Science Center Objects

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 the mobile application presents that configuration to the mobile user, or citizen scientists to use while collecting data.

The mobile application includes geocaching-like features to make it fun and educational for the user. Components include:

• Initial screen with general safety information

• Location fences that can be used to periodically add location specific training or gamification components

• Pre/post trip download/upload capability for use in cellular deserts

• Ability to report inappropriate photos

The application also includes options to improve and assess data quality like integrated training that may include pictures or videos, and the ability to record pictures of plants, landscapes, geological formations, instruments, gauges, etc. The pilot study of this application involved climate change impacts on bear food such as huckleberries and the assessment of the mechanisms and conditions influencing berry productivity and failure.