March 1, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 5)
Strong Points: Good photo collection, easy to upload observations
Weak Points: Monitoring specific to Massachusetts
A collaborative project of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Outsmart Invasive Species app is one of many apps aimed at getting “citizen scientists” involved with conservations causes, such as the containment of invasive species. This app allows users to upload photos of invasive species (along with the GPS coordinates of the sighting, pulled from the mobile device) to the project’s server. The monitoring efforts are specifically targeted to Massachusetts, though citizen biologists outside of the region may also find useful information in the app. In specific, it contains a large photo collection of invasive species with their common and scientific names (and many of these species are not restricted to the Massachusetts area). Therefore, the app also serves as a handy photo reference and identification tool in addition to its use for invasive species monitoring.