It all began back in 2019 when Faith students Joshua Lange, Mitchell Haley and brother Samual of Kapunda Primary school participated in a National Citizen Science competition supported by Scouts Australia during Geoscience Australia Week. Representing the Southern Barossa Scouts Team the boys downloaded the GLOBE Observer App and captured 111 observation photos between them of the surrounding landcover and the sky. The quality of their data won them the national competition. As a result, the boys experienced an all-expenses-paid trip to Canberra for Geoweek 2019 where they met hundreds of international scientists. The boys also attended a gala dinner where they were presented with their awards. During the Term 1 holidays, the boys once in a lifetime experience hit new heights when they discovered their names were recently published as co-authors in a peer-reviewed academic article.
John Pring of Geoscience Australia who was an integral part of the national competition states ‘The scout citizen science team of Mitchell, Samual and Josh showed a commendable dedication to documenting the vegetation they encountered in their travels as part of the competition. Their efforts have resulted in a significant contribution to the establishment of a ground cover (vegetation) reference data set for Australia within the GLOBE Observer open-access database. This reference data will support such activities as validation of remotely sensed imagery.
The team’s dedication was acknowledged by senior scientists from internationally recognized institutions including NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) at the time of the prize conferring. Their efforts and the significance of their contribution was further acknowledged by their inclusion as contributing authors on the peer-reviewed scientific paper. Their fellow authors noted that their spread of observations, both spatially and across environments, indicated an advanced understanding of the intent of the data’s use.’ Geoscience Australia May 2021