Skinner presentation at GEOIDE 2009
The Geoweb Goes Wild: Developing A Participatory Geoweb Site As An Aid In Determining Rare Species Distribution, Randy Skinner, Yolanda Wiersma Erioderma pedicellatum (Ep), or boreal felt lichen, is critically endangered worldwide. Newfoundland currently has 95% of the known world population. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has developed a five year management plan to assess the spatial distribution of Ep on the island. Surveys in the past have been largely opportunistic and focused on two hyperpopulated regions on the island. The provincial government has restricted use and development in regions where Ep has been found. To facilitate public awareness, as well as foster stewardship practices, our project will tap into the use of participatory Geoweb applications to gauge public awareness of the species in the province. Our project has a two‐fold focus. Web 2.0 widgets and applications will be used to develop a map-based interactive website so that users can pinpoint Ep sightings, add photos, or post forum info online. Web‐based aids will be provided to give the novice lichen hunter information and field tools to find and identify Ep. The ultimate goal is to determine the amount and degree of public input with Ep – a species that is still relatively unknown to the general public (i.e., uncharismatic), with a secondary objective of gathering more information on the spatial distribution of Ep. The second focus of our project will be to expand the Geoweb to allow for citizen‐derived observation about a suite of species, some of which will be more well‐known (charismatic) to the public. Public participation will be measured with each species via web statistics and user-generated input, noting the types of users, and the amount of participation and interest with each species. This project is part of a larger Phase IV Project (Team 41) on the Participatory Geoweb, which is being led by Dr. Renee Sieber of Mc Gill University.