Creative Inquiry

Current Projects

Clemson Vanishing Firefly Project: Using a Mobile Phone App as Education and Research Tools for Sustainability


The novelty of this citizen scientist project is to integrate mobile phone technology into a field research study.  Students of the Clemson Vanishing Firefly Project will improve mobile phone app (‘Firefly Flash Counter’), manage the surveys to record the number of fireflies (using the number of bioluminescence flashings as a proxy for abundance, and develop education and marketing materials for the mobile device app. Fireflies are reliable indicators of environmental health because their abundance is correlated to the availability of suitable and undegraded habitats. The data, with the exact locations and times of the observations, will be sent to a server housed at Clemson University and will be used for long-term climate change and sustainability studies. Map showing the occurrences of firefly, land use patterns, and environmental quality impairments can be viewed though Clemson Community Inventory Resource online.

Team Leader(s)

Alex Chow, PhDSchool of Ag,For,Env Sciences
David WhiteCCIT Research Support
Roy P PargasSchool of Computing
Michelle CookTeacher Education
Juang Horng ChongSchool of Ag,For,Env Sciences

Social Media


Honorable mention EPA 3*Amanda Voges, *Greg Edison, *Joshua Hull, *Devin Schultze, *Renee Lyons, *Binbin Li, *Hechu Zhu, *Kelsey Dickman, *Douglas Edmonson, Alex Chow, Juang Chong, Michelle Cook, David White.  Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity and Plant Expo (EPA P3). April 27, Washington, DC.
Clemson University’s Vanishing Firefly Project: Using a Mobile Phone App as Educational and Research Tools for SustainabilityChow, Alex , Chong, Juang-Horng , Cook, Michelle , Pargas, Roy P. EPA Grant Number: SU835496 for $15,000 to run August 15, 2013 through August 14, 2014.

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