The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) new “Nearshore Citizen Science Tahoe” smartphone app allows beach-goers to record what they see at Lake Tahoe—observational data that will be shared with the scientists to better understand conditions around the lake.
Citizen scientists can help lake researchers by taking a few minutes to enter what they see at the beach, from algae to wildlife. Each observation automatically records the user’s location and the date and time. Users can also add photos and their own comments, and they earn points for every observation made.
Scientists will compare this “perceptual data” with data from a growing network of real-time sensors to gain a larger view of what’s going on in the nearshore. Data from the app and the sensors will be available through a science center exhibit currently under development. The future “Lake Tahoe Conditions” exhibit will explore trends related to lake level, temperature, water color, water clarity, algae, and more. Viewing the real-time data from around the shore of Lake Tahoe, visitors will be able to explore how conditions are changing over time and at different locations around the lake.
The TERC Citizen Science Tahoe mobile app can be found at CitizenScienceTahoe.org