Start Your Own Citizen Science Project

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management

Project: Anecdata

A new platform billing itself as "next-generation citizen science" is promising to make it easy for anyone who wants to collect or share environmental data.

Called Anecdata, the first version of the software was developed at MDI Biological Laboratory’s Community Environmental Health Lab, and used to document eelgrass decline in Maine.

"Anecdata works with reports of organism presence and absence, habitat quality data, and reports of manmade events, and we've made it easy to search, analyze, and download data." ~ Anecdata site.

Using the site is free, but the organization behind the software offer a number of paid services, such as custom site development, maintenance and hosting, supported development, and citizen science consultation. This is the same kind of model used by places like Automattic, the organization behind the WordPress blogging platform.

To get started in using the site, you can simply register with an email address and password. There is a development blog, and a related Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CommunityEnvironmentalHealthLab.

You can also see other projects already on Anecdata on their projects page. Current projects include the Acadia Learning Snowpack Project, the King Tides Project, and Green Crab Studies.

Chandra Clarke is a Webby Honoree-winning blogger, a successful entrepreneur, and an author. Her book Be the Change: Saving the World with Citizen Science is available at Amazon. She also runs a proofreading business. You can connect with her on Twitter @chandraclarke.