Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPOSTER -

re­sources in the fu­ture”.

On the ground, Anelile Gibix­ego, a wa­ter-qual­ity sci­ence in­tern at GroundTruth, tries to get as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble, in­clud­ing schools, in­volved in the project.

She says at this stage only com­put­ers, and not cell­phones, can load the data, pos­ing a prob­lem in dis­ad­van­taged ar­eas.

Gibix­ego is also look­ing at the school syl­labus to de­ter­mine any over­lap pos­si­bil­i­ties with cit­i­zen­sci­en­tist river test­ing.

Gra­ham says South Africa is a world leader in biomon­i­tor­ing tech­niques us­ing macroin­ver­te­brates.

This started in the 1980s when sci­en­tists looked at tak­ing nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring in­sect fauna in our rivers and us­ing them as in­di­ca­tors of the health or con­di­tion of th­ese sys­tems.

The most suc­cess­ful of th­ese biomon­i­tor­ing tech­niques was the South African Scor­ing Sys­tem ver­sion 5 (SASS5).

Since then, the miniSASS ver­sion has been adapted for cit­i­zen sci­en­tists.

“Where SASS5 con­tains over 90 dif­fer­ent macroin­ver­te­brates, miniSASS has only 13 dif­fer­ent groups, al­low­ing for sim­pler iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and un­der­stand­ing.

“One of the key strengths of the miniSASS tech­nique is that the re­sults it pro­duces are very sim­i­lar to the full SASS tech­nique,” says Gra­ham.

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