Mobile applications for smartphones, tablets and other gadgets can turn just about anyone into a citizen scientist. App-equipped wireless devices give users worldwide the ability to act as remote sensors for all sorts of data as they go through their daily routines—whether it’s invasive garlic mustard weed in Washington State or red-bordered stinkbugs in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Smartphones can automate data collection and incorporate many important data-gathering functions—such as capturing images, audio and text—into a single tool that can “stamp” the date, time and geographic coordinates associated with an observation, says Alex Mayer, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Michigan Technological University. Mayer is leading a project with Michigan Tech colleague Robert Pastel, an associate professor of computer science, and a group of students to develop new citizen science mobile apps.

via 8 Apps That Turn Citizens into Scientists: Scientific American.

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