I love Citizen Science projects. These wide-ranging programs offer nature-loving people the chance to contribute to research and learn a lot along the way. In the past, I’ve told you about NestWatch and The Great Sunflower Project. My latest discovery is Project Noah, a site dedicated to documenting Earth’s organisms whenever and wherever you find them.
There are several ways you can participate in Project Noah, once you sign up. You might just want to start by browsing other sightings from around the world, seeing wildflowers from Asia and monkeys from India, birds from California and butterflies from Maine. See what people are submitting, and mark some as your favorites.
Love helping others? Then it’s time to take things a step further and check out the listings that “Need ID”. Perhaps someone has posted a picture of a red-winged blackbird, but didn’t know what it was. “Hey, I can help them out!” you might say. Click the “Suggest ID” button and make your suggestion, including links to any relevant websites. The original submitter can review your suggestion and see if it makes sense to them, and others can agree with your ID or offer comments of their own. In this way, the community works together to ID sightings from across the globe.
Finally, be sure to participate in the most important way – uploading your own sightings. Project Noah is specially designed with the mobile phone user in mind; the Project Noah app allows you to upload pictures and descriptions right from your smartphone. No smartphone? No worries! You can upload pictures from your computer as well. If you know what your spotting is, be sure to provide that information. If you don’t? Well, now it’s your turn to let others help you out! Just mark your post “Help me ID this spotting”, and others will give you suggestions. People are always on the site viewing and responding to new postings, and you could have an answer in just a few minutes – how cool is that?
There’s lots more to see and do at this well-designed and easy-to-use website. Your best bet is just to drop by yourself and give it a try. I signed up a week ago, and I’ve already posted or identified nearly 50 spottings – it’s that addictive! You’ll find me there under the user name Florida33Girl – feel free to follow me and see what I’ve been spotting here in Florida.
Are you a Project Noah addict, too? Do you know of other Citizen Science projects that Birds & Blooms readers should know about? Drop us a line in the comments and tell us all about it! (And if you love connecting with others who love birds and nature, don’t forget to join the BirdsandBlooms.com Community!)
Every Thursday, the Working for the Weekend segment highlights a project or job for Southeastern gardeners to tackle in the weekend ahead. Know of a project you’d like to see featured here, or a garden chore you’d like some help with? Make your suggestions in the comments section below.