Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Help track and save Piping Plovers- they love the beach more than you do and the future of their species is dependent on whether they have beach to nest on. Their habitat is threatened by everything from storms and sea level rise to you driving your cars/trucks on the beach, not watching where you're walking, and natural predators like foxes.
iPlover is a new app from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for data collection about habitats on coastal beaches and the environment surrounding them.
That sounds like a really difficult and important task, but luckily for us, the app is designed for trained and vetted professionals. It is an example of another federal crowdsourcing app, but for experts. The app is actually intended for use by USGS officials and partners and will not function without an approved log-in.
To understand and manage dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species, such as the totally adorable Piping Plover (the app’s namesake!), research scientists require biological and geological data across a whole range of environments and habitats.
This can be very difficult; many existing data collections focus on either the biology or the geology, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity.
This is where iPlover shines. The iOS-based app uses sensors on the iPhone to simplify and help ensure consistent data collection and data management. new-usgs-app-helps-save-the-piping-plovers