Speaking with the River - Citizen Science workshop program with LabX and guest artists

Are We Losing an Island? Monitoring Mangroves in the Richmond River |  Dr Deb Stokes

This free program was held on Friday 26 March 2021, 2.00pm - 4.00pm on location at Mobbs Bay, South Ballina

Coastal scientist Dr. Deb Stokes led participants on a field trip to Mobbs Bay in the Richmond River to learn how mangroves and the river are intimately linked, and how scientists record change in environments.

Scientific inquiry exists within a spatial framework, but also across a time continuum. A coastal researcher has to “see” the coast as a shifting entity across time and space.  How do they do this?  From looking below the surface at millimetre scale changes recorded in the sand or mud, to sending cameras and sensors into space to capture change at a daily, monthly or yearly scale. 

This field trip explored the slow, and not-so-slow, changes that are occurring around Mobbs Bay in the Richmond River, South Ballina. Participants experienced how drones are being used to record the evolution of a small sand island, and learn how mangroves and the river are intimately linked.

Dr Deb Stokes is  a  coastal  scientist who works to increase our understanding of the interplay between human activities and geomorphological and ecological  change within our coastal habitats. She aims to use non-invasive techniques to monitor coastal animal populations and behaviour, made easier by recent advances in drone (remotely piloted aircraft – RPA) technology. Small and medium sized drones are now an integral part of her field research toolkit.

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This project was supported by Create NSW’s Audience Development Fund, a devolved funding program administered by Museums & Galleries of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.

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