Smart Science: App Helps Protect Shorebirds

Short Description

The blog post highlights the use of scientific data collected through an smartphone application - iPlover - is helping to study the Atlantic Coast piping plover, an endangered shorebird that breeds along the Atlantic Coast, Great Lakes, and Great Plains. A netwiork of collaborators in the field gather and send data more efficiently than having to travel to each site individually. In addition to increased efficiency, it allows the breeding grounds to be observed at the same time each season. This particular use of smartphones is only used by trained professionals, however there are other apps that facilitate crowd source information on coastal changes and other observations that the public reports.

A scientist uses GPS and the iPlover smartphone app to track piping plover habitat in coastal Virginia. Photo by USGS.

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The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.