FAQs

Got a question?
Check out our FAQs.

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 to download the free app and register. Once registered there are lots of ways you can contribute, including helping us to spread the word and collecting samples.

How does MicroBlitz and DNA sequencing work?

We’re all familiar with ‘DNA sequencing’ being used as a tool for tracking down criminals, but here at MicroBlitz we use DNA sequencing to determine the vast numbers and variations of microbes living in soils across WA.

 Does it cost anything to become a MicroBlitzer?

Not a cent. Registering to become a MicroBlitzer is quick, easy and completely free. Download the FREE MicroBlitz app.

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. Some areas of WA have already been sampled intensively, so we are looking for samples to be collected from new areas. Check the WA Microbe Map to determine areas where we still need samples collected from.

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 at least 100km between samples. Remember to check the WA Microbe Map to find a suitable area to sample and try to take samples that are representative of the different landscapes around you (bush, grassland, forest, desert etc).

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.

How long is the MicroBlitz project running for?

We expect that Phase 2 of the project will be completed by mid 2019 and once we’ve established our baseline map, we’ll be able to use it as a point of reference for decades to come. The WA Microbe Map 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. The project’s legacy will last forever.

How can I get my organisation involved?

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

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.