Keep your favourite camera handy! Grab all the opportunities which present themselves to take photos for the Virtual Museum.
Don’t be shy to post a bad picture to the Virtual Museum. As long as we can work out what species it is, it counts as a record.
Don’t hesitate to post a picture of something which you don’t know what it is called – that’s why we have experts helping us.
Embrace the reality that contributing to the Virtual Museum is not only for serious photographers or scientifically-minded people, but for the ordinary everyday person too. Everyone can play an important role in citizen science projects.
Remember that even your backyard and the places where you work contain interesting records. So do shopping malls and airports.
Grab the opportunities that travel offers, whether you are going on holiday or on business.
If you think of yourself as only an occasional photographer, post the handful of photos which you have. They are important records and may fill serious gaps in distribution maps, in developing our knowledge of where species are found.
Hope that you discover a new species.
Make citizen science an activity for the whole family, young and old. Each member, with their varying interests, can be involved. And fun too. Take pictures on your hikes, picnics, a stroll on the beach. Everywhere you go, look carefully, there are important nuggets of information which can be submitted to citizen science projects.
Introduce someone to citizen science, by taking them with you, and showing them how easy it is to become a citizen scientist and to make a real contribution to biodiversity conservation. Recruit them and coach them into becoming active particpants in the Virtual Museum.
Become an “Ambassador for Biodiversity” – talk to people about citizen science projects and how important they are for understanding the current distributions of species.
Be a BioMAPper! Expand your horizons from being only a LepiMAPper or MammalMAPper or OdonataMAPper!
Think of yourself as a PHunter, a photographic hunter.
Work your way through your old photos, and upload all those that you think are interesting or important records to the Virtual Museum.
Prof Les Underhill has been Director of the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town since it started in 1991. Although citizen science in biology is Les’s passion, his academic background is in mathematical statistics. He was awarded his PhD in abstract multivariate analyses in 1973 at UCT and what he likes to say about his PhD is that he solved a problem that no one has ever had. He soon grasped that this was not the field to which he wanted to devote his life, so he retrained himself as an applied statistician, solving real-world problems. View all posts by Les Underhill →