What happens when you cross a Facebook-like social platform with a Flickr-like photo display and sprinkle in some serious enthusiasm for nature? You get Project Noah.
Project Noah (where NOAH is actually short for networked organisms and habitats) serves two purposes. First, it’s a tool that nature lovers can use to spot and document wildlife all around the world. Second, it’s a platform for research groups to connect with citizen scientists.
To participate as a nature spotter, you can register at the site and/or download the Noah app for your iPhone or Android phone. With it, you can snap pictures of local wildlife, and upload it to the site for documentation and identification by a Noah “ranger.” You can earn patches for your contributions, which the app and the website track for you.
You can also join specific missions and projects. For example, if you’re into insects, you can join the global dragonflies and damselflies mission to document these fascinating winged creatures in your neighbourhood. If birds are more your thing, you can join the more than 7000 participants in the birds of the world project.
Teachers (and homeschoolers) should take note: there’s an education section in beta testing, which will allow you to sign up your classroom to allow your students to take part in the project as well.
National Geographic supports the Project Noah initiative.