Check out this neat article by Jessica Decker on iNaturalist, a mobile app that is empowering regular folks to make nature observations that help science. To date more than 1 million observations have been made using iNaturalist!
One unanticipated benefit has been that the app has been creating communities of citizen scientists. According to Alison Young, science engagement coordinator at the Cal Academy:
“It was so unexpected, it wasn’t something we were trying to get out of this project at all… We were trying to teach people about animals and plants, and we wanted to gather this data that we really needed, but the fact that we were also building community was this really unexpected side effect. It’s great that we can bring people together who can meet each other and love the same things.”
It makes sense. If you love spiders, and you go out on a bioblitz with other people who love spiders, you are going to make connections and friendships that persist long after the bioblitz is over.
Read the full article here.