Got a question?
Check out our FAQs.

The great thing about MicroBlitz is that it's science that everyone can do. That's why it's called citizen science. You don't need to be a 'science geek', or even have a white lab coat. We'll give you all the information and equipment you need.

If you have a question, chances are you'll find the answer below, or elsewhere on our website. But if you get stuck, don't be shy – feel free to get in touch.

What is citizen science?

Citizen science is a way for everyone – young and old – to contribute to vital scientific research. A citizen scientist is essentially a volunteer, enabling science projects to super-size their research and expedite breakthroughs that have the potential to help everyone. That’s what MicroBlitz and other citizen science projects are all about – working together as a community for the greater good.

Do I need any scientific knowledge to become a MicroBlitz citizen scientist?

Not at all. All you really need is the free sampling kit we send you, which comes complete with step-by-step instructions on how to use the equipment. You’ll receive your kit once you’ve registered to become a MicroBlitzer.

Does it cost anything to become a MicroBlitzer?

Not a cent. Registering to become a MicroBlitz citizen scientist is quick, easy and completely free. We even take care of return postage for your sample.

Does it take long to take a soil sample?

Once you’ve found your sampling site, you’ll need about ten minutes to take the soil sample. Take a look at our step-by-step guide to taking a soil sample. It’s easy.

Where should I take a soil sample?

Good question. We’re looking to create a microbial DNA map of Western Australia – that’s a big map – so we’re going to need lots of samples from all over the state. You could take your soil sample by the side of the road, in a nearby park, in the bush or even in the desert. Try to take a sample that is representative of the landscape around you. Find out more about how to take a sample.

Are there places where I shouldn’t take a sample?

We really appreciate your help and certainly don’t want to waste your time, which is why we’ve created an interactive map that enables you to see where other citizen scientists have already taken samples. If in doubt, get in touch and check with our team.

I’ve ordered a number of sampling kits
so I can take several samples.
How far apart should I take the samples?

If you’re taking multiple samples while you’re on a road trip or holiday, we suggest leaving 100km between samples. Try to take samples that are representative of the different landscapes around you (bush, grassland, forest, desert etc).

I don’t have GPS or SAT NAV, so I can’t give you the map coordinates for my sample site.

No worries. If you don’t have a smartphone with GPS or SAT NAV, there are other ways to tell us about your location. If you know the rough location of your sample site and have internet access, you can get your coordinates from an online map. Alternatively, simply provide a description of your location in relation to a town, road junction or landmark (e.g 10 kilometres south-east of Kalgoorlie). Read more about taking a sample.

How long is the MicroBlitz project running for?

MicroBlitz will run for three years, but the project’s legacy will last forever. Once we’ve established our baseline map, we’ll be able to use it as a point of reference for decades to come – it will enable scientists to assess the environment and how farming and industry is affecting it, as well as formulate solutions and strategies to protect the environment. Learn more about our research and why it’s important.

How can I get my organisation involved?

There are lots of ways for organisations to support us. Find out more about our partners, sponsors and citizen science connections, or get in touch to discuss the opportunities for partnership.

Can I support MicroBlitz with a donation?

Absolutely - making a donation is a great way to make a real difference. All funds directly support our work on the frontline, caring for the environment. Here's how to make a secure, tax-deductible donation.

Help! I can’t find the answer to my question here.

Don’t fret – our team at UWA in Perth is here to help. If you need some information or advice, get in touch.

     
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