BAR HARBOR, ME—College of the Atlantic and Project Noah have teamed up to expand the possibilities of nature education and citizen science. College of the Atlantic, or COA, is a small college on the coast of Maine harnessing experiential education and environmental stewardship to offer a distinctive interdisciplinary education in human ecology. With more than 170,000 users around the world, Project Noah is an international social media platform and mobile technology application that encourages nature lovers to share their encounters with wildlife and contribute their experiences and expertise to research projects as citizen scientists.
“This is an exciting partnership that I think will offer both institutions a wealth of benefits,” said Project Noah Director of Education David Munson. “College of the Atlantic’s amazing faculty and visionary leadership in education and environmental science promise to strengthen our educational programming and add a new dimension to our research and public engagement efforts. And, by connecting them with the grassroots efforts of our amazing online community, we hope to provide COA students with some really inspiring opportunities to participate, facilitate, and lead in the new realm of tech-assisted citizen science.”
As one of the leading mobile apps and online platforms of its kind, Project Noah offers its users the chance to not only share their experiences in the outdoors, but to contribute to the preservation of the natural world. Promoting this type of social and ecological responsibility is a common goal for both Project Noah and COA, and the leadership of both organizations hope that the new partnership will foster grassroots stewardship of the natural world on both local and global scales.
“Nature deficit disorder is killing this country and I want the full weight of the College of the Atlantic behind finding a cure,” says COA President Darron Collins, PhD, a 1992 alumnus. “Linking the curricular expertise and community of scholars at COA with the creativity and global reach of Project Noah will without a doubt help make that happen.”
The partnership between COA and Project Noah will provide much-needed training opportunities for educators seeking ways to capture the power of citizen science in the classroom, with professional development opportunities in citizen science and field research scheduled this summer at COA. Project Noah and COA are working together to integrate citizen science opportunities into undergraduate and graduate offerings as well. The connection will also explore ways of using social media and internet resources to promote wildlife research at the college and elsewhere, and to advance grassroots, participatory solutions to local environmental challenges.
College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit www.coa.edu.
Project Noah was founded in 2010 as a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere. For more, visit www.projectnoah.org.