What's Invasive!

What's Invasive!

Description: Invasive species often threaten native plants and animals, and experts need to know where to find them. That’s the main idea behind the What’s Invasive app, a joint effort by UCLA’s Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS), the National Park Service and the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.

The app displays local lists of invasive plants or animals that have been identified by the National Park Service and other management authorities. Users can help experts pinpoint invasive species by locating them and providing experts with GPS coordinates, accompanied by a photo and notes about the observation. The geotagged observations and photos are used to alert experts about the spread of habitat-destroying species. Users can also go online to and set up their own site for invasive species data collection.

Project Details

  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Fieldwork
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages

    Download the app either from iTunes or Google Play. You can also sign up and create your own site for reporting invasive species.

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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