Citizen scientists lend a hand

Latrobe Valley children became ‘citizen scientists’ during a water quality testing exercise at Lake Narracan foreshore on Tuesday.

About 20 children set up water quality stations at common picnic tables as part of an Environment Protection Authority and Latrobe City Council Holiday initiative.

Children used hand held metres to test pH or acidity, turbidity, electrical conductivity and temperature.

They also collected invertebrates using nets, before picking them from the mud and sand using small pipettes to identify the specimens.

EPA Gippsland regional manager Emily Sanders said the ‘Citizen Science’ program empowered the Latrobe Valley community to take environmental data, share findings and actively contribute to their own environment.

Ms Sanders said the data collected by students would be put up on the EPA website, where the rest of the community could access the information.

“This site has been chosen because the lake is used frequently by the local community,” Ms Sanders said.

“We’ll compare the data to what we’ve already got from Lake Narracan and if any of that warrants further investigation, we’ll have a look at that.”