The number, type and diversity of bugs found helps determine the health of a stream habitat. (Courtesy of Kristen Kyler / Penn State)
A new mobile app developed with help from the Penn State University Extension may make citizen scientists out of people interested in protecting the health of streams in the state. The app is based on the First Investigation of Stream Health (FISH) program created by the Extension.
At first, the FISH program was only meant to be completed using pencil and paper, but a local environmental app developer, Chesapeake Commons, heard about its goals and wanted to help. From there, the program was turned into a mobile website and app that allows users to record conditions at streams that they visit.
Everyday folks can open the app or website and just answer questions about the region that they’re surveying. Taking down this sort of info is especially important, scientists note, for streams that have been recently restored, cleared of invasive weeds or had trees planted along their banks.
The app is available for free on iOS or Android mobile devices.
Top image: The number, type and diversity of bugs found helps determine the health of a stream habitat. (Courtesy of Kristen Kyler / Penn State)