Developing Citizen Science Apps for Conservation Biology: Koala Counter and EchidnaCSI
Field data collection by Citizen Scientists has been hugely assisted by the rapid development and spread of smart phones as well as apps that make use of the integrated technologies contained in these devices. I will describe some of the experiences (both good and bad) that we have experienced in collaborative development of two Citizen Science apps for Conservation. First is the Koala Counter app used in the Great Koala Count 2 – a two-day Blitz-style population census. Second is the EchidnaCSI app – an observational tool for collecting sightings and samples of echidna. From a developer’s perspective, I will provide details on multi- platform app development as well as collaboration and integration with the national biodiversity repository – the Atlas of Living Australia. Preliminary results regarding user engagement and device differences will be presented along with lessons learned and paths for future research.