Project Noah was launched out of New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) in early 2010. "NOAH" is actually an acronym that stands for Networked Organisms And Habitats. The project started off as an experiment to see if the researchers—including founding members Yasser Ansari, Martin Ceperley, Peter Horvath and Bruno Kruse—could build a fun, location-based mobile application to encourage people to reconnect with nature and document local wildlife.

Project Noah, which launched its iPhone app in February of 2010 and has since added an Android app, has the ultimate goal of building an online platform that can be used by citizen scientists to document a wide variety of wildlife—spiders, birds, moose, you name it.