An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

ClimateWatch Upgrade and Scheduled System Downtime: 2 Jan 2018

21 December 2017


Dear ClimateWatchers,

We're excited that the ClimateWatch program has been a recipient of a Citizen Science Grant through the Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia Science Engagement Program, as well as  a recipient of generous support from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.

Focusing on encouraging community participation in science and technology, this funding allows us to make much needed improvements to the ClimateWatch website and apps, develop free climate change related curriculum for secondary schools and improve the user experience for our citizen scientists across Australia.

Over the years, Earthwatch has been gathering feedback from both ClimateWatch users and its Science Advisory Panel. All the feedback and expertise we’ve received has provided valuable information on how we can improve our program – thank you for your valuable insights!


What changes are happening in the redevelopment of ClimateWatch?

-          Improved ClimateWatch mobile app

-          Improved ClimateWatch website

-          New educational resources for teaching climate change in secondary schools

-          A more focused species monitoring list of 105 species

-          New ClimateWatch trails across Australia

-          Improved user engagement with ClimateWatch data, including cutting edge species distribution maps


When will these changes occur?

Our aim is to deliver the new app and website to all ClimateWatchers early in the New Year! Curriculum resources and new species distribution maps will be made available on our website during the first half of 2018.


What will ClimateWatch users need to do?

To upgrade the website and app, a scheduled downtime will take place on the 2nd of January 2018, 01:00am until midnight that night. We kindly ask that no new sightings are submitted to the ClimateWatch website and app on this day and until users receive confirmation that the upgrade is complete. You may wish to keep a hard-copy of any observations and submit them to ClimateWatch after the 2nd of January. Any sightings submitted during the downtime period will not be saved on the ClimateWatch database.


Which species will continue to be monitored by ClimateWatch?

Upon assessment of data submitted to ClimateWatch since 2009 and advice sought from our Science Advisory Panel, ClimateWatch will continue to monitor 105 of the original 185 species in 2018. Revisions to the ClimateWatch species list were made due to a low numbers of sightings for certain species, as well as a high number of incorrect sightings for others.   Since the program’s inception in 2009, ClimateWatch has collected over 100,000 records by over 23,000 ClimateWatch users. This is an amazing feat that demonstrates the capacity of citizen science to collect vital scientific data at scale - well done and thank you to all users on your contributions! We look forward to continuing this national-scale phenology program on a more focused species list. All your historical sightings will still be available for viewing under your ClimateWatch account.

We will update all our ClimateWatchers on the new app and website over the coming weeks!


For now, if you have any questions or would like to provide ClimateWatch any feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us at