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Saving Redwoods: There’s an App for That

Redwoods: There's an app for that. (Photo: Michael Limm)

We’re not the only ones who think iNaturalist is pretty cool. Save the Redwoods does, too.

The San Francisco-based conservation organization has teamed up with the biodiversity-tracking social networking site to create an iPhone app exclusively for monitoring redwood and giant sequoia forests. It’s called Redwood Watch. It uses the same technology as the iNaturalist iPhone app, aggregating data on a special Redwoods page within iNaturalist.org.

“We hope that this will help us have a better idea of where redwoods are, and then we can use that data to understand what kinds of conditions they can tolerate,” said Emily Limm, director of science and planning for Save the Redwoods. Continue reading

Connecting Citizens and Science… with Smart Phones

Harnessing the power of “citizen science” can be a challenge, but many think technology can provide the missing link.

Scott Loarie demonstrates the iNaturalist iPhone app to docents at Jasper Ridge. (Photo: Richard Morgenstein)

The new iPhone app for the online community iNaturalist is officially out and available for free download from Apple’s App Store.  Its creator, Ken-ichi Ueda, hopes that the new app will make sharing and uploading field observations so easy, that more people will want to document what they find next time they’re out on a hike.

“My primary motivation is to get people outside, thinking about the plants and animals they are seeing and actually recording them,” he said.  “The act of recording really locks it in your mind.” Continue reading

Citizen Science: The iPhone App

A new iPhone app aims to make recording and sharing observations of the natural world fast, easy, and could eventually help bring climate models into better focus.

Ken-ichi Ueda and Scott Loarie demonstrated the new iNaturalist iPhone app at Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (Photo: Richard Morgenstein)

At Jasper Ridge, a biological preserve and study area on the Stanford campus, a dozen of the preserve’s docents gathered this week to learn about a new iPhone application that could ultimately help scientists study how ecosystems are adapting to climate change.

The new app, called iNaturalist, is the mobile version of a citizen-science website by the same name.  The iPhone app is still in testing and not yet available, but the website, iNaturalist.org, is already an active online community of citizen-scientists around the world who use the site to record and share their sightings. Continue reading