CMN Plant ID workshop and Field Walk

Photo: Flannel flower (Actinotus helianthi) by A Rodway

Photo: Flannel flower (Actinotus helianthi) by A Rodway[/caption]
Learn the skills and information you need to identify a range of common plants in this region and try out your skills on a guided field walk near Tura in Bournda National Park. See the endangered Merimbula Star-hair, Flannel flowers and many other coastal species in flower this Spring.

When: Friday 20 October, 9.00am-12.00pm

Where: Bournda National Park, North Tura

Botanist, Paul McPherson, assisted by Seedbank Coordinator, Karen Walker, will provide a practical introduction to the identification of local native plants, with an emphasis on recognising the major plant families in the field. We will look at the various tools and resources available to identify plants, including online resources and the use of botanical keys. Plant samples, printed summary sheets and hand lenses will be provided to use at the workshop. The workshop will cater to beginners and refresh the skills of those with some experience in plant identification. The field walk is 2km return on a level track.

Morning tea provided. For further information and bookings, contact Ali Rodway on 0417 246 896 or

Photo: Flannel flower (Actinotus helianthi) by A Rodway

“Wild Eye” Photocomp winners exhibition

After a great competition this year, winners have been chosen by our panel of Judges and the Exhibition of Winners will be available for you to see at Merimbula EyeQ (7  Main Street) for two weeks from 3:00pm on Saturday October 14th. Please com along and have a look as the images are awesome! Thanks to everyone who entered and to Sarah who set up the Galleries and Belinda who loaded all the entries and to Bayd who is hosting the exhibition. Do come along.

Photo Max Campbell

This Wednesday – Moths, Call playback and Spotlighting Night-time surveys

A rare opportunity to join experts to explore the creatures that come out at night.

Sooty Owl Photo David Gallan

Pigmy Possum Photo Andrew Morrison

Wednesday September 20th at 6:30 – 9:00pm. We will be running the last surveys to complete the “From Little Things” 2017 BioBlitz, with Glenn Cocking showing how to attract the moths that live just here and Elisabeth Larsen and Andrew Morrison leading the Callplayback and Spotlighting survey, to look for the mammals andother night creatures.

Moth survey Panboola Photo Harrison Warne

A seriously big moth at Panboola Photo Harrison Warne

Places are very limited, so if you are interested please email libby@atlasoflife to make sure of your place. It’s the dark of the moon and may be cold, so make sure you have sensible warm clothing(waterproofs if rain is forecast) a hat with a brim is useful and a torch, hand held or a head torch.

“Belgica” expedition – science in the ice in 1897

The Belgica Expedition 1897-1899
“a tale of extraordinary scientific achievements and of human endurance”
presented by Patrick De Deckker
Emeritus Professor, ANU

Prof. Patrick De Deckker

Can you imagine what a voyage ofdiscovery into uncharted waters of the Antarctic would have been like in 1897? and what important science was recorded then? Come to this Atlas of Life science heritage celebration and find out.

On August 9th at 2:30pm at the Tura Marang Library Professor Patrick De Deckker will share his findings on the scientific expeditionary voyage of the good ship “Belgica”. Patrick’s researches have taken him all the way back to Belgium where the expedition started. At the time, it was still unknown as to whether Antarctica was a continent and the location of the south magnetic pole was unchartered and this voyage discovered many new islands before becoming trapped in the ice for 13 months!

Belgica icebound in Antarctica

This was an amazing voyage of scientific discovery, but until recently the numerous scientific papers from the expedition have been filed away and ignored. Only now is it being realised that some of the oceanographic and meteorological investigations offer very important baseline data as we recognise that the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the places on the globe facing the largest changes and challenges due to global warming.

This presentation was very well received at it’s first showing at the Australian National Library last month. It includes many archives and photographs taken during the expedition. Last year Prof. De Deckker gave a fascinating workshop on the plankton of our coasts and we are very fortunate that he has offered to share his latest very different researches.

