Last night, I was out for an hour watching cicadas latch onto trees and molt. I attempted to collect and exoskeleton but lost it in the dark. As I was doing this, I repeatedly felt a crawling sensation on my shoulder and in my hair. I thought there might be an insect there and felt for one, but didn't find anything. I went home, hung up my coat and called it a night. In the morning, I looked out the window, disappointed, and didn't see any exoskeletons outside but grabbed my coat to search anyway. As I dug out my coat from the closet, I was startled by a papery whoosh. I was amazed to see a perfect exoskeleton attached to the front of my coat, properly placed like a brooch; that still didn't explain the whoosh! I was stunned to see an imago (mature insect) on the floor. Unknown to me, it completed the molting process in my house, overnight! I released it outside shortly after and snapped these photos.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.