Recognising the threat dust poses to the Australian landscape, DustWatch is a community program to monitor the extent and severity of wind erosion across the country. It is led by scientists from the Office of Environment and Heritage with support from local observers from government agencies and the community.
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DustWatch reports monthly on dust activity across Australia, using data from more than 45 DustWatch nodes, satellite images from CSIRO showing current groundcover, and meteorological data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The DustWatch nodes are maintained by community volunteers who enhance the readings from the instruments with local reports of dust conditions and photographs. They can often provide insight into the reasons why the dust is occurring.
The southern DustWatch region, which includes NSW, is overseen by Dr John Leys, with support from Stephan Heidenreich and Dr Xihua Yang at the Office of Environment and Heritage.