3.19.2012

Citizen science for all ages, Project Noah app

Golden-Ringed Dragonfly
I'm a huge fan of citizen science, especially because it's typically accessible to children. Participation can be a significant way for kids to contribute to their communities and do some real field work.

The Project Noah app ("NOAH" stands for "Networked Organisms and Habitats") allows citizen scientists of all ages to learn, contribute, and collaborate in discovering, identifying, and tracking local plant and animal wildlife. If you don't have a smartphone, the project is also accessible via the website (That's how the young scientists in my family participate).

One of the project's top contributer's is 9-year-old unschooler buggirl1.

Creater Yasser Ansari describes the app this way:
"Imagine a field guide for every type of organism on the planet, a butterfly net, and a quick and easy way to grab field notes, thrown on top of [a smartphone]. My vision for this is part Darwin's field guide, part vintage science instrument, and a dollop of biopunk/steampunk for good measure."
The app allows you to take a photo, identify and learn about what you've spotted, and upload your findings to a global map accessible to other users. The app even tells you what other life forms might be in your area.
"I'm trying to bring back that [childlike] wonderment," Ansari says. "I'm trying to reignite that curiosity for the natural world that we all had when we were younger."

Source: Seattle Grist: Use your smartphone to become a citizen scientist

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