[ASC-media] Citizen Science: Poo Power! Global Challenge

Mia Cobb mia.cobb at gmail.com
Sun Nov 24 03:07:20 PST 2013


*Students invited to compete in global dog poo competition: **Poo Power!
Global Challenge*
Students and classes will be pitched against each other to see who can
identify the most and largest dog waste 'hotspots' in their local
neighbourhood in the 'Poo Power! Global Challenge'. Participants use a
GPS-enabled iPhone to download the free Poo Power!
App<https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/poo-power/id683123845?mt=8> from
the App Store. Their task is to identify and map dog poo 'hotspots' in dog
parks and public spaces from their neighbourhood from Monday 25 November
2013.

This eyebrow-raising citizen science initiative is a collaboration between
dog poo entrepreneur Duncan Chew from Poo
Power!<http://poopower.com.au/index.html> and
Mia Cobb from the Anthrozoology Research
Group<http://www.anthrozoologyresearchgroup.com/>,
recent winner of I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of
Here!<http://imascientist.org.au/>
 in Australia. The collected information will be uploaded onto the Global
Poo Map <http://www.flickr.com/photos/54481472@N02/map> and provides a
platform for students to discuss the scientific, social and environmental
issues of dog waste. The students are then encouraged to write a letter to
their local Government representative of their findings and recommendations.

"From our research only 3% of Australians see uncollected dog waste as an
environmental concern," explains Duncan Chew. "When it rains, uncollected
dog poo gets washed down drains, effecting water quality and habitat for
native animals, as well as making rivers and creeks unpleasant for us to
visit."  Mia Cobb echoes her enthusiasm for the initiative: "This is a
great way to utilise the prize money from winning the *I’m A Scientist –
Get Me Out of Here!* competition; to raise awareness of new sustainable
energy sources, environmental issues and responsible dog ownership, all
while increasing student engagement in a unique citizen science activity."

The collated information has the *poo-tential *to identify sites for
biogas-powered lights for parks as proposed by the Melbourne-based project,
Poo Power!, currently in development. The methane that is released from the
dog waste as it breaks down inside a 'biogas generator' can be used as a
viable renewable energy source.

Competition prizes and giveaways are up for grabs for the two students with
the most photo submissions received between 25th November and 9th December
2013. After this initial competition period closes, the project will
continue to run, collecting ongoing hotspot data worldwide.

Full instructions on how to participate via
*www.poopower.com.au*<http://www.poopower.com.au/>,
or available here<http://poopower.com.au/uploads/files/pp_app_citizenscience_instructions_v6.pdf>
To contextualise the material for classroom lessons, teachers can download
the Poo Power! Study
Guide<http://www.poopower.com.au/uploads/files/poo_power_study_guide_v1.lowres.pdf>


*About Mia*Mia Cobb is a zoologist and current PhD candidate at Monash
University, researching working dog welfare. She has worked in animal
shelter, stable and kennel facilities for 20 years. Mia thinks helping
scientific research jump out of the academic journals and into the laps of
everyone is fun and important. She blogs about canine science at Do You
Believe in Dog? and co-hosts the Human Animal Science podcast. Mia is a
founding Director of the Working Dog Alliance and recently won her zone in
the national I'm a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! competition in Australia
- an American Idol-style competition for scientists, where students are the
judges.


*About Duncan and Poo Power!*Did you know that the 4.2 million dogs in
Australia will generate 6.3 million tonnes of poo over their lifetimes?
That's a mountain's worth that we dump in landfills or leave uncollected to
pollute our rivers and beaches. Duncan Chew is the man behind Poo Power! -
a Melbourne Water supported project that shines a light on this innovation.
Through his website, iPhone app and other outreach activities Duncan shows
Australians that we can keep our cities and waterways clean while producing
renewable energy to light our dog parks. Duncan is the owner of two Boxers
- Sally (14) and Diesel (7).
------------------------------
Competition details

Individual student prizes include 2 iPod Shuffles and 4 Doggie Doo games.
For each competing class, teachers will receive a copy of the 'Dog Poo -
The Truth At Last' on DVD.

*ENDS*
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