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March 07, 2018 Wednesday 10:31:38 AM IST

The Maine-based (US) MDI Biological Laboratory has developed a new, easily accessible mobile phone app to help community organisations track and analyse crowd-sourced data from citizen volunteers on crucial environmental questions. The free app is an offshoot of Anecdata.org, an online citizen science portal that collects and shares environmental data. The portal is now being used globally by organisations such as the South Carolina Aquarium and Mass Audubon to crowd-source data to help identify, locate, and find solutions to environmental threats in the region of Mount Desert Island, Maine. Anecdata.org now hosts 60 projects, such as projects to track the disappearance of eelgrass from Maine’s coastal waters; track “king,” or exceptionally high, tides in the Gulf of Maine; and a survey of the decline of the eastern meadowlark in North America. The new app will make it easy for participants to receive notifications from projects and share observations from the field.