The Atmospheric Science Department’s Dr. Udaysankar Nair was one of the principal speakers at a recent workshop on “crowd sourcing” data to monitor environmental change in India.
Organized by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (Kerala is near the southernmost tip of mainland India) and UAH, the workshop looked at the use of smart phones for environmental research and monitoring, starting in Kerala’s Western Ghats mountain range, a biodiverse region that is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Ideas included incorporating data collection into the curriculum of area schools, and making a smart phone application available to students, tourists, government officials, scientists, environmental activists and other area residents. Their photos of land use change, urbanization, and plant and animal diversity would go into a database and be used for several purposes, including to ground truth data from satellites and other sensors.
Nair is also working with officials in Kerala to develop a wireless sensor network to provide earlier warnings of landslide threats.