Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MA DCR)
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia
The goal of the project is to strengthen ongoing invasive-species monitoring efforts in Massachusetts by enlisting help from citizens. The web- and smartphone-based approach enables volunteers to identify and collect data on invasive species in their own time, with little or no hands-on training. By taking advantage of the increasing number of people equipped with iPhone or digital camera/web technology, this approach will expand the scope of invasive-species monitoring, and is an effort to help control outbreaks of new or emergent invasive species that threaten our environment.
The information collected is being used by The Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) to create a comprehensive web-accessible database of invasive and potentially invasive plants in New England. The database will facilitate education and research that will lead to a greater understanding of invasive plant ecology and support informed conservation management. An important focus of the project is the early detection of, and rapid response to, new invasions.