In 2009, Project NOAH was created by Yasser Ansari, with co-creators Martin Ceperly, Peter Horvath, and Bruno Kruse as part of New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. “NOAH” is actually an acronym for Networked Organisms and Habitats. The project began to see if the creators were able to create a fun interactive location-based application for citizens to interact with the environment. It has grown to include contributors from over 55 countries, and has been associated with a number of research projects.
Users are able to post pictures and data about specimen they find all over the world. Additionally, citizens are able to post pictures of a specimen for others to identify for them. Users are also able to match pictures already on the application in order to determine the species or information of a specimen they are questioning. Users earn patches based on number of submissions to the database, whether pictures themselves have taken, or helping identify pictures others have submitted. Patches help identify the reliability of certain data submissions
Finally, Project NOAH also has missions users are able to help with. These have included identifying ladybug or squirrel spottings for major university research projects. Currently, the Saguaro National Park is asking users to submit pictures of different organisms found in the park in order to help identify as many of the species present as possible. This program has become a huge success in a short period of time, having both fun and educational aspects to promoting environmental interactions.
You can check out the website at http://www.projectnoah.org, or download the mobile app for free on your iphone or android.