3 Apps Aid Citizen Scientists & Nature Enthusiasts

3 Apps to Explore & Engage with Your Environment

While adventuring outdoors to enjoy local landscapes this summer, families can integrate their mobile devices into their trek to create environmental learning opportunities! Three applications – CreekWatch, Leafsnap, and the WildLab – are all designed to teach users about their environment and to help monitor and conserve natural resources.  All three applications provide ways for families to integrate technology into their outdoor adventures in a way that promotes learning and engagement with nature, rather than detracting from the experience. Try one (or all!) of them on your next outing.

WATERSHEDS

CreekWatch allows families to monitor the health of their local watershed by using pictures of streams and creeks (taken by users and submitted via the app) to determine water level and amount of pollution and debris present in the water.

ARBORICULTURE

Leafsnap, called an “electronic field guide,” compares pictures of tree leaves using photorecognition software, and helps users identify trees  – allowing them to learn about the biodiversity present around them while sharing information with a public database, helping to aid scientists.

ORNITHOLOGY

For bird identification, check out the WildLab – it uses GPS-tagged photos taken by users to monitor bird populations, and the user learns what bird(s) they’ve seen using information provided in the app.

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