How do I get my school involved?
You can enter your class as a school group – you just need an adult to register for Explore the Seafloor, and you also need parental approval for the students to participate.
Once you have this, just sign up and register as a school group with an email address and a password. Students will use these to login and participate. Any number of students can take part at once, and while they work individually, their work will count towards a collective score.
Once your group has completed 50 photos you’ll be sent an email asking if you’d like to enter the competition to win a schools prize. Simplly follow the directions on how to enter – you’ll need your contact details and an answer to the question: – “What is good about doing citizen science at school.”
How do I enter the competition to win an underwater camera?
Register for Explore the Seafloor and identify 10 images and you’ll be asked if you’d like to enter the competition. All you need to do then is complete the entry form. For more information see the competition page.
I don’t know how to do the identifying
Identifying urchins and kelp in the images is not difficult, but it’s important to get it right. That’s why we’ve included a tutorial as part of the signup process. You’ll need to go through the tutorial before you can actively start identifying images.
If you need to refresh your skills you can watch the tutorial again at any time – just look for the link in the bottom right hand corner of the identifying tool.
Do I need to be a scientist to take part?
Definitely not – Explore the Seafloor is aimed at people of all ages, regardless of their experience with science. You just need to want to volunteer your time.
Can people from outside Australia participate?
Anyone in the whole world can help identify the images. Unfortunately the competition to win an underwater camera, and the schools competition are only open to Australian residents.
What do I do if I have a technical question?
If you can’t find the answer on the site you can use the contact us form to send us an email.
How will I find out the results of our work?
What do I do if I submit a photo and realise I’ve made an error?
Don’t worry if it’s only a minor error - the scientists have methods to validate the data that should eliminate small identification errors.
If you make a substantial error - say you realise you’ve been doing the identifying wrong for 10 photos – then you can let us know via the contact us form. Please include a contact email address.
Kelp – one of the points on the kelp photos is only partly over kelp. What do I do?
You should mark all points that lie on kelp, even if they are only partially over kelp. If in doubt, mark the point as kelp.
The seafloor image is really dark. I can’t see clearly what’s in it. What should I do?
Many of the seafloor photos are dark. The urchin images are generally taken at night as that is when sea urchins come out to feed.
If you can’t make out what’s in the image then you shouldn’t mark it.
However, if you can see what looks like a sea urchin – they have that distinctive black, spikey shape – then you should mark it even if you can’t be sure.
Similarly with kelp – if you can see what looks like kelp then you should mark any points that sit on it, even if you can’t be completely sure that it’s kelp.
Sea urchins – how can I tell different ones apart?
The sea urchin you’re most likely to see if Centrostephanus rogersii and it has a distinctive black spikey look.
Identifying other urchins may be difficult, but if they look like an urchin but lack the black, spikey shape then you can mark them as a non-Centrostephanus urchin. You don’t have to identify what species they are.
Again, even if you’re in doubt you should mark it as an urchin.
Sea urchins – what do I do if they’re in a crevice?
Sea urchins love to hide and sometimes you’ll see them tucked into a crevice on a seafloor image. Even if you just see a hint of an urchin you should mark it as one.
Sea urchins – does my mark have to be right in the centre of the urchin?
No, as long as it falls somewhere on the urchin it will be fine.