May 25, 2011

Alumnus Ken-ichi Ueda Expands iNaturalist Project with "Global Amphibian Blitz"

From the San Francisco Business Times

Cal creates a ‘Facebook’ for frogs facing extinction

By Steven E. F. Brown

Amphibians, one of the oldest types of animals around, who have flourished for some 400 million years, may be getting help from newfangled technology -- social media.

Endangered amphibians around the world, from the yellow legged mountain frog in California to the bolitoglossine salamanders of Mexico, will be studied with the help of “citizen scientists” who post photographs to a website set up with the help of the University of California, Berkeley, the Smithsonian and other organizations....

People can submit their backyard or roadside snapshots of frogs, salamanders, newts and their ilk at the website, which is holding a “global amphibian blitz” to collect information from all over the world. Scientists will seek to identify the critters in the photos and add the data to their studies, along with exact location data from GPS trackers....

The iNaturalist site was started as a master’s degree project three years ago by Ken-ichi Ueda and two other students [Jessica Kline and Nate Agrin] at U.C. Berkeley’s School of Information.

Ueda’s project has grown and has set up a campaign, for example, with an iPhone app that helps people track the spread of redwood trees in California and Oregon.


Last updated:

October 4, 2016