Speeding Up Science from Facebook Stories
Watch how ichthyologist Brian Sidlauskas harnessed the power of the Facebook community to identify more than 5,000 species of fish in 24 hours.
Desperate times call for social measures.
In January 2011, Oregon State University ichthyologist Brian Sidlauskas led a research expedition into the little-known Cuyuni River region of Guyana in South America.
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His team documented more than 5,000 fish, but Guyana’s immigration policies required them to identify and catalog every specimen they wanted to bring back—a nearly impossible task, especially on a tight schedule.
Sidlauskas uploaded his research photos to Facebook and tagged members of the scientific community who were able to identify almost all of the photos in under 24 hours.
Species richness – the number of distinct evolutionary lineages – is a fundamental measure of overall biodiversity.
Species are basic structural and functional units of ecology and evolution.
Accurate species identification is necessary to document genetic, physiological, and ecological aspects of biodiversity.
Recognizing and naming species matters, no matter how subtle the differences may seem to the human eye. (Fishes of the Fitzcarrald)
- Seafloor Explorer is a crowd-sourced effort to identify species and ground cover in images of the seafloor. The application presents an image of the seafloor and asks the user to identify the ground cover and any species that are present in the image. The crowd-sourced results will then help create a library of seafloor life in the habitats along the northeast continental shelf. When the user has finished classifying the species in the image a still satellite image from Google Maps / Google Earth is displayed showing the location of the section of sea floor that has just been classified.