In recognition and celebration of the importance of bees to global biodiversity, the Earth Day Network, the Wilson Center, and the U.S. Department of State released a state-of-the-art mobile application which utilizes citizen science to collect data on bees and other insects around the world.
Comprehensive data collection is urgently needed to help fill in the significant gaps in knowledge so experts can figure out how to combat insect decline and protect pollinator species. The data collected through Earth Challenge 2020 will support the research and monitoring of insects worldwide, beginning with a focus on bees. Users can take a photo of any species of bee they see, upload it, and tag the picture by genus and location. Data from the app will be used to train artificial intelligence that can benefit a range of conservation goals. This data will then be aggregated and visualized.
Beyond insect populations, the Earth Challenge 2020 app gathers observations on air quality, plastic pollution, and food supply. Once users submit their data, they are shown actions they can take to help alleviate the problem. Users can also choose to participate in Earth Day Network petitions specific to the issue and their location.
The app will soon be available in 12 different languages including English, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.
“Earth Day Network and our partners are thrilled to release the global app as part of Earth Challenge 2020. Our goal is to support scientists, promote activism in the citizen science community, and to educate users on personal actions they can take to support some of the world’s most critical pollinator and insect species. Together, the data and citizen activism will support change in the United States and around the globe,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network.
Anne Bowser, Director of Innovation at the Wilson Center, said, “The Earth Challenge 2020 app encourages users to submit observations from anywhere around the world. We will continue working with scientists and technologists to build out additional functions to the app over time and, in turn, make a greater impact on environmental research.”
Landon Van Dyke, Senior Advisor for Environmental Performance and Sustainability for the U.S. Department of State, said, “By connecting datasets and making them available to citizen science volunteers and professional scientists, Earth Challenge 2020 aims to catalyze research, collect otherwise unavailable data, and raise environmental and scientific literacy at all levels.”
The EC2020 App can be downloaded on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
For More Information Contact:
Earth Day Network
U.S. Department of State