Citizens Collaborate with Scientists
Crowdsourcing to collect data from all app users
The data, with the exact locations and times of the observations will be used for long-term climate change and sustainability studies. Maps showing the observations of fireflies, land use patterns, and environmental quality impairments can be viewed though Clemson’s Firefly Maps.
Last year researchers organized a June 1 statewide firefly census. People chose their locations and conducted a one-minute census between 8:15 and 10:15 p.m. They reported observations using the Apple app Firefly Flash Counter or the project web page. We have updated our iPhone App to a newer version and our team has also developed an Android App, and both of these apps are available for free! There were over 1100 observations published in the results which can be viewed at this website: http://firefly.clemson.edu/.
Along with the app improvements and adding the Android version, our team has been preparing for our
Educating the Citizen Scientist
Fireflies tell us about environmental health
Urbanization- More people means more pollution. Fireflies are very sensitive creatures and small pollution can have a big impact.
Pollution- comes from trash, pet waste, pesticides and fertilizers as well as light. Strong, bright artificial light, called light pollution, can outshine flashes that fireflies used to find each other for mating (Viviani et al.2010).
Education- We are combining mobile technology through smartphone apps and ecology to promote environmental education.
Entertainment- counting fireflies is Green Entertainment Time!
Data Collection and Utilization- As our apps continue to be improved, data to evaluate environmental quality, land exploitation, and plant health status can be collected by a larger number of citizens over a larger area of interest. This data will be used to determine if fireflies are inf act vanishing and what environmental factors may be related with firefly populations.
Sustainability - Fostering awareness of the relationship between humans, wildlife, and environmental quality leads to more people partaking in sustainable land use and development practices.
Light Pollution Data - We may not realize it but artificial light can be dangerous to the environment, too. Seeing this effect will encourage others to be aware that turning off your lights conserves both nature and energy!
Data on effects of urbanization - Pesticides do not discriminate; they get both bad bugs and good ones, like our fireflies. Urban areas with many people more aware of the effects that these chemicals have on our environment through our firefly data.