An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

Champions take on trails around Australia

Perth ClimateWatch Champions

Perth ClimateWatch Champions, Photo by Rich Weatherill


When you feel climate change is so big and you don't know what you can do, a ClimateWatch Champion in your workplace can help you take action. Participants from the Bureau of Meterology, Leighton Contractors, NAB and Rio Tinto explored ClimateWatch trails in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth as part of an Autumn ClimateWatch Champions series.


After a short introduction to the science and technology behind ClimateWatch, participants got involved in data collection  using a pre-release version of the new iPhone app. Once confident with identifying species and recording observations the new champions broke into small groups to set a data collection goal before exploring ClimateWatch trails at RBG Melbourne, North Head in Sydney, Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mount Coot-Tha and Bibra Lake in Perth.


Jenny Major a new champion from Rio Tinto in Perth said "After attending the ClimateWatch training day I have a greater awareness about possible influences climate change is having on local species I know so well, something I hadn’t really considered previously. There are several breeding pairs of Rainbow Bee-eaters that visit the lake near my house each season. Now that I am aware of the ClimateWatch program it will be interesting to see if I do notice changes in the timing of their arrival each season"


  Alina points out a bird. Photo by Rich Weatherill


Alina Christophorou from Leighton Contractors in Brisbane said, "I enjoyed being able to use to iphone app to identify types of birds. It was useful because it gave you information about the physical and behavioural characteristics of the species; it even had a recording of the bird’s song."


Inspired by their experience, the last task for our champions involved brainstorming strategies on how to make ClimateWatch part of theirs, as well as their colleagues and community's everyday lives.


  Working together to capture ideas in action planning. Photo by Rich Weatherill


"I plan to make a habit of participating in ClimateWatch in my local area at least once a month, and also to use it when I go on trips to new places. I’ve also told alot of people about my ClimateWatch experience, and will continue to share this knowledge so others who are interested can get involved too." said Alina.


The influence that the ClimateWatch champions have is already being felt with news stories reaching across Western Australia through the Rio Tinto Iron Ore update, as well as new trails being developed for World Environment Day and new participants requesting access to test the iPhone app.


Inspired by her experience, Jenny concluded, "After participating in the ClimateWatch day I appreciate the efforts Earthwatch have taken to develop a community approach towards data collection. I believe gaining the support and involvement of the community is the only way to successfully influence policy and drive change."


Contact us to discuss how you can become a champion today!