Learn, Participate, Conserve
All Naturedigger apps (except Rash Plants and Knotweed!) include reporting opportunities so our users can become involved in data collection. We update our apps regularly when new reports are included and will tell you all about it in or our blog.
Each of our apps is truly unique and has something educational to offer. Rash Plants will keep you safe from poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac, by offering endless images and advice for spotting these rash causing plants. Knotweed! makes you aware of one of the world's 100 worst invasive species. The app provides photos and annotated identification slides to educate users about this seemingly unstoppable plant as well as management advice should you find it on your property.
Our SOS app series (Monarch SOS, Lakes SOS, Horseshoe SOS and Coastal SOS) offers reporting opportunities for citizen scientists such as tagging and monitoring monarchs in the western United States as well as learning about milkweed, the monarch's larval host plant. Lake Associations and other local and state agencies collecting invasive species sightings are invited to participate in Lakes SOS and receive data from citizen scientists via email. Horseshoe SOS allows users to quickly report tags or tagged horseshoe crabs to the US Fish and Wildlife Service simply by opening the app and choosing the Report Tag button on the navigation screen. You will also learn about the vital role horseshoe crabs play in our everyday lives. Coastal SOS, focuses on state, federal and international organizations, as well as universities and nonprofits, who actively participate in coastal conservation, education and citizen science. Coastal SOS can be used as a directory to quickly locate and learn more about these reputable organizations and their role in coastal and ocean conservation. If they collect data using Coastal SOS, you will see a report button on their profile page.
With limited funding and scant personnel, researchers are looking more and more to the public for help collecting critical scientific data to further their research, which in many cases, may provide information to make better informed conservation and management decisions. Naturedigger provides an important link between valuable citizen scientists and the organizations in need of their expertise and commitment.
Naturedigger's founder, Tara Johnson, is a veteran environmental scientist, who, throughout her 20+ year career has been employed in both private and public sectors. Naturedigger is a reflection of her interests which include threatened and endangered species, invasive species monitoring and control, citizen science and nature education.
Her career began in the early 90s with threatened species conservation including gopher tortoise relocations and Florida scrub jay surveys. Throughout her career she has conducted wetland delineations, monitoring and replications and has been involved in every level of construction compliance from permitting to developing guidance documents. She is an invasive species consultant, educator, grant writer and program planner. Tara travels throughout the country collecting data for Naturedigger apps, spending much of her time in New England, Florida and California. She not only promotes the important work of citizen science, but is an active one herself. She has been a volunteer certified invasive weed diver since 2014, and monitors and removes aquatic invasive species and educates the public through outreach programs.