Lightning Talk
Megan Lawrence, Australian Museum , Australia

The Australian Museum’s Centre for Citizen Science is embarking on a national campaign focusing on one of the most charismatic and threatened animal groups – frogs.

Alarmingly, frogs are among the most threatened group of animals on the planet. Because of their abundance and their role in the environment, when frogs disappear, the consequences are enormous, and felt throughout the web of life. Healthy frog populations are a sign of healthy ecosystems. Like ‘canaries in the coalmine’, frogs are indicators of environmental health as they are highly sensitive to changes on land and in water.

The AM’s citizen science project will capture a frog census of species across Australia using a mobile application to collect data for inApp analysis and species identification. Identification of frogs by appearance is near impossible for many species, but identification by frog calls is remarkably accurate.

The digital product enabling this project is the mobile ‘FrogID’ application. FrogID enables researchers to collect frog calls with GPS and time stamped data, known as ‘virtual vouchers’, for scientific research and data visualisation of frog distributions in Australia.

This talk will discuss the digital product design and development, produced in collaboration with IBM, that enables citizen scientists to accurately capture species identity and habitat information without the need to handle these sensitive animals.