui project was our first experiment on Citizen Science, but at least I hope it can go a bit further than that. If you are a teacher, are still a school student, or a parent of one (or know one for that matter), take advantage of this site. The data from the Tui project is freely available for everyone to use as they like, and I would love to see schools taking advantage of all of your contributions.

Similarly, if a citizen science project seems to be a good approach for your school, please let us know and we will give you access to the site so that you can start your own project.

It was recently pointed out to me by Cameron Neylon, that, at least in the UK Universities are considered commercial institutions. I am not sure whether that is true in New Zealand, or whether that also applies to Primary and Seconday schools. If it does, then the Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA licence that this blog is under, does not extend to all educational use.

Because there has been substantial contribution from New Zealand Citizen Scientists to this site based upon the origina licencing, I think it would not be right for me to change the licence at this point in time. However, I would like to extend the licencisng of the material that “I” contribute to the site  to be freely available for any educational purposes within and outside New Zealand.

If you would like to use content provided by the public, please contact us and we will try to help you with that.

Once again, we keep looking forward to receiving your tui sightings!


  1. hi there
    i’d love to be involved in a citizen science project monitoring water quality in new zealand national parks. i’m wondering if there are simple water quality tests that regular people could do without needing crazy equipment or training. if there was data that could be collected by people when they encounter waterways in national parks, the act of sharing this data online would create profiles of our waterways in a very public forum.
    as you might have guessed i am not a scientist. but i’m totally a citizen. cheers

    • Hi Dan,
      Thanks for your interest. Citizen Science is a great way of doing water quality monitoring. The best way to go around doing something like that would be to get in touch with a scientist or group of scientists that would be able to do the water analysis and make sure that the samples are collected in a way that make the results reliable (and therefore useful!). I am not experienced with water quality tests, but as with any other measure, the better the techonology you use, the better the results. This is important, because how much you can trust a result depends on how good and precise was the method with which you measured it, and one needs to consider what are the chances of a test telling you that the quality is bad when it isn’t or telling you it is not bad when it is. I can try to dig around and see if there are any groups that would be able to help you, and they may know of a ‘home’ test that can be trusted. It is great to see ‘non cientists’ like you willing to be involved in science. I will let you know as soon as I find something more out.

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