Science Center Objects

Mobile technologies, from feature-laden phones to wearable computing devices, are changing the face of field research. Scientists are now able to track the movement of wildlife in near real time, capture more and various types of survey data conveniently, and discover critical information about a sample site prior to data collection. The Information Science Branch provides support for all of these capabilities, focusing mobile technology research on targeted scientific issues.

As part of an ongoing effort to implement new species tracking technologies, the IS Branch has explored and developed ways to use Global Positioning System (GPS) data using the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), also known as cellular phone, network. GSM provides more tracking data at a faster rate and lower cost than traditional satellite tracking systems. The initial implementation of this technology provides support for the California Condor recovery program and is being extended to include other critical species. These wildlife tracking datasets are crucial for understanding species ranges, seasonal migration patterns, habitat use, effects of habitat disturbance, and behavior patterns.

ScienceCache screen shot.

ScienceCache - Principal Investigator - Tim Kern

Working with the Northern Rockies Science Center, the Information Science Branch designed and developed ScienceCache, a scientific geocaching mobile application framework. Initially developed for citizen science data collection, the application was extended to work for any field data collection effort. The lead researcher controls the data collection route, collection forms, and data repository through a web application, and mobile app presents that configuration to the mobile user.

 

Image: Endangered California Condor
An endangered California condor flies over the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, California. USGS scientists are helping managers understand how California condors use their habitat. Public domain.

 

 

 

 

Using Cell Technology to Track Species Movement - Principal Investigator - Tim Kern

The Information Science Branch explored and developed ways to track species locations using a standard cellular phone network. This technology provides more tracking data at a faster rate and lower cost than traditional satellite tracking systems. The initial implementation of this approach currently provides support for the California Condor recovery program and is being extended to include other critical species. These wildlife tracking datasets are crucial for understanding species ranges, seasonal migration patterns, habitat use, effects of habitat disturbance, and individual behavior patterns.

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