The answer arose from individual people offering assistance, and the idea of the citizen science aspect of The Prusten Project began!
Citizen science has proven to be one of the most powerful tools for The Prusten Project, completing hundreds of sound files in a matter of weeks and making our volunteers some of the most invaluable members of The Prusten Project’s vision. Like The Prusten Project, citizen science has benefited numerous researchers and conservation efforts across the world. Better yet, many of these initiatives can be done remotely or on your computer!
Volunteer Coordinator Dana Green conducting in-person training with volunteer Brenna Copp.
One of the most successful citizen science projects on Zooniverse is Snapshot Serengeti. The primary researcher, Dr. Ali Swanson, uses camera traps throughout Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, resulting in tens of thousands of photos that have wildlife in them to be identified. Through Zooniverse, Dr. Swanson is able to upload these photos and then rely on volunteers to identify each animal. The results of the project have allowed the researchers to answer questions about herbivore dynamics, carnivore interactions, and predator-prey dynamics.
While platforms like Zooniverse work well for projects like Snapshot Serengeti, The Prusten Project trains its volunteers one by one, teaching each person to use specialized software and how to go through long sound files and pick out tiger vocalizations. However, like larger platforms, we are able to train our volunteers from anywhere in the world. With video chat services readily available, we are able to communicate with people from anywhere, with a combined volunteer force from the U.S., the UK, and Canada!
Volunteer Liselle from the UK going through a file and picking out a tiger call.