"Nerds for Nature" Test out Tech Toys at SFBE Field Station in Vallejo

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The USGS Western Ecological Research Center hosted passionate biogeeks and hackers on Dec. 8th for a "NatureNerdFest" and "Bio-Blitz". Members of the San Francisco Bay Area group Nerds for Nature gathered on Mare Island to test and share development ideas for research instruments and drones. The meetup was organized by N4N and Isa Woo of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. 

NatureNerdFest hosted by USGS WERC

Developers and hackers showed off their gear at the Dec. 8th NatureNerdFest on Mare Island. (Credit: Ben Young Landis, U.S. Geological Survey. Public domain.)

See photos, videos and blogposts of the event at the Nerds for Nature website:

The trails and fields around the San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station was ripe for experimental play. Science enthusiasts embarked on a "bio-blitz" -- an impromptu, crowd-collaborative survey of biodiversity in a given area. One group collected spider specimens for a DNA bar coding project, hoping to build a database of ready-to-use genetic profiles that can quickly identify small, cryptic species.

The Nerds for Nature organization prides itself in "bringing together technologists and environmental professionals to collaboratively build awesome tools to understand, protect, and revive the natural world." True to their spirit of invention and ingenuity, many members showed off their toys under development. 

Some developers showed off independently designed water quality data loggers and weather stations, while others tested out microscope and wide-angle adapter lenses for iPhones and other smartphones.

Camera lens adapter for smartphone