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David Lang
868,922 followers
868,922 followers
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"The birders are just the tip of the iceberg — a small sliver of a much bigger trend emerging around amateur science. Networks of makers are creating tools to explore, monitor, and understand our planet in an entirely new way.

The pace of innovation is staggering. There have been very public success stories, like the use of drones for conservation or the development of small satellites for continuous Earth imaging. These are more than just clever hacks. Each one adds a new tool to the toolbox of the growing army of citizen scientists around the world. These people — passionate networks of amateur and professional scientists — are busy wiring up the natural world with every sensor they can get their hands on. To paraphrase the ideas of Planet Labs CEO Will Marshall, these are the neurons of a new planetary nervous system."

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Paul Spaur has been pioneering the use of drones and ROVs for conservation and science at CSU Channel Islands. He's also been a first responder to the oil spill in Refugio State Park.

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It's interesting to see how drones and other maker tools are working  their way into the field. Makers are becoming scientists, and scientists becoming makers. 

Here's a video from my trip into the Mojave dessert. The full story is here: 

https://medium.com/openexplorer-journal/drones-lasers-desert-tortoises-e000b91b897b

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The Digital Naturalist

Andrew Quitmeyer explains the challenges and opportunities of trying to set up a makerspace in the middle of the jungle. 

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An interview with Andrew Quitmeyer of the Dissemination Lab about their Hiking Hackathons.

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The Accidental Ecologist

Laura James​ is a force of nature. And a force for nature. We're entering a new era of connected exploration where individuals can discover and learn about their planet, and then mobilize around issues that matter.

Citizen science becomes civic science. 

https://medium.com/openexplorer-journal/the-accidental-ecologist-3d6febea67e8

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An interview with diver/videographer/citizen scientist Laura James.

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Great write up of the new OpenROV v2.7 as well as OpenExplorer in WIRED this morning!

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/citizen-explorers-meet-new-submersible/

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There is a population of blue whales that don't migrate - they live their entire lives off the coast of Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, they're habitat and livelihood is being threatened by shipping and increasing incidents of ship strike. 

Fortunately, Asha de Vos' research is helping us understand how to help. She's crowdfunding support for her research. You can (and should) support her here: 

https://openexplorer.com/expedition/savingbluewhalesfromshipstrike
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