Sunshine Coast Underwater Forest Restoration Project
Thursday 8th June
In the 2019-20 fire season, over 10 million hectares of forest burnt and over 2000 homes were destroyed. The cost to Australia was estimated to run into the billions and has had a devastating impact on the agriculture, forestry and tourism industries.
There are very limited resources currently available to support accurate prediction and effective response to large-scale fire events. For bushfire researchers, it is very difficult to collect continuous data on the susceptibility of forests to fire across Australia.
This citizen science project involves the design and development of NOBURN, which stands for ‘National Bushfire Resilience Network’. NOBURN is a data-collection tool to capture evidence of fire-susceptibility of our forests by citizen scientists, hikers, foresters, schools and the community and provides information on the flammability of forests based on their structure, quantity, density and dryness of forest fuels. As a result of data and images recorded through the app by its users and citizen scientists, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will predict the probability, severity and burn area of potential bushfires by finding patterns between forest fuels, satellite images, elevation and weather data based on historic fire events.
Every day of the year across the country, people are in the forest for work, recreation, or just live there. And so, it is of the greatest benefit to those people to protect their environment and warn them in case catastrophic bushfires would occur. NOBURN will do exactly that and assist with national disaster resilience, preparedness and response to bushfires.
NOBURN will be launched in 2022 – Participation will be open to all Australian residents. The Research Team at the University of the Sunshine Coast encourages the engagement of Citizen Scientists in the design, development, testing and implementation of the NOBURN app, which they will use to collect data throughout the life of the project. Once developed, participants can download the NOBURN app and use it during their next forest visit to assist the Research Team with the collection of data. All instructions will be provided in the app.
The University of the Sunshine Coast’s NOBURN and MIE Lab teams are partnering up with the Noosa Shire Council and the Noosa & District Landcare to engage community into exciting citizen science research on bushfires.
For more information Contact Mandy Finch