Citizen Science: Fire Recovery Monitored By Crowdsourcing Photos

The Fort Morgan fire roared through Mount Diablo State Park in Clayton, Calif., on Sept. 8, 2013, leaving behind a charred landscape.

But as fire is part of a natural ecosystem, plants and animals have begun to return to the once-blackened land.

An image #morganfire04

To document the recovery, the group Nerds For Nature came up with a brilliant use of Twitter hashtags. Visitors to the state park can set their phones in one of four holders near signs explaining the project to take a pre-framed photo. They then send the photo to Twitter or Instagram with a hashtag linked to the location. It is then automatically collected and archived, searchable by hashtag.

An image #morganfire01

“We’re trying to monitor how the landscape is changing and recovering after the fire by taking pictures from fixed locations for 1 year after the fire,” reports Nerds For Nature.

The unique use of Twitter allows users not only to share their own image of the fire recovery, but also to see the recovery over time by searching. Check out the interesting mix of photos by searching #morganfire, #morganfire01, #morganfire02, #morganfire03 and #morganfire04. —Sean McCoy

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Managing Editor Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in Denver, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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