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Harnessing the power of social networks in science


Narrator:       This is Science Today. A new online tool developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, is harnessing the power of social networks to capture information about the world's amphibian populations. The Global Amphibian BioBlitz project is a partnership between the Internet database AmphibiaWeb and iNaturalist, a social networking site designed by UC Berkeley students.

Koo:               We would like to see the BioBlitz as a way for citizen science to contribute to the ongoing monitoring efforts of noting where amphibian species are occurring.

Narrator:       Michelle Koo, a bioinformatic diversity specialist at UC Berkeley and a coordinator of the BioBlitz, explains how anyone can upload photos and contribute to the site.

Koo:               Over the summer, this U.S. intelligence officer had actually snapped a photograph of a frog in a latrine pond in the middle of the Iraqi desert. And it turned out that that particular species was not known from this area or habitat.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.