This blog submission is by Stacy Pearson from The Blogunteer, a blog that is dedicated to inspiring volunteerism by highlighting
the many organizations already out there making a difference and
individuals who give their time.To access the original blog, or more from The Blogunteer, visit their website by following this link.
Typically I write about organizations…but in honor of Geography Awareness Week (November
13-19, 2001) and the third annual Blog-A-Thon hosted by the National
Geographic Society, I am posting something a little different today.
The theme for this year’s Geography Awareness Week is “Geography: The
Adventure in Your Community” – the connections between people and their
surrounding environments, local action, and, of course, geography
education. Today’s post is about something that helps people around the
globe connect with nature and the environment.
Project Noah (which stands for networked organisms and habitats) is a
tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the
power of citizen scientists everywhere. The project began in early 2010
as an experiment to see if the team could build a fun, location-based
mobile application to encourage people to reconnect with nature and
document local wildlife. They wanted to take advantage of the power and
popularity of smart phones to collect important ecological data and
help preserve global biodiversity.
In February 2010, the team’s first iPhone app was launched. After
winning some awards, the team attracted National Geographic as an
investor. By encouraging everyone to document their encounters with
nature, the Project Noah team hopes to build a powerful force for data
collection and an important educational tool for wildlife awareness and
preservation. According to National Geographic, “Project Noah harnesses
the power of citizen scientists everywhere to discover the world’s
You can sign up on their website, projectnoah.org for a free
account. If you have an iPhone or Android phone, you can also download
their mobile app
for free. Using the app you can manage your spottings and participate
in missions. For example, one current mission is “Birds of the World”
where you can document your bird encounters by taking photographs and
adding descriptive notes. You add as much information as you can about
your spotting and upload it to the Project Noah website.
Then many dedicated community members help identify your spotting.
Other missions include spotting urban biodiversity, bats, spiders, and
ladybugs. One interesting mission I found was a local mission to
monitor sightings of the Emerald Ash Borer – an invasive beetle from
Asia that is killing trees around my local area.
Even if you don’t have a smart phone, you can still participate by uploading photos directly to the Project Noah website.
So, how can you get involved? It’s easy – just sign-up for free and start connecting with nature in your own backyard.
Stacy Pearson, The Blogunteer