With the continual evolution of technology, we as individuals are becoming more and more empowered to make an impact on the world on a daily basis. From the protection of endangered species to weather prediction, citizen scientists are now able to apply their photo abilities and use their personal drones and smart phones to effect the world around them.
In California, citizens have been documenting changes in the California coastline due to El Nino, adding to the data available to researchers and helping them to better and more rapidly understand the environment and perhaps predict future change.
Across the ocean, the non-profit “Planet Indonesia” are working on two apps that would allow anyone with a cell phone to help track the illegal animal trade. One app would allow individuals to “collect data in Indonesian bird markets” and a second lets them identify confiscated Slow Lorises using genetic data. The Slow Loris is a popular animal to be kept as a pet, and with this type of data, hot spots for trade and poaching can be identified, investigated, and hopefully stopped.
The use of technology to help protect our world may just save the things we love the most, if we are willing to do our part.