Are you a nature enthusiast, novice naturalist, or do you simply enjoy exploring the outdoors?
Collecting and sharing our experiences in nature has come a long, long way. What began with pencils, notepads and sketches has evolved into an incredibly advanced tool that fits in your pocket—say hello to Alberta’s brand-new citizen science app, NatureLynx!
On Saturday, July 21, the ABMI will introduce NatureLynx as part of the City of Edmonton’s ‘Meet and Bleat’ event at Rundle Park. Join us for this FREE event to discover the app created for and by Alberta’s nature enthusiasts. Use NatureLynx to explore the world around you. Identify local species, learn about biodiversity hotspots, complete missions, and connect with other curious people. This is the official launch of NatureLynx, and we’ve planned some fun activities to celebrate!
The activities include:
- A chance to be one of the first NatureLynx users, with ABMI staff on hand to answer questions.
- An event-specific mission with prizes.
- Special 30-minute nature walks with some of the ABMI’s lichen, moss, and plant specialists. These walks are also FREE, but we ask that you sign up for an EventBrite ticket to reserve a spot.
Plus, here are some of the other fun activities you’ll find as part of the City’s Meet and Bleat event:
- A guided walk to engage with the goats and their goatherd.
- A craft station to make goat-themed crafts.
- A chance to meet awesome exhibitors from the City and learn about tree planting and pest management.
- Download the app onto your mobile device (IPhone or Android) from the Google Play Store or App Store, or visit naturelynx.ca on your computer.
- Sign up to create a new NatureLynx account. The “location” field is used to help you filter for nearby sightings.
- See the latest sightings of Alberta’s biodiversity submitted to NatureLynx by exploring the newsfeed.
- Learn how to identify common Alberta species by browsing our species profiles (click the bird icon at the bottom of the app’s newsfeed).
- Practice submitting your sightings. Use the camera to take a photo of an Alberta species*, or select a photo from your gallery. Choose the appropriate species group; if known, provide a species name or mark it as unknown. The date, time and location will autofill. Provide any relevant field notes (optional)—and then submit to share your sighting with the NatureLynx community!
- And more: edit your profile, join groups and missions, and follow other naturalists and NatureLynx users!
Having trouble? ABMI staff will be available on site at the event to help you set up and learn how to use NatureLynx! Or, contact the ABMI by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Why NatureLynx? Why now?
We’re at a unique stage in monitoring science. Technological advances—like the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices—can present exciting new opportunities. NatureLynx is about combining the ABMI’s monitoring expertise with the collective energy of Albertans, and leveraging this partnership to build a vibrant biodiversity network in our province. NatureLynx is a way for nature enthusiasts to share, connect, and learn, but also a way to contribute to our ever-growing understanding of Alberta’s natural heritage.
NatureLynx is designed as a free citizen science app, and we believe that anyone can be a citizen scientist. Citizen science usually refers to research collaborations between scientists and volunteers, and NatureLynx takes this a step further by putting its users in control of the information they collect and how they use it. At its best, citizen science can expand opportunities for scientific data collection and provide better access to scientific information for community members. With that in mind, NatureLynx is designed to encourage users to interact directly with the ABMI’s wealth of biodiversity and, in future, human footprint information, and compare, contrast, and supplement it with their own observations.
Increasing public participation in scientific inquiry also builds awareness and expertise. By connecting NatureLynx to the ABMI’s existing information and experience, we hope that it will encourage and support users in becoming informed leaders in the naturalist community.
Ultimately, NatureLynx is about fun, about getting involved in the scientific process, and about helping to improve our understanding of Alberta’s amazing biodiversity.
We’d love to have you on the team! Join us at naturelynx.ca!
*NatureLynx is a way to collect and share data on all of Alberta’s species (birds, mammals, plants, insects, etc.), but it’s not intended for collecting data/images on domestic species (garden plants, domestic animals, etc.).