Volunteers with smartphones needed to help 'outsmart' invasive species
A campus research study in Hadley is seeking volunteers with smartphones to help 'outsmart' invasive species.
From now through the end of September, the Outsmart project team is conducting a study to figure out if the types of training people have on species identification affects their success when using the free Outsmart Invasive Species app to identify invasive plants and insects.
The app, available for iPhone (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/outsmart-invasive-species/id499957573?mt=8) or Android (https://play.google.com/store/search?q=outsmart+invasive+species&c=apps), provides a watch list of harmful invasive species to be on the lookout for in the state, and tools to identify and report them.
Participants can use the app to take a photo of a possible match, and submit the observation to the project team for review. Once verified, submissions are entered into a statewide database.
For the study, the research team associated with the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Center for Public Policy and Administration just needs volunteers to visit a research site in Hadley to search for invasive species along a marked trail. Like a scavenger hunt, with a smartphone. A member of the team will be on site to provide training and instructions – all you need is a fully charged smartphone with the Outsmart app installed.
It’s a fun opportunity to test your plant identification skills, and put your smartphone to great use for research in environmental conservation at UMass Amherst.
E-mail the project team for more details, and to arrange a time to take part in the study, on any Monday or Tuesday evening after 5:30 now through the end of September:
Check out our website for more information on the project: www.masswoods.net/outsmart
Visit us on Facebook for the latest updates: www.facebook.com/pages/Outsmart-Invasive-Species/306996019341625