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Map of Life goes mobile
One of my very favorite examples of crowd-sourced reference sites has been Yale University’s Map of Life . Using a wide variety of data sources, the biodiversity project
endeavors to provide ‘best-possible’ species range information and species lists for any geographic area. Map of Life aims to support effective and global biodiversity education, monitoring, research and decision-making by assembling and integrating a wide range of knowledge about species distributions and their dynamics over time.
Your science teachers are going to love this. Any young citizen scientist curious about her environment will want to explore. And you will want to share this with parents before summer vacation begins.
So, say you are sitting around in a Houlihans in New Brunswick, NJ. You wonder what wildlife you’d see if you ventured beyond the parking lot.
You check the handy index to view fauna and flora around you–the amphibians, birds, fishes, mammals, reptiles, turtles, bumblebees, butterflies, dragonflies and trees. Select an interesting category; read about any of the listed species; see its range on a map; build lists of your sightings.
And, when you observe a specimen in the field, you may want to use your device’s camera to record and share your sightings with others–to engage with records and species worldwide.
Here’s what the natural scene around New Brunswick looks like.
The MOL app is free and its content is available in six languages.
About Joyce Valenza
Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza
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