Everyone is welcome. Places are limited so please send you name here:



” From Little Things….” Bioblitz 2017 coming soon

This year the Atlas one day Bioblitz will be held at Merimbula Creek on September 16th, we are partnering with the “from little things” group who are establishing a community  sustainability centre behind Club Sapphire. We will be helping them create the first species list of their land and nearby reference habitats. More details coming soon…..and you might be lucky enough to see the following as we did on a reconnaissance mission !

Dr Andrew Claridge – Quolls and cameras

Join us for  a chance to learn more about the lives of the small mammals that live in our region.

Dr Andrew Claridge

Dr Andrew Claridge, will be sharing some of the exploits and insights of his research with us on June 8th at the Local Land Service offices in Bega at 2.00pm (time to be confirmed).

Young Tiger Quoll – photo David Gallan

Dr Andrew Claridge is a Senior Research Scientist with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service based in Queanbeyan. As a wildlife biologist he has worked on many different animals over the past 30 years, both in south-eastern mainland Australia and also the Pacific Northwest United States. He has a particular affection for mammals such as potoroos and bandicoots, and the carnivorous spotted-tailed quoll. His interests also extend to the interactions among forest organisms and how those interrelationships afford resilience. In the past 10 years or so Andrew has been very active in the use of infrared cameras to detect and monitor cryptic wildlife. In his upcoming presentation he will discuss the benefits this technology has brought, together with some of the challenges. Using the example of looking for quolls with cameras, Andrew will also put forward the prospect of Citizen Scientists helping with some of this work.

Pillar Quoll photo Andrew Claridge

Sentinel Quoll photo Andrew Claridge

Please let us know if you can join us.

Zombie animals, brainwashing bugs and bacteria

Come and listen to Dr Crid Fraser ACT Scientist of the Year, at Oaklands on Saturday May 13th 6:30pm for 7pm.

This is the first 2017 “Hub in the Pub” event of the Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub and everyone is welcome to delve into the science of mind and mood altering bacteria and bugs.

Free finger food and a great atmosphere in the Longstocking Brewery at Oaklands.

Sea Slug Census

April 1st and 2nd from Greencape to Tathra and April 8th Bermagui and April 9th around Narooma and north.

We are inviting everyone to explore our coast for the jewels of the sea which are most often seen at this time of year.

See or webpage above for details and keep up to date with what’s happening on the Sapphire Coast Sea Slug Census Facebook page

Noumea laboutei? Blue pool, photo John Southern,

Noumea laboutei? Blue pool, photo John Southern,

Canberra Nature Map and successful citizen science

We invite you hear about a real success story of community engagement of fun, learning and scientific achievements – NatureMapr and Canberra Nature Map and now the Atlas of Life is linked too.

Dr Michael Mulvaney, ACT government senior conservation officer has many stories to tell about how and why the biodiversity recording tool – Canberra Nature Map was developed and how it is being used by community, scientists and government agencies.

The Canberra Nature Map hub is now being used daily, not just by the community, but also by government officials, environmental consultants and industry when making development, planning and land management decisions. It has already led to the identification of new species and doubled the number of known rare or threatened species locations. The site has become the authoritative sources of wildlife information across the ACT. The website receives in excess of 500,000 visits a year, with visitation rate almost doubling each year.
In time, contributing citizens progress from being novices to naturalists and finally experts assisting in the confirmation of new records and helping educate others. Existing experts range from a 16 year old school kid to retired internationally recognised taxonomic experts.
The engagement of community members in a shared task of survey and data collection has social and health benefits, providing an enjoyable means of connection both to other people and to the environment around them.
You are invited to join us at the Local Land Services offices in Bega, rooftop carpark Sapphire Market at 10:00am – 12:00 Wednesday March 8th. Places are limited so please RSVP

Dr Michael Mulvaney, with a green comb spider orchid in Aranda Bushlands. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Dr Michael Mulvaney, with a green comb spider orchid in Aranda Bushlands. Photo: Elesa Kurtz