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Poo Power!

Poo Power!

This is a two-part project originating in Australia. The first is a Melbourne-based effort to collect dog droppings and turn them into biogas for local use. The secondary effect would be to alert dog owners about the amount of uncollected dog waste that’s left in public areas, with the hope that this can be reduced with the aid of more conscientious dog ownership.

For the rest of the world, there’s a spinoff project and global competition for people to identify the most and largest dog poo 'hotspots' in their local neighborhood in the 'Poo Power! Global Challenge'. Participants use a GPS-enabled iPhone to download the free Poo Power! App from the App Store. Their task is to identify and map dog poo 'hotspots' in dog parks and public spaces from their neighborhood beginning Monday, November 25, 2013.

The collected information will be uploaded onto the Global Poo Map (warning: graphic images of rogue dog droppings) and provides a platform the discussion of the scientific, social and environmental issues of dog waste. The app is designed to send collated photos and locations of the dog poo to local council or city administrators with a "Clean up the doo doo" e-mail.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Duncan Chew/Mia Cobb
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: Poo Power!/Anthrozoology Research Group, Monash University, Australia
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Fieldwork
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages
  • TIME COMMITMENT: Variable
  • HOW TO JOIN:

    Download the iPhone app. Take a photo of some dog poo, describe it, then our worldwide poo satellite system will pinpoint the location to update our map of global dog poo hot spots. The apps will send the collated photos and locations of the dog poo to local council or city administrators with a "Clean up the doo doo" e-mail.

See more projects in FreeFieldworkAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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