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Citizen scientists help inform researchers

 

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Social media sites are now being used as a powerful tool for mapping and cataloguing the world's amphibian populations. The Global Amphibian BioBlitz is a partnership between AmphibiaWeb and iNaturalist, websites that were created by University of California, Berkeley, students and faculty. BioBlitz coordinator Michelle Koo explains how it works.

Koo:              With a couple of simple directions and buttons to press, you can actually have iNaturalist go to your Flickr account or your pre-existing other accounts and it will harvest all your photographs that you've already uploaded. From there, you can geo-tag them. You can identify them if you happen to know the species.

Narrator:      Koo says the collected information has the potential to become a very powerful monitoring tool for scientists.

Koo:              With enough information, we can actually start tying that to particular behaviors that is becoming increasingly critical to understanding how species are responding to changes in climate, changes to land use.

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