An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

For Educators

12 September 2019

ClimateWatch is an authentic learning experience that can be incorporated into secondary and tertiary school subjects, school ground explorations, field excursions, camps, or a long-term learning and phenology-monitoring activity. Taking part in citizen science that monitors and records plant and animal behaviour is naturally aligned to the Science stream of the national curriculum. ClimateWatch is also a great way to build student capacity in critical and creative thinking, numeracy and ITC skills.

ClimateWatch in Parks initiative

In partnership with Parks Victoria, Earthwatch is connecting schools and community groups to ClimateWatch trails in regional Victorian communities, and providing training to monitor local ClimateWatch plants and animals for seasonal changes. ClimateWatch in Parks essentially connects schools, rangers and community groups to a real-world climate change study monitoring species movements and phenology - the "fingerprints of climate change".

It's free to get involved in the ClimateWatch in Parks program. Find out more here


Field recording sheets for school groups

The free ClimateWatch app allows indicator species sightings and photos to be submitted while anywhere in Australia. Records can also be submitted through the ClimateWatch website where photos can be manually uploaded. For those without smart-devices, we have updated the survey sheets below to help undertake ClimateWatch activities.

Some things to remember:

  • Familiarise yourself with species content via .
  • ClimateWatch trails have their own recording sheets you may wish to use instead of the app or survey sheets.
  • A computer session can be scheduled after the field activity to enter the data into the ClimateWatch website.
  • Photos help validate records for scientific use. If you are unable to submit a good quality photo, you can add additional comments to your sighting. If you do not have a photo of the species you can download and submit the 'no image' place-hold below.

Click on the field sheet below to reach all survey sheets (marine, mammals, birds, plants etc. and print what you need. Tip: laminate the sheets to use them repeatedly.


ClimateWatch recording sheets for schools:

CW survey sheets










'no image' place-hold: 

cw no image





03 May 2018

Earthwatch Australia's ClimateWatch program has partnered with Cool Australia to build lessons in the areas of mathematics, geography, and science. The lessons focus on phenology, climate change and citizen science and are all linked to the Australian Curriculum and syllabus. Reach their links below!

Years 9 & 10 ClimateWatch lessons







Unit: Citizen Science - Geography - Years 9 & 10

In this unit, students work with current species case studies and ClimateWatch data to create real change in their local environment.


Unit: Citizen Science - Science - Years 7 & 8 

In this unit students use the ClimateWatch app and website to explore relationships between biodiversity and climate change, and investigate the ways that citizen scientists can contribute to the scientific work on these issues.


Unit: Citizen Science - Geography and Science - Years 7 & 8 

In this unit students work to create a school biodiversity trail inspired by the ClimateWatch Trails. The aim of this unit is to create a school biodiversity trail that can be used by students at your school, both now and in the future. There is considerable work in creating this trail and all the information required to participate in biodiversity surveys along the trail: this could be completed as a term-long project. Once the trail is established and supporting materials have been created, students could complete Lesson 1 and participate in a single biodiversity survey along the trail which could be completed in the course of one lesson.


Unit: Citizen Science - Maths - Years 7 & 8

In this unit students use the ClimateWatch app and website to explore how mathematical skills underpin the study of biodiversity and climate change. Students use data from ClimateWatch to analyse and communicate real-world trends to an audience of their peers.




Cool Australia

Cool Australia is a non-for-profit organisation that provides award winning curriculum resources about sustainability. Cool Australia has a range of free access teaching resources to support classroom learning. Simply register on their website, and browse through the huge collection of lesson plans.


Secondary school lessons developed around ClimateWatch by Penny Musgrove, Environmental Education Officer, City of Melville are listed here


We'd love your feedback to help us improve our free citizen science lessons. Provide your comments here