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Citizen scientists now have a new tool

Budding climate scientists and beachgoers can now help monitor sea level rise in Dunedin after new ‘CoastSnap’ monitoring areas were installed.

Dunedin City Council and the University of Otago School of Geography have installed phone stands at Lawyers Head and St Clair where people can place their phone and take a picture using the app CoastSnap.

Photos would be automatically uploaded, allowing the council and scientists to monitor changes to the coast over time.

School of Geography associate professor Wayne Stephenson said it was a great opportunity for the community to connect with science and contribute to it themselves.

“CoastSnap sites are now found in over 30 countries and have become popular with communities to engage in citizen science and monitor changing beaches in response to storms and sea level rise” , said Professor Stephenson.

Dunedin City Council’s chief executive for infrastructure services and development, Simon Drew, said the data collected would inform council of options that could be taken to manage coastal challenges.

Mr Drew said further monitoring work was underway as part of the council’s coastal plan adopted earlier this year.

“These models will help inform our approach to managing short-term erosion risk, as well as our understanding of longer-term coastal processes,” he said.

The council expected to complete a new survey in six months, which would give it a better idea of ​​developments on the coast, he said.

Staff reporter