CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: Lady Musgrave Experience recently selected the next round of reef keepers to participate in this year's program.
CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: Lady Musgrave Experience recently selected the next round of reef keepers to participate in this year's program.

Citizen scientists keeping the reef clean

REEF lovers across the region have been selected to participate in a unique, engagement and conservation program.

Lady Musgrave Experience first started the Reef Keeper Program last year with the purpose of monitoring the reef and educating the community about the importance of conservation.

PASSION FOR THE REEF: Lady Musgrave Experience marine biologist and Great Barrier Reef master reef guide Natalie Lobartolo.
PASSION FOR THE REEF: Lady Musgrave Experience marine biologist and Great Barrier Reef master reef guide Natalie Lobartolo.

Marine biologist for the Lady Musgrave Experience Natalie Lobartolo said while applications for this year’s program had closed, expressions of interest can continue being submitted for future rounds.

“For the past year, we’ve been running community engagement projects for reef conservation and the Reef Keepers is one of our activities that has had some great impact for both the community and the reef,” Ms Lobartolo said.

“Applications for the current round are closed and we have just selected the next group of Reef Keepers for 2020 however, the applications are always open so people can apply on an ongoing basis and will be considered for future rounds.”

CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: Lady Musgrave Experience recently selected the next round of reef keepers to participate in this year's program.
CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: Lady Musgrave Experience recently selected the next round of reef keepers to participate in this year's program.

Ms Lobartolo said a background in marine biology was not essential and the program was suited to anyone with a real passion for the reef and desire to protect it.

“Lady Musgrave Reef Keepers are members of the local community who are engaged as citizen scientists,” Ms Lobartolo said.

“This involves monitoring the local reefs, in particular Lady Musgrave Island Reef, as well as sharing positive reef health messages with the community.”

PASSION FOR THE REEF: Lady Musgrave Experience marine biologist and Great Barrier Reef master reef guide Natalie Lobartolo.
PASSION FOR THE REEF: Lady Musgrave Experience marine biologist and Great Barrier Reef master reef guide Natalie Lobartolo.

Successful applicants who were recently selected for this year’s program participated in their first introduction session, which was held over Zoom to ensure social distancing guidelines were adhered to and Ms Lobartolo said it was a very successful meeting.

CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: Lady Musgrave Experience recently selected the next round of reef keepers to participate in this year's program.
CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: Lady Musgrave Experience recently selected the next round of reef keepers to participate in this year's program.

In addition to the Reef Keeper Program, Lady Musgrave also offers a Marine Biologist For a Day Experience, which all applicants are encouraged to try prior to applying for the role of a reef keeper, as it offers an introduction into the program.

The organisation is also working on developing a similar initiative for children, as the current program is only offered to people aged 18 years and older.

For more information, visit ladymusgraveexperience.com.au/reef-keeper-program.



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